Top 5 reasons to study abroad in Tunisia and Italy

May 19th, 2022   |   SIT Study Abroad

What do the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the rugged landscape of the Star Wars planet Tatooine have in common? They’re two of the stunning scenes you’ll see on SIT's Tunisia and Italy: Politics and Religious Integration in the Mediterranean study abroad program.

Not only will you study the interplay of migration and identity across Tunisia and Italy, you’ll immerse yourself in different cultures, strengthen your foreign language skills, feast on fantastic cuisine, take in magnificent sites, and experience personal growth.

Here are just five of the many reasons to study abroad with SIT in Tunisia and Italy.

White buildings with blue shutters against the Mediterranean sea
The Tunisian coast village of Sidi Bou Said.

Live in the picturesque coastal village of Sidi Bou Said

Picture-perfect cobbled streets, bohemian cafes, and bleach-white houses with Mediterranean-blue shutters characterize the Tunisian town of Sidi Bou Said. This seaside oasis—at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and the birthplace of the Arab Spring—is where you’ll live during your homestay.

Learn about Tunisia’s transition to democracy while taking in sites that seem straight from a movie scene. In fact, during a southern excursion you’ll encounter troglodyte dwellings and traditional Berber villages used as the set for the planet Tatooine in Star Wars!


An ancient Roman amphitheater against a bright blue sky
El Jem amphitheater is the third largest in the world.

Embark on unforgettable excursions to holy sites, ancient villages, and more

Planet Tatooine isn’t the only otherworldly site you’ll see. History and culture come alive when you visit Turkish and Spanish forts, Africa’s oldest synagogue, and the holy city of Kairouan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was the first Muslim settlement in North Africa.

You’ll also cross the Mediterranean to Palermo, the capital of Sicily. During this three-week excursion, you’ll take in the medieval splendor of Taormina, the volcanic grandeur of Catania, and the 18th-century Baroque beauty of Bagheria. Punic, Greek, Roman, Arab, Norman, and Spanish civilizations magnificently collide here.


Men and women sitting in a Tunisian shop with white walls, a red and green poll and a white ceiling fan
Students enjoy a typical day at a local tea house.

Step out of your comfort zone with cultural immersion

True global education often comes from authentic experiences with different cultures in their local communities. Both Tunisia and Italy have experienced migration and colonization over three millennia. The result is a unique intermix of cultures to learn from.

As you experience everyday activities that take you to the heart of these cultures, their similarities and difference will come alive. Hear from migrant youth as you help them make garments for a local Sicilian market, or from young Tunisian bloggers who participated in the Arab Spring—perspectives that will help you understand Mediterranean politics and identity.


Students seated at a long table crowded with plates of food and bottles of water
Students dining at a restaurant in Sicily

Enjoy a mouth-watering culinary paradise

Bring on the Pasta alla Norma and couscous! Tunisia and Italy have distinct flavor profiles and traditional dishes characterized by vibrant colors and aromas. The two countries’ cuisines will take you to a culinary paradise.

Cooking and food preparation are blended into weekly language activities that strengthen both your language learning and your kitchen skills. At the end of the program, you’ll receive a cookbook as a farewell gift—and a chance to amaze others when you cook for friends back home.


A young man draws a diagram on a white board with Arabic language labels
A student makes a presentation in Arabic.

Sharpen your Arabic or French language skills

This study abroad experience straddles North Africa and Europe, so prepare to study and practice multiple languages. Led by language experts, you can study Arabic or French. Take what you learn in the classroom and apply it in everyday conversation during your homestay and excursions.

If you're ready to embark on a life-changing educational and cultural experience in Tunisia and Italy—andiamo!


Click here to learn more about applying today and discover more of our academic programs.