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Fez, Morocco

Program At a Glance

Terms Offered



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Tandem professor and globe icon

Classes In

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Students looking at a chalkboard icon




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Middle Eastern Studies


This program will not be offered for the 2019-2020 Academic Year.  Please contact our office for more information about future offerings.

The Middle Eastern Studies Program (MES) offers a foreign study program in Fez, Morocco, Dartmouth's only non-language FSP in the Middle East and North Africa. Classes are taught at the American/Arabic Language Institute in Fez, with faculty and guest lecturers drawn from universities in Fez and elsewhere in Morocco, and a Dartmouth faculty director who participates in MES. Dartmouth's MES Program includes faculty from the Departments of Anthropology, Middle Eastern Studies, French and Italian, Geography, Government, History, Music, Religion, and Sociology and from the Comparative Literature Program. 

Founded in the ninth century, Fez has historically been the crossroads for the Mediterranean to the north, sub-Saharan Africa to the south, the eastern Arab lands, and Morocco's other great imperial cities to the west. UNESCO has designated Fez's ancient walled city or "madina" an international historical monument.

In the Fez program, classroom learning is integrated with homestays and with visits to shrines, schools, markets, and workplaces. Participants will be in Fez for nine weeks of this ten-week program. One week in the middle of the program is devoted to visits to other regions of Morocco, including the Atlas mountains and the pre-Sahara. The Dartmouth FSP in Fez offers three course credits. "Discovering an Islamic City" (MES 33) combines seminar work with field visits. "Arabic as a Cultural System" (MES 54) is an intensive introduction to spoken Moroccan Arabic and its cultural significance. The third course is taught by the Dartmouth program director. A prior knowledge of French or Arabic is helpful, although not required.



Faculty Director

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Completion of one of the following courses with a grade of B or higher:    

Anthropology 27 (MES 5): Thought and Change in the Middle East and Central Asia
Anthropology 15: Political Anthropology with Middle Eastern Studies faculty and topics
Anthropology 19 (MES 6): Islam: An Anthropological Approach
Arabic 10: Introduction to Arab Culture
Arabic 61: Topics in Modern Arabic Literature and Culture 
Arabic 63: Themes in Arabic Literature and Culture when the designated topic includes a focus on North Africa
History 5.2: The Eye of the Beholder: Introduction to the Islamic World
History 68: History of North Africa from the Arrival of Islam to the Present
History 69: Islam in Africa
History 71: Social History of the Contemporary Middle East
History 89: The Arab World in the Twentieth Century
Religion 8 (MES 8): Introduction to Islam
Religion 16 (MES 15): Modern Islam
Government 40: The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East and North Africa

Students also qualify if they have taken one year (three terms) of Arabic. You need not be an MES major to participate in the MES FSP Fez.


For part of the first week of the program, students live in a hotel within walking distance of the classrooms. The rest of the time in Fez is normally spent with a host family, and selected families always have one family member who may speak some English. In hotel stays, as in overnight travel elsewhere in Morocco, two students are assigned to a room, with gender separation as required by Moroccan law.
While living with home-stay families, all meals will be provided with the exception of weekday lunches.  While meals are part of the arrangement, families are not expected to depart from their standard diet.  With the exception of a vegetarian diet, homestay participants are not entitled to "order" particular foods unless this is necessitated for reasons of medical or religious/ethical restrictions declared before departure to Morocco.  
During the hotel stays, only breakfast will be provided; the Faculty Director will provide funds for other meals. While on tour, Dartmouth will provide a per diem to students for accommodation and meals.

Tuition and Fees

The fees charged by the College for a Dartmouth-sponsored off-campus term of study include regular tuition charges for a term at Dartmouth, service fees, as well as the specific costs established for each off-campus study locale. In many programs, the room and board costs tend to be higher than for a term in Hanover. You can view a budget sheet for each program by clicking on the appropriate term. The cost of transportation to and from the site is the responsibility of the student.


Financial Aid

In order that all qualified Dartmouth undergraduate students may have the opportunity to take part in off-campus programs, the College endeavors to adjust its normal financial aid awards for students already receiving aid. Tuition and expected family contribution for Dartmouth's off-campus programs are the same as for an on-campus term. Assistance is available to meet extra costs associated with off-campus programs, including airfare. Half of any extra cost is met with additional Dartmouth scholarship; loan assistance is offered for the other half. Loan assistance is also offered to replace the employment that would normally be included in an on-campus term. Although financial aid recipients are given aid to cover all of the required costs of the program, students are responsible for purchasing their own plane ticket and, on some programs, meals. Often this means that part of the expected family contribution is used towards these costs rather than for tuition.


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