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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Year abroad (Year 3) | Convenor: Mrs Farida El Keiy

Your year abroad is one of the most exciting parts of your degree, offering you a unique opportunity to experience first hand the culture of the Arab world, while honing your language skills.

Where and what

We want you to have the chance to explore in your own way, so you are given considerable independence in deciding where to go and what to do while you are there. Our only requirements are that:

  • the country you choose is safe at the time
  • you spend your time doing something structured which will involve considerable use of Arabic for example:
    • following a structured language course
    • doing voluntary or paid work or an internship alongside some private language tuition
    • following a local university course, related to your interests, taught to local people in the local language

Examples of past activities include assisting in a school in a north Lebanese town, helping in a Palestinian theatre company or a hospital, interning with an Egyptian human rights organisation and working with a sailing company in Oman.

You are expected to make the arrangements for your year abroad yourself, with the Faculty providing advice and support.

How long 

The year abroad covers a minimum of eight months. There are a further seven months between the end of your second year and the start of your fourth year of study to spend as you wish

  • If you are studying Full Arabic, you will spend your entire year abroad in the Arabic speaking country of your choice
  • If you are combining Arabic and Hebrew you will spend at least four months in an Arabic speaking country and at least three months in Israel
    More information about the Hebrew year abroad
  • If you are combining Arabic and Persian you will spend at least four months in an Arabic speaking country and three months in Iran. Occasionally, entry into Iran is impossible, so students then spend time in Tajikistan, or sometimes study Persian elsewhere.
    More information about the Persian year abroad
  • If you are combining Arabic with a language offered by the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages & Linguistics, you will spend at least eight months in the Arabic speaking country of your choice. You are not required to spend any time in a country relating to your European language

How is the year assessed?

  • During your year abroad, you will gather information towards a dissertation on a topic of your choice
  • You will write this dissertation during your fourth year
  • You will be given guidance on this before and during your year abroad
  • You are not required to take or pass any exams during your year abroad
  • During your fourth year, we will assess what you have achieved
    • in your oral exams
    • through your dissertation
    • by the impact of the knowledge and experience gained across your studies

There is information about fees and funding for the year abroad here.