Tunisia, officially the Republic of Tunisia, is the smallest country in North Africa. It is a Maghreb country bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia has a diverse economy, ranging from agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and petroleum products, to tourism.
Tunisia is a small North African country that lies south of Malta and is bordered by Libya to the east and Algeria to the west. The capital city of Tunis is ideally situated in the north part of the country and offers quick access to beaches and metropolitan attractions. Tunisia’s rich history and culture spans thousands of years and draws in travelers from around the world. Attaining a higher education in Tunisia gives students the opportunity to learn valuable skills and experience a unique culture.
Tunisia is perhaps best known for its beautiful beaches and luxury resorts. The light blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea are ideal for water sports and relaxing days spent by the ocean. In the center of the country, dry areas and deserts present opportunities for trekking and outdoor adventures. The country is also full of archeological attractions that reflect the country’s rich history. The famous Battle of Carthage took place in what is modern day Tunisia.
There are numerous structures still standing from antiquity including:
- Ruins of Carthage
- El Jem Amphitheatre
- Dougga (Roman city)
- Monastir (Ancient city)
- Sufetula (Roman settlement)
Climate, Terrain and Cities
The terrain and climate varies significantly in different parts of the country. The south part of Tunisia comprises mostly desert landscapes. These areas see very little rainfall and experience sweltering summer heat. There are mountainous regions in the north that level off into central plains. The country’s coastline is temperate and offers residents year-round sunshine. The atmosphere is ideal for those seeking a dry climate.
Some of the major cities in Tunisia include:
- El Kef
The people of Tunisia are primarily of Arab, Berber and Turkish decent. However, numerous civilizations influenced the development of the country and its population. The Romans, Carthaginians, Ottoman Turks and French all ruled over the area at different points in history. The predominant religion is Islam, which is practiced by approximately 98 percent of the people. Christianity is practiced by one percent, with other religions making up the remaining one percent. Arabic is the official language of the country, and the dialect spoken is known as Derja.
Study in Tunisia
Overview of Higher Education in Tunisia
According to the Global Competitiveness Report released in 2008, Tunisia ranked number 41 in terms of the overall quality of its education system. In the “Quality of Management Schools” category, Tunisia ranked number 31. Universities are located throughout the country and a large number are situated in or around Tunis. Ez-Zitouna University, Tunis claims to be the oldest teaching establishment in the Arab world. The academic calendar varies depending on the institution and degree program. School is typically in session from September to July.
Tuition and Degrees
Not surprisingly, tuition costs vary by school and degree. Determinants in the cost of higher education include the program, housing, books and administrative fees. Inquiring with specific universities is the optimal way to estimate the costs of obtaining advanced degrees. Degree programs vary widely in terms of duration and subject matter. Ez-Zitouna University, Tunis offers advanced degrees in Islamic sciences while the University of Gabès offers degrees in engineering and applied sciences. Masters programs can run for six years, which varies greatly compared to programs found in North American schools.
Reasons for Studying in Tunisia
Language immersion is a primary benefit of studying in Tunisia. Though Arabic is the primary language, residents also speak French and a host of other local dialects. Learning to speak Arabic opens doors for international students looking to work in government or business. Tunisia has one of the best education systems in North Africa and is centrally located allowing for exploration of surrounding countries. The cost of living is also a benefit of attaining higher education Tunisia. It is a cost-effective choice relative to schools in the North America or Europe.
There are numerous career opportunities for students graduating from Tunisian schools. Engineering students have opportunities in technical fields ranging from aerospace design to civil engineering. For liberal arts students, there are opportunities available in teaching and cultural development. Familiarity with North Africa and the Middle East opens up opportunities for business students interested in import, export and oil production. Higher education from Tunisian schools adds a level of sophistication not seen on most other resumes.
Health Insurance and Student Visas
According to the U.S. Department of State, healthcare in Tunisia is available through private “polyclinics” that provide a wide variety of simple procedures. For those patients needing advanced care, treatment may not be available. Trauma centers are either non-existent or are incapable of handling complex medical issues. For international students, it is important to determine if medical insurers will cover healthcare received in Tunisia. The Tunisian Embassy provides detailed information on the documentation needed to acquire a student visa. Government representatives are there to guide students through the application process, and resources are available on official government websites.
For those looking for higher education, Tunisia presents the opportunity for academic advancement and cultural enlightenment. The ancient structures from Roman and Carthaginian times attest to the country’s rich history. There are multiple reasons for choosing Tunisian schools including career advancement. Go to Tunisia for the best North Africa has to offer, and receive a world-class education.