Nowadays mobility is a fundamental part of studies. Studying in another context is central to making students more aware of global challenges, seeing what they have studied in practice,  increasing adaptability and leadership skills, and developing a non-European-centred perspective. For these reasons, the institute is keen to offer its own students and students who come from other universities the possibility to study abroad.

In particular, we strongly recommend to each student an extended study stay in the Middle East. This is not only fundamental to improving language competences but also to getting in touch with everyday life in the region and contributing to the dismantling of stereotypes and prejudices.

Students of the University of Bern have a number of possibilities to study at another university for a period, including at other universities in Switzerland, and in or outside of Europe. The institute has a number of agreements with different universities and can give information on opportunities for financial support.

Outgoing students should always contact one of our mobility coordinators well in advance. If your mobility period is to be in Switzerland then you should contact our study coordinator.

If you are an incoming student from abroad you should contact our mobility coordinators; if you are from Switzerland, our study coordinator.


All partner institutions at our University

Partnerships of the institute

Stays in the Middle East

Students interested in a period in the Middle East can opt for either a semester at a university in the region, attending both lectures and language courses, or a language course during the semester break. ECTS can be recognized only if the student has made contact with the mobility coordinators in advance.

At the moment the institute has bilateral exchange agreements with the University of Nizwa (Oman), the Birzeit University (Palestine), the American University of Beirut (Lebanon) and the University of Tehran (Iran). We are working on establishing more bilateral exchange agreements with a number of other universities in the Middle East. As soon as they have been established, they will be published here.

Exchange agreements with Turkish universities can be found under SEMP.

American University of Beirut (AUB)

The AUB was founded in 1866 and is based in Beirut, a city with a long history, in the middle of Lebanon's Mediterranean coast. Beirut, which has been populated for more than 5,000 years, is one of the liveliest cities in the Middle East, with an impressive cultural scene. The AUB is a teaching-centred research university based on the American liberal arts model of higher education. AUB has over 8,000 students and 800 faculty members. It offers excellent programs in Arabic and Near Eastern Languages (BA, MA and PhD programs), in Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (BA, MA and PhD programs) and in social sciences, including, for example, media studies. Its Centre for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES) offers Arabic language programs for foreigners where it is possible to learn not only Modern Standard Arabic but also Colloquial Lebanese.

Hamburg University

The department for the History and Culture of the Middle East is part of the Asia and Africa Institute. It focuses on the cultural history of the Middle East and offers study plans in Islamic Studies, Turkish and Iranian Studies. Research in Islamic Studies focuses in particular on bioethics, material culture and rebellion in early Islamic history. More information can be found here.

Ca' Foscari University of Venice

The University Ca’ Foscari was founded in 1868, originally as the the “Scuola Superiore di Commercio” (Advanced School for Commerce). Ca’ Foscari was the first Italian institution to focus on advanced education in Business and Economics. Nowadays it includes eight departments (including a department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage, a department of Humanities, a department of Linguistics and Comparative Studies and a Department of Asian and North African Studies, that can be particularly interesting for our students), and several centres, including a well-known University Language Centre. The study and teaching of foreign languages have been at the core of the university since its foundation. The teachings of languages like Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Hindi, Iranian and Turkish was institutionalized already in 1964, when the degree course in “Oriental languages and literature” was born. Nowadays the university offers the possibility to learn more than 40 languages and is one of the world top universities for what regards area studies.

Dekhoda Institute at the University of Teheran

The Dehkhoda Institute at the University of Tehran is the most prestigious institution for teaching Persian in Iran. The Institute has the right to send a list of nominated students to the Dehkhoda Institute. In addition to language courses also the attendance of other courses at the university as "free listeners" is possible.
In principles courses can be taken both online and on-site, however until further notice, the courses are currently offered online only.
Our students receive a 10 percent discount for Persian courses. Course prices are regularly posted on the Dehkhoda Institute website. Students are responsible for their own travel, accommodation, health care and food costs.

Birzeit University

Located in the West Bank, the University of Birzeit originates from Birzeit School for Girls, founded in 1924 as an elementary school for girls from Birzeit and the surrounding villages. It was one of the first schools in the region. Broadening its scope over the years, in 1942 it was renamed Birzeit College and then in 1975 became Birzeit University. Today it has nine faculties and offers more than 76 bachelor and 34 master programs. In particular, courses from the programs in Arabic Language and Literature (BA and MA), Arabic Music (BA), Contemporary Arab Studies (MA), Arab and Islamic History (MA) could be interesting for our students. The university also has a Program for Palestine and Arabic Studies (PAS), which offers the unique possibility of combining the study of the Arabic language with social science courses about Palestine and the Arab world. Students of our institute have the opportunity to attend all courses. For language courses at PAS, fees apply.

University of Nizwa

The University of Nizwa was established in the Sultanate of Oman in 2004 as the only faculty-governed no-profit private university in Oman. It is located 140 km from the sultanate’s capital Muscat, in the interior region of Al-Dakhiliya. One of its particular distinctions is that around 85% of its students are Omani women. The Department of Arabic Language, which is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, offers study programs in Arabic Language (BA), Arabic Language and Literature (MA), Arabic Language and Teaching Arabic to Speakers of Other Languages – TASOL (MA). Moreover, the University also has a renowned Institute for TASOL (DHAD Institute for TASOL). Our students have the opportunity to attend all courses. For language courses at DHAD, institute fees apply.