Annalisa Rabbi
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Hi to everyone, I am an italian student and this year I have applied to SOAS for International Relations and Arabic. Apparently, my parents just found out that the third year abroad is compulsory (they thought it was optional) and they are not willing to let me study at SOAS anymore, unless I change course. They say the designated countries (Egypt, Morocco, Palestine and Jordan) are dangerous and there are too many risks. I am aware that there could be some potential dangers, for example a terroristic attack, but that could happen in London as well. Although, I am extremly interested in Arabic and I don't want to change course so, here I am, asking if there is someone that has spent the year abroad in one of the four options for Arabic and if they could PLEASE tell me how it was, the lessons, if the university was safe, etc., just to try to reassure my parents and convince them. I have already sent some emails to SOAS and have searched for articles written by students who have spent a year abroad but it wasn't of much help. Thanks in advance for the answers!
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luji
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Do you have to go to all of them or just choose one?
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Annalisa Rabbi
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(Original post by ab173)
Do you have to go to all of them or just choose one?
No no, I just have to choose one, but, to my parents, all of them are dangerous
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luji
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(Original post by Annalisa Rabbi)
No no, I just have to choose one, but, to my parents, all of them are dangerous
Firstly I've never been to any of those but I am fairly close by. My friends from 3 of these countries go there all the time and everything is ok. For Palestine which area will you be studying in?
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marple
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(Original post by Annalisa Rabbi)
Hi to everyone, I am an italian student and this year I have applied to SOAS for International Relations and Arabic. Apparently, my parents just found out that the third year abroad is compulsory (they thought it was optional) and they are not willing to let me study at SOAS anymore, unless I change course. They say the designated countries (Egypt, Morocco, Palestine and Jordan) are dangerous and there are too many risks. I am aware that there could be some potential dangers, for example a terroristic attack, but that could happen in London as well. Although, I am extremly interested in Arabic and I don't want to change course so, here I am, asking if there is someone that has spent the year abroad in one of the four options for Arabic and if they could PLEASE tell me how it was, the lessons, if the university was safe, etc., just to try to reassure my parents and convince them. I have already sent some emails to SOAS and have searched for articles written by students who have spent a year abroad but it wasn't of much help. Thanks in advance for the answers!
SOAS will do regular risk assessments of the situation in and around its partner universities and will simply not send students to locations that are dangerous.

Unfortunately the news gives a false impression - yes there are dangers in these countries, but the vast majority of the people living there without problem. As you pointed out, London also has potential dangers - knife crime and well documented terror attacks, but the vast majority of London based students experience nothing of the kind.

Morocco has 650,000 visitors from the UK last year and 319,000 went to Egypt - they are very mainstream destinations. Could you suggest a short family holiday to Morocco with your parents so that they can see what its like?

hope things work out.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Annalisa Rabbi)
Hi to everyone, I am an italian student and this year I have applied to SOAS for International Relations and Arabic. Apparently, my parents just found out that the third year abroad is compulsory (they thought it was optional) and they are not willing to let me study at SOAS anymore, unless I change course. They say the designated countries (Egypt, Morocco, Palestine and Jordan) are dangerous and there are too many risks. I am aware that there could be some potential dangers, for example a terroristic attack, but that could happen in London as well. Although, I am extremly interested in Arabic and I don't want to change course so, here I am, asking if there is someone that has spent the year abroad in one of the four options for Arabic and if they could PLEASE tell me how it was, the lessons, if the university was safe, etc., just to try to reassure my parents and convince them. I have already sent some emails to SOAS and have searched for articles written by students who have spent a year abroad but it wasn't of much help. Thanks in advance for the answers!
I'd like to know what's dangerous about Jordan since that's the country that refugees are fleeing to for safety - that's why you see it on the news.

Can't recall a great deal of bad things happening in Morocco recently.

Also be aware that this is your decision. You're old enough now to not need your parents' permission to leave home and go to university. If they're supporting you financially then I can understand that, but this is likely just symptoms of them not wanting to leave because they'll miss you.

Besides, you aren't going abroad in your first year. There's no reason for you not to start the course.

I've moved your thread to the SOAS University of London forum.
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Hdeinso
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It’s a bit late but I was told by current SOAS Arabic students that if you don’t go on the year abroad the degree slightly changes to International relations with Arabic.
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(Original post by Hdeinso)
It’s a bit late but I was told by current SOAS Arabic students that if you don’t go on the year abroad the degree slightly changes to International relations with Arabic.
Heyo, does this mean the year abroad isn’t compulsory or is this just because of the pandemic? Do you know if that’s the case for econ & Arabic? Thanks!
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username5235322
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Hi! I wouldn’t recommend Palestine since it’s really unstable especially with Israel etc and I wouldn’t recommend Egypt (only for holidays though!)
I’d say Jordan and Morocco are your best best with Morocco being the best since it’s literally next to Spain and the closest to home and a tourist area and fairly modern and well (I know the others are too but I’m just saying)
But which Arab dialect do you want to study? Moroccan Arabic is really different to gulf and Mesopotamian Arabic.
I would’ve recommended Syria before 1980 as it was a very beautiful respected and a decent country then.
But Morocco I really believe is the safest. Like the above user said, say in the autumn or next Christmas holidays, go with your family to Morocco for a couple of days as a holiday and show them how beautiful and good it is, it’s also good for you too!
They’ll defo be convinced
Good luck!
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(Original post by SparkleFace)
Hi! I wouldn’t recommend Palestine since it’s really unstable especially with Israel etc and I wouldn’t recommend Egypt (only for holidays though!)
I’d say Jordan and Morocco are your best best with Morocco being the best since it’s literally next to Spain and the closest to home and a tourist area and fairly modern and well (I know the others are too but I’m just saying)
But which Arab dialect do you want to study? Moroccan Arabic is really different to gulf and Mesopotamian Arabic.
I would’ve recommended Syria before 1980 as it was a very beautiful respected and a decent country then.
But Morocco I really believe is the safest. Like the above user said, say in the autumn or next Christmas holidays, go with your family to Morocco for a couple of days as a holiday and show them how beautiful and good it is, it’s also good for you too!
They’ll defo be convinced
Good luck!
Hello, I just wanted ask if you are/ were a student at SOAS and went on a year abroad? I have a lot of questions about the year abroad but idk anyone who can help me with it 🙂
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username5235322
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hello, I just wanted ask if you are/ were a student at SOAS and went on a year abroad? I have a lot of questions about the year abroad but idk anyone who can help me with it 🙂
Hi! Unfortunately not but I do know a lot about Arab countries and quite a bit about the language. Have you tried out another media website like Reddit to post your question there? You’re more likely I think to get a great answer there than here.
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Hdeinso
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Heyo, does this mean the year abroad isn’t compulsory or is this just because of the pandemic? Do you know if that’s the case for econ & Arabic? Thanks!
I was told about that before the pandemic but I guess the university look at it as being compulsory to get a degree in International relations AND Arabic .
I'm not sure but I would assume it would be the sam
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