Connect Cultures: Gain New Perspectives on the MENA region
The Nour Project is a volunteering experience in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region to improve cross-cultural understanding between Europe and the MENA region.
Deepen your understanding of the MENA region
Spread cross cultural awareness
Push yourself out of your comfort zone
Projects & Destinations
The current destinations available are Tunisia and Bahrain. However, destinations might be added during the summer. You can book a coffee chat to learn more about the current openings. Whatever you’re passionate about, there is a large diversity of types of projects for you to choose from. Below you will find some examples of projects that we offered in the past, but our supply of projects changes every year!
Do peacebuilding research in Jordan
Assist with the research of the Generations for Peace institute.
Teach children in Bahrain
Help children who are in difficult situations by teaching them English, French, Math, Physics or IT. You will focus on helping these children express themselves and on helping them with their studies.
Empower women in Tunisia
Help with reintegrating disadvantaged women into society. Help teach them crafts that will make them financially independent and showcase their stories and experiences.
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The Health Project, Nour Project, and Medicine Project are offered twice a year. Application rounds for the project open in October and March. The next deadline for the Nour project is the 16th of April.
The applications are open now!
What it means to connect cultures
By going on a Nour Project, you will get the opportunity to experience the MENA region for yourself. You will be able to challenge your own biases and prejudices and get a new perspective on the country that you go to. Even though you will spend your time in the MENA region volunteering for an NGO, you are not going to change the world through a six-week volunteering project. We focus on cross-cultural understanding, so with impact, we mostly mean the impact that you will have on other people through the creation of your experience project.
How it works
In the Netherlands, we will personally guide you to find a project you like and that fits your personal needs and we will help you prepare for your time abroad. Abroad, another AIESEC office will be your support system during your experience.
Read more about the process >
1. Preparation Program
The Preparation Programme takes place in November and in May. It consists of one or multiple preparation days where you will meet the other Nour participants and receive workshops and seminars that will prepare you for your experience abroad. This can for example be a lecture about the Arab spring from NOS reporter Jan Eikelboom or a creative writing workshop from National Geographic.
2. Project abroad
The Summer Project takes place between June and September, the Winter project takes place between January and February. Both the Winter and Summer Projects will be approximately 6-8 weeks.The project is an opportunity to completely dive into the Arab culture.
3. Reintegration program
The Reintegration Project starts after you’ve finished your time abroad. Nour Participants share their learnings and knowledge in the Netherlands to create more understanding between the Arab and European cultures, in the form of their Experience Project. This will take place in the months September and October and for the Winter Project, March and April. Examples of Experience Projects are delivering presentations at a high school, writing a blog about cultural differences or having an exhibition of the pictures you took while abroad.
Experiences of others
Adinda Hijl - Tunisia
Marleen de Haar - Algeria
For two months, I had to teach Dutch to students participating in a Summer School. I got to know Algerians as proud and fierce. They are the most chaotic people I’ve met, but also the most warm. They are smart and welcoming. I learned many things in Algiers, but perhaps most of all I learned that it doesn’t matter what you do, maybe not even how you do it, but it does really matter who you do it with.
Within the non-profit international peace-building organisation Generations For Peace, I was a research writer. This meant that I would write blogs during my time there with a research component. Next to my internship, I stayed in a hostfamily in Amman, which was also very much part of my AIESEC experience. Maybe even more so, as part of the NOUR-project!
Sign up via the link below!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the costs of the Nour project?
The fee to participate in the Nour Project is €349. Travel and living costs are at the student’s own expenses. The cost of living is generally lower than in the Netherlands, but this highly depends on the destination of the project.
Housing is most likely provided by the host country and organized by the local AIESEC committees. Nour participants usually stay in a host family and sometimes in student houses. Some host countries will require the Nour Participant to pay rent, but this will be established in the early stages of the program.
Is it safe to travel to the MENA region?
We do not send participants to countries that are not safe. We have regular contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the embassies, and the local AIESEC organizations abroad to stay updated about safety. That said, participants must keep in mind that traveling to and within the MENA region is always at their own risk.
To which countries can I go?
The countries of destination vary every year. The countries are chosen based on safety, political stability, and the projects available in the summer.
What projects are available?
The projects are mainly developmental or cultural and vary year to year. Some examples include working at SOS Children’s Villages or working at a Human’s Rights office, or writing a local NGO’s business plan or teaching economics. The project is a way to immerse in the Arab culture by working with locals. The main goal of the Nour Project is to dive into the Arab culture and learn about previously unknown aspects of the culture, whereas the nature of the project is secondary.