Chance Lavergne - 2014 Program Participant

At the top of the Roman Ruins in Volubilis, Morocco

Chance with friends at the top of the Roman ruins in Volubilis.

Why did you decide to study abroad?

I chose to study abroad to experience Islamic culture and practice the Arabic language in an immersive setting.

What made you decide to study abroad in Morocco specifically?

I have been studying Arabic at my home university and I wanted to understand more about the conflicts that have been dominating the media for so long. I figured that the language would open a means of understanding in the future.

Why did you select IES Abroad over other organizations?

IES provided me with the most opportunities to pursue the cultural and linguistic experience that I wanted. Other programs came close, but in the end IES Rabat was the right fit for me.

Scarf shopping in Fes, Morocco

Trying on different scarves and ways to wrap them in Fes.

Where did you live throughout your stay in Rabat?

I stayed with a host family my entire time abroad and I would not have wanted anything else. It was a great experience to be part of a Moroccan family and experience authentic meals, practice the language and hold conversations, and gain insight that no temporary resident would ever receive.

If you could go back to Morocco, why would you jump at the opportunity?

I would love to go and see all of the wonderful people I met all around the country. There are also cities I would love to go and visit, some I wasn’t able to see the first time around.

How has studying abroad in Morocco impacted your life?

It has given me an entirely new perspective and has allowed me to see the world in a different way. It has made me more confident in being self-reliant and has allowed me to do a lot of growing up. 

Did you experience culture shock when you returned to the U.S.?

Being around English almost entirely again was a welcomed change, but it took me a few days to get back into using my native tongue.

Camel riding through the Sahara Desert

An afternoon trek through the Sahara Desert.