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Area & Arabic Language Studies in Morocco (Semester/AY)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

Amazing experience in a fascinating new culture

I loved this program, first and foremost because I absolutely loved my host family--they were so kind and welcoming, and they made this program for me. My host mother cooked delicious meals for us (my American roommate and me) and treated us like her own children. I loved hanging out with my little host brothers and meeting their friends. My host family brought us on outings to the beach and the medina (the old city) and the market, and we had movie nights together and ate dinner together every night. They included us in their holiday celebrations during Eid al-Fitr, which was an amazing experience.

Living in Rabat turned out to be a wonderful experience, even if it's not the first typical destination you'd think of in Morocco--maybe that was why it was so great, it's not overrun by tourists. It's a fascinating mix of cultures--beautiful French architecture and restaurants leftover from the colonial era, and the medina and markets and Moroccan food--on the picturesque Atlantic coast. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

AMIDEAST is the reason I was able to have this amazing experience, and they do a fantastic job at running this program. Doha, the program manager, has been doing this forever, and she is like a kindly aunt that everyone just loves. AMIDEAST staff are very flexible and available to listen & help with the slightest problem you might have--like planning a trip or finding cold medicine. They bring the students on several excursions to different Moroccan cities like Fes, Meknes, Tangier, Chefchaouen, and Marrakech; those trips are a lot of fun. AMIDEAST also offers great courses--a good variety of political science, Middle Eastern culture, history, women's studies, etc.--and their Arabic classes are fantastic. I loved my Arabic professor and my language skills improved an incredible amount during my semester in Morocco. All in all, a fantastic experience!

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    6

Fascinating, eye-opening, humbling, challenging and rewarding

One of my most memorable study abroad experiences was when we went on our last program-led excursion to southern Morocco and one of our stops was the small Berber village of Zawiyat Ahnsal. The simple, rural but humbling village, located in the High Atlas Mountains, was definitely an eye-opening and influencing location that allowed us to escape the wifi side of life. Our activity schedule was enough to keep us busy and gave us a tired but accomplished feeling at the end of the day. Some of our activities included hiking around the village but my favorite was being able to teach English to the village children. A night, we stargazed and took in the magnificence of the night sky without any noise or air pollution to diminish the stars. Free time was spent around a plastic table with familiar and new friends in the village Sheikh's house over mint tea and sweet treats. It all was such a unique experience in which I was able to see one of the many facets of Morocco, especially one of the many indigenous regions. I was able to be of service to the children but I felt like I got so much from them in return. Without electronic distractions, I was able to experience a simpler side of life and have some pretty neat conversations with our hosts as well as my friends in the program. I don't think I'll ever be able to fully articulate the impact it had on me but maybe that's why it is so memorable.

I chose this program because I thought the organization gave potential programmers some interesting places to study abroad such as Morocco, Jordan, etc. Within each country they offered several different programs styles in various locations according to your needs. They offered challenging and unique courses, the option of living with a host family, and multiple opportunities to immerse ourselves in the culture like interaction with Moroccan university students and a few program-led excursions. The Amideast program in Morocco always had our best interests in mind and they were always willing to accommodate us whether we wanted to be directed to social events around the city or if we needed their service.