PROGRAM TYPES

CONNECT WITH US

College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS) Header Image College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS) Header Image

CCIS: Ifrane--Al Akhawayn University

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Awareness

All I would say about my study abroad trip is that I wish I was more aware of what I was getting myself into. Getting to morocco was a smoothe transition. Everything worked out at my home institution, from the plane, all the way to morocco but I wasn't aware of the capacity of the trip.

When I really think about it, I feel like you can't be too aware because your in one place and if you have never traveled before your instantley in another, but it is very important to be the most aware and conscious you can be in this exciting, scary, overwhelming situation.

The aspirations that you have before you leave and when you get there are almost ALWAYS different, but it is important to be AWARE so that you stay consistent in your asipirations for the most quality experience. I wasn't. People told me all sorts of things but I never traveled out the country and I thought I knew it all, until I was alone, and fumbling the situation in my hands. When I arrived at AUI, a few weeks in, I realized I picked way too much of a workload for my study abroad semester, because all I wanted to do was vacation and I didn't bring enough money so I was limited in experiences.

Also, when I got there I wasn't fully aware of who I was hanging out with so when traveling with them through Morocco I was left in helpless and and dreaful experiences.

This was pretty much it. As far as being aware goes.

Everything else was a blast! I had a great time in Morocco and I wouldn't have had it any other way. It was great to be from America and from Boston and going to a third world country and having to survive. I met alot of outstanding people and I learned so many different things. I partied and went to the desert, and my life has and is changing everyday because of this one trip. I reccommend going if you have the chance, even if you have to take out a loan because it is truley the only time you have until you face real life, marriage and kids. It is best to go while your in school when your only worries are fall/spring semester and a part-time job in the summer.

Also, if i may reccomened, go by yourself on a study abroad trip if your that type of person because you really get to grow in ways you cannot imagine. By going with friends you are limited in making new friends from all around the world. Not just the US if your from the US, but from ALL AROUND THE WORLD. I met people from korea, trukey, Japan, other parts of Africa, etc. This trip really takes courage and if you dont have the will, then it will break you, but if you are courageous and adventorous then you cannot pass up the oppurtunity.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Awesome Experience, Some Minor Annoyances

Al Akhawayn is a great place to study abroad, but you need to go there with appropriate expectations. This is not an immersive Arabic program; unless you work outside of class and travel in Morocco, your Arabic won't improve any more than it would after taking a regular class in the US. This also isn't an "authentic" cultural experience; the students who attend AUI come from relatively well-off families and have generally traveled a lot and been exposed to a lot of Western culture and ideas. I disagree with those who say that Ifrane is not really Morocco. It is certainly part of Morocco, especially if you make a point to visit the poorer areas of town as opposed to living only within the bubble of AUI and the marche. That being said, there are students who are there to party and speak English/French and post photos on Facebook. There is a culture of self-absorption and monetary status at AUI, but that doesn't mean you can't make genuine friends. I made five extremely good friends at AUI, two of whom were Moroccan, two of whom were American, and one of whom was Finnish, and I plan to keep in touch with them for the rest of my life. If you go to AUI with accurate expectations (I did), then you can have an amazing time (I did). The classes are generally of a very high academic caliber, especially if you seek out good professors. There are lots of great on-campus activities, including volunteer opportunities. Attending AUI can be a good way to ease yourself into a very different, non-Western culture, because you are in Morocco, but you still have a normal/safe dorm room and a friendly community of American/European students that you can come back to when the going gets tough. In addition, there is a great support network for international students and lots of resources for independent travel. One of my favorite things about studying abroad at AUI was travelling on the weekends within Morocco, and I'm very glad that there were helpful staff/friends to facilitate that process for me.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

There was a lot of good things, some sucky things, and a little bit of bad.

I really enjoyed my time in Morocco, and not having a structured itinerary allowed me to do whatever I wanted to do. I also liked that I was enrolled in normal classes in the university and got to interact a lot with Moroccan students (even though there were not many classes that applied to my major.) The people both inside and outside of the university were very nice and kind. I rarely felt unsafe in my time on or off campus. Morocco is also a very beautiful country that has lots to offer. The sights are breathetaking: mountains, ocean, forests, deserts, and beautiful cities dating back to the 14th century. Also getting around to see all of these things was super simple. Transportation was easy using taxis, buses, and trains that were affordable and for the most part timely. You could get almost anywhere if you wanted to.
There was a couple things that really sucked like the food on campus was absolutely deplorable and in some cases just inedible (even the Moroccan students think so.) This caused me to have to figure out how to cook and prepare meals for myself, but I made Moroccan friends cooking in the kitchen and sharing cuisine. Another thing that sucked was some of the professors were very strict or hard to understand (thick accents to accidentally replying to questions phrased in Arabic or French in Arabic or French [though Al Akhawayn is trying to fix this.]) This made classes somewhat difficult and unenjoyable at times, and made travel difficult if not impossible sometimes.
The really bad stuff is that I got really sick for almost a month with painful chest congestion and a raspy never fading cough. Sometimes I would cough so hard I'd throw up. Many of the friends I made there showed great concern for me along with my professors. Still when I seeked medical help from the university not much was done for me. I was given the ibuprofen and vitamin C. It was difficult to communicate with the doctors and nurses because their English was little to none. Though my sickness did clear up when I finally left Morocco. It might of been allergies because that tormented a lot of Americans in the spring.
Still overall, I really enjoyed my experience and I do not regret any of it. I think my time there has really expanded my culture understanding of others and improved my own confidence.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Awesome

I had a great time, it was a little unorganized but overall it was great

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Worth While

School - is nice and has ok amenities. The food, like any college, is nothing to write home about. I did get sick a couple of times, but the health center will help you. The gym, for anyone looking to workout... is a joke unfortunately. But there is a really nice pool and basketball court. There are lots of clubs to choose from. The one thing that is disappointing is how far the school is from all the good places, I mean unless you go in the fall it is hard to travel for long weekends due to travel times.

Classes - hit or miss... some are organized and some are a joke. All and all not that hard, but communication gets annoying.

Traveling - lots of things to experience, and Ryan Air is always giving good prices to travel for spring break... I went to Italy and Spain for long weekends for $100!! And the exchange rate is awesome, but it’s easy to buy everything in sight so bring extra luggage and pay the airline fees to bring it back because shipping is expensive as hell.
Getting around is easy, you can get anywhere you need via train and it’s not that hard to figure out. Otherwise me and my friends always rented a car (ask a Moroccan where to do so, and have them do the deal... Trust me, better prices)

Nightlife - there is a bar and club in Ifrane... But isn’t anything special and if you’re not a smoker, well have fun. Otherwise I knew some people who set up their schedules for all their classes on Tue and Thur and went to Marrakesh all weekend with friends. A lot of students travel... so make friends.

That’s all I can think of, if you ever have any questions email me and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

jbukowiec1@gmail.com

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

An eye opening experience.

Going through this program was a life changing experience for me and it has opened my eyes to the rest of the world. Growing up in Suburbia, USA you hear about third world countries, and starvation, and day to day struggles but it doesn't really sink in until you're driving through the Atlas mountains and seeing, first hand, how people outside of the United States live. I am so thankful I got this opportunity to learn about life and culture outside of the U.S. There is a lot they don't tell you in school, and even more you wont learn while sitting behind a desk but the chance to go to Morocco has allowed me to witness it. The only downside to this program was the lack of formal education provided. AUI is an incredible school but it is incredibly laid back compared to Universities in the States. I was also hoping to learn more Arabic but I ended up learning more French and Dareeja. Overall a life changing experience.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Unique

My mind was opened so much by this experience. The things I saw and experienced have enlightened me. It was a great journey and I will never regret going on it. Morocco is a place with unbelievable culture and beauty. It's one of the most unique places in the world.

Overall Rating

4/ 10

  • Academics

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Inconsistency

The professors we not able to keep up with posting grades online. I was not able to know what I had in the class, approached some teachers to ask but they would be too busy. The attendance policy was unfair, I was sick for weeks at a time for colds and fevers and should not be penalized for not making it to class. Other than that Morocco is mind-blowing and extraordinary and so are the people. Truly one of a kind adventure. The landscape and culture is something of a wonder.