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IES Abroad Rabat - Study in Rabat

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

From Suqs to the Sahara

Living and studying with IES in Rabat, Morocco for four months was one of the best eras of my life. I lived with a wonderful family who introduced me to Moroccan mint tea, miloui and couscous, who took me to visit cousins in neighboring towns and taught me Arab dances. My teachers at the IES Center went out of their way to make sure I understood Arabic grammar, had the vocabulary to watch Moroccan media coverage of conflicts in the Middle East and religious celebrations in North Africa. I was able to travel each weekend as far north as Granada, Spain, and as far south as Western Sahara. I shopped in the suq for vegetables with my host mother, saw snake charmers on the outskirts of a rap show in Meknes, visited women's associations in the Atlas Mountains. IES Rabat allowed me to return to the states with too many stories, too many strange souvenirs, and a beautiful new perspective.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

A Year to Remember

I studied in Rabat for an entire academic year, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I took classes in French, took a class at University Mohammed V, learned basic Arabic, and learned so much about Moroccan culture and history. Spending the year seemed daunting in the beginning, but at the end of my first semester I was happy to be staying. I had finally gotten into the groove of things and that allowed me to get an even deeper, more fulfilling experience. I loved my host family, who I stayed with for the entire year and am still in contact with on a regular basis. I also enjoyed the exploring that I had the opportunity to do living in such a vibrant country in an amazing part of the world. I am glad I didn’t just pick any old French program and instead found myself with an interest in a part of the world I hadn’t known anything about before my adventure.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

An Awesome Experience!

I studied in Rabat, Morocco for three and a half months and it was the most unforgettable experience I’ve ever had. Morocco is different from anything I had ever known and even though it was intimidating at first, I felt one with the country and the people in no time. The IES staff was so great at getting us to be immersed in the culture and was always there for us if we did not understand something. The classes were very interesting and taught me a lot about Morocco’s culture, Islam and issues that concerned North Africa and the Middle East. There are even classes taught in French so that French speakers could improve their French language skills while learning Arabic. One of my favorite parts about the trip was my homestay. My host family was welcoming and treated me like their own daughter. My house was in the medina (the old city) where a lot of traditional families live which was very interesting to see every day. I was also near a lot of little shops, cafes and even the beach! I definitely recommend studying abroad in Morocco with IES because it was one of the best decisions of my life.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    7

The best semester of my life

IES Abroad Rabat, Morocco provided one of the best semesters of my college experience. One of the great things about this program was the placement with two host families – one during orientation and one for the rest of the semester. The organization chose great families and homes for us to live with. My first family had the smallest home I’d ever seen, but they were kind and so very loving; my second family had the most beautiful home I’d ever seen but the family was less talkative. It was nice to have the chance to experience two different local families. IES places you about a 30-minute walk from their school. This walk to/from school was always very exciting, as you get to experience the old medina streets full of merchants and neighboring families, and the busy Rabat streets full of taxis and buses. IES also provided amazing organized excursions and field trips. I was able to camp in the Sahara Desert, spent a night with an Amazigh family in the Middle Atlas Mountains, and explore southern Spain. However, one downfall while abroad was when I became very ill from severe food poisoning. IES Rabat directors were very helpful in getting me the help I needed (from doctors and pharmacists) but also providing comfort and support during my recovery. It was one of the scariest moments of my life, but with their help, my study abroad semester was still incredibly amazing. I never learned so much, and I wish I could do it again. The only major downfall of this program was the lack of opportunities to meet local Moroccan students. Unless you opt to take a course at one of the local universities or have contacts of your own, it's very difficult to make local friends outside of your host family.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Marhaban bikum fi Morocco!

From the thorough orientation in Meknes to the ultimate trip to the Sahara Desert, IES Study Abroad in Rabat is an underestimated gem of a study abroad experience. Our program staff was wonderful and dedicated to helping us transition in orientation, and making sure they provided cultural activities for the students. The IES Abroad Center becomes a home away from home and a comfortable space, where all the students of the program study, work, hang out, exercise and bond. Every day was an adventure in Morocco, which was largely due to our homestay housing in the traditional Rabat Medina. The homestays, along with much of the program trips to Meknes, Volubilis, Fez, Merzhouga, Tangier, Chefchaouen, Asilah, and Spain, are planned with the goal of cultural immersion. Even a core component of the classes are geared toward exposing students to a deeper, richer, wider understanding of Moroccan culture. Morocco is still, for the most part, an unconventional location to study abroad and for that reason our program was relatively small, 33 students. This program is usually small, which sometimes can isolate us as a group because we don't interact with as many young Moroccans in college. Nevertheless, the program works on other ways for young Moroccans and Americans to meet. Furthermore, you still have the opportunity to do extensive travel while studying abroad in Rabat. The IES Program in Rabat is a convenient and well-placed city to base the Center. Although it may not be the most cosmopolitan city or have the most exciting nightlife, it is the capital of the country , which makes it a central hub for other cities in the country. Rabat and Casablanca also have cheap flights to European destinations and the lax visa policy for American passport holders makes traveling in and out of the country all the more easy. Above all, there is so much within Morocco itself, and about Moroccan culture and Moroccan people that cannot be written--it simply has to be experienced and embraced, just as Moroccans will embrace you. I recommend IES Abroad to everyone, it is hands down the BEST STUDY ABROAD SITE IN MOROCCO!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Academics

    7

A Completely Different Perspective

Studying in Rabat was one of the most profound experiences of my life. It gave me the opportunity to come to know an entirely different language, culture, and how much of a role religion plays in everyday life. It is impossible to compare this experience to our way of life back in the states, and if this is the intention you will be disappointed, but from the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert to the numerous beach towns, this country offers so much adventure. Whether it is haggling for that jalaba in the souk or walking the blue streets of Chefchaouen, I have learned so much and met so many people that I could not and would not have come to know anywhere else. Don't get me wrong, it was definitely difficult at times, but I would not trade this experience or this time for anything else.