Here’s looking at you, kid! Casablanca, made famous by Hollywood romance, perfectly embodies modern Morocco. While maybe not its most beautiful city, Casablanca is Morocco’s most populous city. Casablanca is a great location for international students interested in experiencing Morocco as a local — you’ll find stunning architecture, incredibly colors, and tasty tagine. Study abroad in Casablanca and prepare yourself (and your tastebuds!) for the adventure of a lifetime.
What you need to know to study abroad in Casablanca, Morocco
Authentic doesn’t just mean old fashioned or traditional; it also means genuine. Casablanca is definitely genuine — genuinely Moroccan. The blend of tradition and modernity makes Casa (as the locals lovingly dub it) an excellent place to study abroad.
Popular subjects to study. Morocco’s unique blend of cultures and traditions makes it a great place to study both French and Arabic. Located at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, Morocco has played an important role throughout history. Whether it’s archaeology, Arabic, art, or international affairs, you’ll definitely find a program that matches your interests while studying in Casablanca. It’s a great place to start your exploration of both the Middle East and the African continent.
Short term and summer programs vs. long term programs. Morocco is becoming more and more popular, which means you have more and more study abroad options. Yay! You’re sure to find great program options in summer or during the school year. Tired of the same trees and classrooms at your home college or university every semester? Try changing things up with a semester abroad in Casablanca. Not sure you can fit a whole semester abroad into your academic plans? Head to Morocco for a shorter program.
Attending university vs. other program types. These days, most universities have study abroad offices to assist students in finding the right programs for them. Many also offer their own study abroad programs all over the world. Choosing a program through your school may make it easier to earn credits towards your degree while you are abroad. Don’t worry if your school doesn’t have what you’re looking for. There are plenty of other options. Several independent companies — like the ones listed just there! — offer programs for students looking to experience Morocco. Some will even provide you with school credit.
Life in Casablanca, Morocco for international students
Take a stroll and discover the city’s architecture — there are buildings in every style, from Art Deco to modern, including a strong French influence from Morocco’s colonial era. At first glance, Casablanca is not Morocco’s most beautiful city. But give it a chance, look a little closer, and you’ll see beauty in the details. Casablanca was meant to showcase the splendor of France’s colonial power, and the evidence is still there in the broad, tree-lined boulevards, grand architecture, and arabesque details.
Check out Casablanca’s burgeoning surf scene, too! From mountains, to Mediterranean beaches, to the vast Sahara, the country’s location makes it a great destination all year round. Morocco’s trains and buses make getting around the country very easy, meaning you can trek through the desert, climb mountains, and relax at the beach with relative ease. (Travel tip: when traveling on public transportation, it’s considered rude to eat while those around you are not. Pack snacks for your journey, but bring enough to share — this can double as a great conversation starter!)
You could probably spend a semester doing nothing but eating your way through Morocco and be completely satisfied (ooo, new plan!). Take some time to learn about that beautiful scenery too. Did you know that argan oil you put in your hair to keep the frizz at bay comes from Morocco? Roses, leather goods, and brightly colored textiles are all handmade there, too.
GoAbroad’s inside scoop for study abroad students in Casablanca
Moroccans are known for their hospitality, so take advantage of a homestay experience if you can. Your hosts will become a second family, eager to share their country with you. In a homestay, you’ll see and experience a part of Morocco that many other visitors miss out on.
There is a lot to know about proper etiquette, especially during a traditional Moroccan meal. If someone invites you for a meal, do NOT say no and read up on good manners before you go — no one wants to be “that guy” eating with their left hand, after all!
Another important thing to remember while studying in Morocco is that Arabic culture may be very different than what you are used to at home. It’s a good idea to dress conservatively (especially in mosques), and ask before taking pictures of the people you meet. Learning cultural norms and good manners for your new home will make settling in easier. When in doubt, ask for help! People love sharing their culture and traditions with newcomers who show a genuine interest in their home.
Studying abroad in Casablanca is unlikely to be as glamourous as life in the movie, but there is no doubt that Morocco is magical. Be open to new experiences, new people, new ideas, and new tastes. “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…”
If studying abroad in Casablanca sounds like the adventure you’re looking for, then keep reading! You’ll love our comprehensive guide to studying in Morocco.