Alhalmdullilah: Thanks be to God Past Review

By (Marketing., Bentley University) - abroad from 08/23/2012 to 12/18/2013 with

Al Akhawayn University: Ifrane - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about what I wanted to do once I graduate from college and just about the type of person I am.

Review Photos

Direct Enrollment: Ifrane - Al Akhawayn University Photo Direct Enrollment: Ifrane - Al Akhawayn University Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I felt that Al Akhawayn University had some really nice programs as well as ones that fell a little short, but considering my main objective was to get the cultural and travel experience, the professors as well as the school itself allowed me to have the perfect experience while traveling abroad. I was able to manage the course load in addition to my weekly travels. And the school is absolutely beautiful, which helped as well. Al Akhawayn has pretty much all the resources you need that you get in an American University here, and the International business office does a very good job meeting the needs of the exchange students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Bentley University's Study Abroad program is an awesome way to study abroad and the Study abroad advisers do a very good job in getting you what you need in order to make this experience as smooth as it can possibly go. I had a few questions while abroad and I was able to get in touch with them no problem, so it felt so safe being there and knowing I had all the support I needed back home.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very satisfied with the housing, although the segregated dorms were a little frustrating at times, but my roommate, who was Moroccan, is now one of my best friends who I still keep in touch with.

* Food:

Sodexo. Enough said. But Morocco is very cheap and there are amazing places to eat off campus for practically no money. So I couldn't complain too much.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I think what you put in is what you get out. I was very fortunate to have met life long best friends while abroad, and I am proud to say that most of my closest friends I made abroad were Moroccan. So I was able to get the most culturally exposed experience while also being able to get into the loop of things pretty easily and smoothly. I had a great support group of friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I actually was in a car accident in October while I was abroad and the school did a very good job in getting me the proper care and transporting me to a big hospital in Fez where they took great care of me. Usually the school insures all of their students full, but there were some complications with paperworks during the time of my accident so I unfortunately was not covered. But Al Akhawayn usually does a very good job. The health services office is very friendly and available.

* Safety:

I felt VERY safe. There is a curfew of midnight from Monday to Thursday, which was inconvenient being a college student, but it definitely ensured a lot of safety among the students of the school. There is a main gate that is guarded by several guards at all times and no visitors are allowed unless they are checked in. So security is never an issue.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Living in Morocco is VERY cheap. Overall during the course of my 5 months abroad, including flight tickets I spent a total of $5000. This is including all my weekly travel expenses in Morocco, eating out every week, not being too frugal at all. SO affordable compared to most programs.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Less than 10 dollars a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Work and save a TON over the summer. Then splurge as you see fit when you are abroad. Eat cheap, but travel as much as you can. Hostels are a great way to save money. And making friends with people from the country also helps.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

I took a Beginning Arabic class and it really did help a lot. I learned a lot of classical Arabic as well as the Moroccan Arabic, and now I know enough to get by on my own.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Don't be afraid to make mistakes and just talk to people. The best way to go about it is to just speak it with the natives. Make friends with those that don't know too much English. That always helps, too.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Travel experience
  • The people
  • Time for self discovery
* What could be improved?
  • Food
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I planned my travels a little bit sooner and researched on the places to go a little more. But all in all, I had a great experience nevertheless!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.