We'll Always Have Morocco Past Review

By (Integrated Marketing Communications, Bentley University) - abroad from 01/15/2013 to 05/19/2013 with

Al Akhawayn University: Ifrane - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Arabic / French / Darija survival skills. New understanding of Northern African and West-Arab culture. New perspective on the concept of "life" and "family" and "religion"

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The food is more expensive on campus than off campus and they reuse food from lunch one day to serve as dinner days later. It's disgusting. Many of the students (exchange and local) have gotten VERY sick from the catered food here.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The insurance covered a lot, but the doctors here should adopt more preventative healthcare practices. They only provide band-aid solutions and only provide excused absences if you are absolutely dying.

* Safety:

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)

You can live very affordably here. Nice meals in the market cost about $3 each and breakfast can cost $1. But this budget includes travel to other cities a couple of times a month, souvenirs, and other incidental costs.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Get 2nd class tickets for the trains (if coming from the airport for your first time, you might want to ignore this comment and take 1st class for the comfort, to manage with the culture shock, and to better handle your luggage) because they're much cheaper and are usually comfortable enough. You do not really need to travel luxuriously in Morocco.


* 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

This is an English speaking university and all courses, except for language courses, are taught in English. But basic language skills are useful to get around the country, buy things, and travel.

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
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Make local friends! Don't be scared to chat with locals in the markets in Ifrane. Be wary of locals in other cities who may be out for your wallet (this does not mean the locals are bad people. This is more a warning to keep your wits about because there are select people that prey on foreigners, especially tourists eager to engage with Moroccans).

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
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?
  • Friends (local and exchange)
  • Travel opportunities (with other students or on class trips)
  • Student organizations (joined rugby, and a handful of other clubs)
* What could be improved?
  • Gender inequality (but that's a cultural problem more than a program-specific issue)
  • Attendance policies
  • Gender segregation in dorms
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Moroccans want to meet exchange students! I wish I was more outgoing from the get-go.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.