A Different Approach to Arabic Study Abroad Past Review

By (Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University) - abroad from 01/16/2015 to 05/16/2015 with

AMIDEAST Rabat - Area & Arabic Language Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to speak out in Arabic without fear, and I learned how to look at the world with different eyes.

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.

Your education experience will be shaped not just by your instructors, but also by your fellow students. Some students were severely ill-equipped for the level of Arabic we were supposed to be operating at, dragging the entire class down. The program should not have let those students stay in the top level Arabic class, even though they did not test into it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Doha is the best.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mother both gave me privacy and helped me with any problems i needed.

* Food:

It's not that the food is bad. Moroccan food actually tastes quite good when prepared well. It is just EXTREMELY repetitive. You'll need to go out of your way to eat different cuisine every once in a while to keep from going insane. I actually traveled to Lyon, France just to be able to eat some different food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

People are extremely welcoming and helpful. Darija is just a difficult language to penetrate.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* 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)

Morocco is extremely cheap and student friendly. Traveling and staying in hotels is a cinch

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30, or less.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Stay at cheap hotels and travel in the colder months. No need to rent out ridiculously expensive AirBnB's (though sometimes those are cheaper.


* 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 was encouraged to use it in my Arabic and Media classes, but not much outside.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Third Year Arabic
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? You really need to commit to learning the language. You need to actively try, more than you would expect, and you need to be insistent on speaking Arabic with other people. Also, if there are students in your Arabic class who are dragging it back. COMPLAIN AS LOUDLY AS YOU CAN TO THE ADMINISTRATION. Don't put up with it.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Excursions
  • Ease of Life in Rabat
  • English Content Classes
* What could be improved?
  • Arabic Classes
  • Food
  • Administrative approach to disruptive students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I would need to actively engage myself in the process of speaking Arabic and that I should really not put up with other students bringing the class level down.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Islamic Reform and Islamism

Course Department:
Instructor: Mohsine Ahmadi
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Great class. Sufficiently challenging, while providing a deeper look at some of the foundational texts of the Islamic Reform movement. Probably would be best to have some background in political Islam, but not necessary.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Moroccan Jewish Heritage

Course Department:
Instructor: Mohammed Chtatou
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Not very challenging, but extremely interesting. Great to examine Judaism from a new perspective. I advise you go into the class with an open mind. Chtatou is a brilliant man and is just a great person to be around. Nice field trip to the Jewish Museum in Casablanca.
Credit Transfer Issues: