Feeling Welcomed: A Semester in Rabat February 06, 2018

By (Mount Holyoke College) - abroad from 08/27/2017 to 12/23/2017 with

AMIDEAST Rabat - Area & Arabic Language Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained confidence in my speaking ability and also improved my problem solving and communication skills.

Review Photos

AMIDEAST Rabat - Area & Arabic Language Studies Photo AMIDEAST Rabat - Area & Arabic Language Studies Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Both the Arabic professors and the content class professors are very personable, approachable, and knowledgeable. They are very supportive during research projects and the classes are a mix between lectures and discussions.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrative staff in country was supportive and experts on how to travel around Morocco and on sites within Rabat. Communication styles in Morocco are different than I was used to in the US. I sometimes felt outside of the loop. However, this was more of a cultural difference than a program issue. Overall, the administration is very friendly and helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a wonderful time living with a host family and it really exposed me to more aspects of Moroccan culture.

* Food:

I am a vegetarian and I also am allergic to dairy products and I was able to find plenty of food to eat and people here were understanding of my allergy once I explained clearly what foods I can and cannot eat.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

AMIDEAST organizes cultural dialogues with Moroccan students and arranges a language partner for each student. This helped me to form bonds with local students and also I felt connected with the local culture via my host family.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The program arranges for a doctor if a student is sick and the doctor will either come to the AMIDEAST center or to the students home. This service is very quick.

* Safety:

Living in a city I needed to be more careful with traffic (ie crossing the street, cars, motorcycles) and also I recommend drinking bottled water for the first couple days and gradually introducing tap water just to be on the safe side.

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

Finances

* 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)

It was very easy to live in Rabat and to travel on some weekends within the country on a student's budget. Additionally, AMIDEAST provides a $15 food stipend each week which goes a long way.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $25
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I recommend eating meals with your host family and buying clothes second hand in the old city (the medina) to save money to allow for more travel.

Language

* 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

In addition to language classes the program helped to facilitate relationships with Moroccans so that I could practice my Arabic.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Second 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? Spend time building friendships with Moroccans and then make it clear that you are excited to improve your Arabic and they will be happy to help.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Professors
  • Host Family
  • Travel Opportunities
* What could be improved?
  • Communication
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To bring warm clothes to Rabat because in the winter months in does get very cold and wet.

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!