Morocco: Syncretism in Flux Past Review

By (History and Middle Eastern Studies, Tufts University) - abroad from 01/26/2012 to 05/17/2012 with

CIEE: Rabat - Language and Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely worthwhile; I felt like I learned more than I have ever learned in my life each day, from strangers, family, American friends, and teachers. I learned to accept what I can't change, and to work with what I can. Open minds are key and judgement is not worth it.

Review Photos

CIEE: Rabat - Language and Culture Photo

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Université Mohamed V - Souissi
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

easy-going but at times disorganized and frustrating - the nature of being outside your comfort zone.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lucked out but people had a variety of housing experiences. I lived with an amazing family.

* Food:

My food at home was healthy and delicious. Food at restaurants was mediocre in comparison to Hafaida's delicious Friday couscous.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

A lot of time was spent with my family, but it was hard to make Moroccan friends at university.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't get sick, but some girls had some digestive issues and had difficulties navigating the health system (long lines and language barrier). In general, it was quite easy to get any medication you needed without a prescription at the pharmacy.

* Safety:

Overall safe. No gun violence. Catcalling happened, and some girls had negative experiences with men yelling at them or trying to touch them, but I lived outside the city and felt safe.

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)

very cheap - I spent most of my money just buying plane tickets to other countries.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100 dirhams (about 12 USD)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Look for cheap flights on; eat at home as much as possible (the food is much better, as is the company!)


* 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 very immersed in Moroccan Arabic at home, but also had the option to speak English.

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? Arabic 21
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? Speak with your program friends in the language you are immersing yourself in. Speak with anyone who wants to talk with you - I had the best conversations with shopkeepers and taxi drivers.

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
  • International Students
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?
  • Host Family
  • Food
  • Language
* What could be improved?
  • Academic Director (who was fired)
  • Academic Organization
  • Host families (for other students in my program)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The diversity of opinion about Americans outside of the US; facing other people's biases means facing your own (that you weren't aware of even having)

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'