Morocoo by the seat of your pants Past Review

By (Urban Planning, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 06/02/2013 to 07/12/2013 with

CIEE: Rabat - Language and Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that there are other ways of living and I like them more than America's. And yes, it was.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Great. Considering the short duration, I felt the program managed to be as educational as possible. I got much out of it. Surpassed my expectations.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Madiha and her staff were incredible. I could not have asked for a better administration. Not just officials but truly friends.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Host family was agreeable and accommodating, if somewhat cold.

* Food:

Food provided by host families ample. Food stipends for trips appropriate.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Moroccans were kind and welcoming and I never felt to be "apart" from the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had significant health issues AFTER the end of the program which required repeated medical attention. Localised infection, unrelated to any vaccine. Required minor surgery and multiple prescriptions of antibiotics. Service from doctors and ER staff often quick, though not always correct in their prognosis... Madiha had left the country by then (the program having been completed weeks prior) but was still helping me the best she could from the US by suggesting doctors, insurance issues and the Moroccan medical system. She was fantastic in her help even when she was no longer technically required.

* Safety:

I felt safer in Rabat than I do in Austin TX.

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)

Rabat and Morocco was more expensive than I had expected and budgeted.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Varied between 50 and 100 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Avoid flying to/from Rabat airport. Learn to say no to first offered prices. Bus is always cheaper. If you are going to drink, beware: it is expensive and not worthwhile for the most part.


* 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

Learning classical Arabic meant that it was more frustrating implementing the language when Moroccans spoke a very different dialect.

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? Translator--French
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? Try to take additional learning in Darija, or have a supplemental phrasebook.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Administration
  • Field Trips
  • Integration with locals
* What could be improved?
  • More flexible travel schedules
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't trust of the price of ANYTHING listed online.

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.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Beginner Arabic

Course Department: Arabic Studies
Instructor: Rabia
Instruction Language: Arabic
Comments: Challenging and fully immersive. That said, the instruction often focused on grammar points and vocabulary that was not necessarily the most useful, especially in the context of a study abroad. I think this is partially due to strict guidance from the textbooks.
Credit Transfer Issues: Unknown at this time.
Course Name/Rating:

Moroccan culture

Course Department: History
Instructor: Ziad Bentahar
Instruction Language: English and Arabic
Comments: The seminar was informative but not necessarily a "seminar" per se--I felt that as informative as the prof was, there was little room for academic growth. Could have been helped with more field trips and shorter academic readings related directly to the topics at hand.
Credit Transfer Issues: Unknown at this time.