Go to Morocco with IES for Great Cultural Experiences Past Review

By (French Language and Literature., Trinity University) - abroad from 06/13/2012 to 07/28/2012 with

IES Abroad: Rabat - Study in Rabat

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile. I gained a strong sense of culture in the Arab world and a sense the conflict between tradition and modernity on a personal level.

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.

Poor professors, poor instruction

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

They do a good job at cultural integration but it is hard to really become integrated in such a short period of time.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Medication can be hard to get a hold of and sometimes even when you have a prescription you have to search throughout the city to find a pharmacy with that medication in stock. This isn't the fault of the program, rather the medical system in the country but this is an issue that I believe students with medical concerns should be warned about before they choose to go to Morocco. IES could better ensure that is addressed before departure.

* Safety:

I always felt safe when I was in a group or with a boy after dark. And always on my own before dark. But it does get frustrating to have to have a boy with you after the sun sets in order to feel safe, as well as a bit degrading. But any student planning to go to the Middle East should be aware that they will face these problems and being willing to accept them.

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)

All food is provided for you so technically you really don't have to spend any money at all. But you will probably choose to and given that know that travel is hugely affordable, restaurants and cafes are very cheap, and items at the market are inexpensive (as long as you are willing to bargain for them).

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? easily less than the equivilent of five dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Since you don't have to buy your own food, don't. Rather, spend your money on traveling because it is so incredibly inexpensive to travel throughout the country and the program will give you plenty of time to do so.


* 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

We spoke French in class and were encouraged to do so in our home stays. I felt this was a mistake, given that in most of our home stays had little to no family members who spoke French. There should have been a higher emphasis on Arabic. So we were encouraged to use language, just the wrong one.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
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? French is more or less irrelevant in Morocco. Don't go thinking it will allow you communicate. It is an academic language, not a language of the people. Go to France to study French. Go to Morocco to study Arabic.

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?
  • the home stay
  • the trips
  • the time alloted from personal travel
* What could be improved?
  • all aspects of the academics
  • a further focus on Arabic over French
  • A wider range of medical options for students with specific needs
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I did my research and I felt there was nothing unexpected. Anyone going to the Middle East should know fully the situation they are entering in to.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.