From Suqs to the Sahara: Adventures in Morocco Past Review

By (International Studies, English, Writing, Spanish, Arabic, University of Iowa) - abroad from 02/02/2015 to 05/24/2015 with

IES Abroad: Rabat - Study in Rabat

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile. I gained a new perspective on the freedoms I experience at home, learned to look at the world a little differently through the lens of a North African, Islamic perspective.

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Rabat - IES Abroad Center Rabat Photo IES Abroad: Rabat - IES Abroad Center Rabat Photo

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.

The Arabic classes at the IES Center were amazing. I learned more Arabic in a semester in Rabat than I did in a year and a half at my home university. Other classes I took in religion, history, and literature were all interesting as well, and my professors were all very knowledgeable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was incredible. I truly felt like I was part of the family, and they made the transition into Moroccan culture as easy as possible for me. They showed me around Morocco and Rabat, and genuinely feel like my second family. I still keep in contact with them regularly.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Very - living with a host family helped me learn about local customs and social norms. Rabat is also a bit off the beaten path of study abroad in Europe, and so there weren't a lot of other Americans around, which helped me immerse myself in Moroccan culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Though Morocco is relatively safe, it is important to always be aware of your surrounding, especially women.

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 was very affordable - I took trips to other cities almost every weekend and never spend more than $50/week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Usually around $10-20.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Stay in hostels or airbnbs, when you travel on the weekends, and find cheap RyanAir flights if you want to leave the country for a few days.


* 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

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? Intermediate Arabic I
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? Even if your family, friends, or acquaintances in your host country speak some English, do your best to avoid getting to comfortable using your own language with them. Make an effort to speak to them in their native tongue.

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?
  • Experiencing day-to-day life with my Moroccan host family
  • Excursions to the Sahara and an Amazigh village
  • The opportunity to teach English classes at a Women's Association
* What could be improved?
  • Some of the courses could have more relevant coursework, although I did enjoy all the free time I had to travel.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew to not be so nervous about going to a new place with new people - IES Abroad made it easy for me to make a new home in Morocco.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.