Part of a new family Past Review

By (Pennsylvania State University - University Park / Penn State) - abroad from 01/31/2017 to 05/12/2017 with

IES Abroad: Rabat - Study in Rabat

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about how to step outside of my comfort zone in communicating.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses were very thought-provoking and provided a sufficient amount of work to allow us to grasp the material without taking away too much time from independent learning.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff were really wonderful and so willing to engage in personal conversations, answer questions, and give advice. I really appreciated Mohamed, who took so much time out of his day to help me find the places I needed to go around the city.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I cannot express how much I loved my host family. I feel like a member of the family, and we still communicate over WhatsApp almost every day.

* Food:

So delicious, I send all my regards to my host mom for feeding me three meals a day for four months. Some of my vegetarian friends had a more difficult time adjusting to the meals, as meat is a large part of the diet. However, host families were very willing to accommodate to dietary needs and there is no shortage of fresh fruit and vegetables.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I wish I had more chances to interact with people who were my own age in Morocco. While I had abundant immersive experiences with my host family, I didn't have the chance to make many Moroccan friends my own age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The local hospital took care of a shot that I needed during the program with the help of IES staff with translation and paperwork.

* Safety:

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

I would not give up the genuine connection I had with my host family for the world. In addition, Morocco is an unbelievably interesting country to learn about, especially as a Political Science major.


* 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 is quite affordable as a study abroad destination.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10 to $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat what your host family cooks for you!


* 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 felt really encouraged to speak in Moroccan Arabic around the center! Speaking in French allowed me to develop a genuine connection with my host family.

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? French 402
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? Knowing French and/or Arabic can make communication with your host family a lot easier. Practice it and take the beginner language courses seriously, paying attention in class and learning to communicate in Arabic helped me out in a lot of different situations!

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?
  • Host family
  • Food
  • Classes
* What could be improved?
  • Communication policy
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I packed more versatile outfits.

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.'