Loved Morocco not the program! May 24, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/01/2018 to 12/21/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury In Rabat, Morocco

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Super worthwhile, I learned a lot. I ended up taking a semester off in order to stay in Morocco, so the lessons I learned in study abroad are sort of mixed up with the lessons I learned from a year in Morocco

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There was a ton of classwork (for some classes), but not a lot of feedback on the work. For other classes there was literally no work at all.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Program is run very well

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Don't love doing homestays

* Food:

Moroccan food is incredible

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Not very integrated! Because we were so insulated in our classes with only other students in the Middlebury program

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Achraf, the program coordinator, was always available and easily reachable and took kids to doctors himself

* Safety:

Rabat is a very safe city

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

The program was too much time spent with a small group of American students, ideally the program would have been way more hands off, or at least integrated with the local university so that more of our time could have been spent with Moroccan students


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat cheap street food! There should really be a library, or some other cost-free place to study outside of the home. I lived with a three year old, and so spent a lot of money buying coffee just to study


* 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? I had done language school for Arabic at the advanced intermediate level
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? Watch movies and listen to music!

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?
  • Hafida, the greatest Professor
  • The size, small program is intimate and supportive
  • Achraf, the program coordinator, is an AWESOME guy
* What could be improved?
  • I think that all students should take one class at the University with Moroccan students, and the other three classes can be with the Middlebury program
  • Students should be involved in planning the excursions, so that they have to figure out logistics in a new language, and navigate in Darija
  • Students should be required to get involved in a club, sport or activity at the university or in the community
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew some Darija going in, it was super hard having to learn a whole new language on the fly after studying Arabic for two years

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Media Culture in Morocco

Course Department: Arabic
Instructor: Hafida Socarno
Instruction Language: Arabic
Comments: Good class, learned a lot about Moroccan history and politics through popular media, which is really fun. Hafida is an amazing teacher
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Sufism in North Africa

Course Department: Arabic
Instruction Language: Arabic
Comments: Horrible class, but great field trips!
Credit Transfer Issues:
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Course Department: Arabic
Instructor: Soukaina Alaoui
Instruction Language: Arabic
Comments: I think that Darija class should have been broken up into more levels, kids with less Modern Standard Arabic had a tougher time learning Darija, and as a result the pace of the class was slower than I found useful. Fun activities though, Sukaina is a high energy teacher
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Advanced Modern Standard Arabic

Course Department: Arabic
Instructor: Hafida Socarno
Instruction Language: Arabic
Comments: Amazing class. We had incredible discussions, homework assignments were challenging, relevant and interesting. This was the best class I have ever taken.
Credit Transfer Issues: