Morocco's Ups and Downs October 02, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/04/2019 to 05/17/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury In Rabat, Morocco

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned some of the Moroccan dialect and about Moroccan culture. It was in some ways, in others--no.

Review Photos

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury In Rabat, Morocco 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.

Only my Arabic language courses were challenging, the content courses were boring and had little to no organization. I feel like I didn't learn anything in my content courses.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Achraf and Samir are very response, especially Achraf. But there should really be at least one female administrator.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I sometimes had to ask for my dinner, but my family was very kind and treated me as though I were their daughter

* Food:

Moroccan food isn't super great for vegetarians! Couscous is yummy but tagine gets old.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Difficult to be a Western woman in a Muslim country.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My friend had a very serious health issue and I think it should have been addressed with more urgency, but I think administrators did their best at the time.

* Safety:

Dress modestly and don't walk alone at night.

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

I know the students in Jordan took the language pledge more seriously than we did, but I also know their program was more established and challenging than I believe ours was.

Finances

* 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? maybe 20-50 dollars.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? plan independent excursions well in advance and research if the expenses are worth it.

Language

* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? an Arabic 300 course
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? speak and hang out with your host family

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
  • International Students
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?
  • My MSA teacher and Achraf
  • the Syrian restaurant close to my house
  • the excursions
* What could be improved?
  • need a female administrator
  • classes need to be more challenging and organized
  • language pledge should be enforced more strongly at the beginning of the program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Moroccans speak a lot of French and darija, nobody uses MSA! Also, Moroccan men cat call frequently.

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:

Contemporary Issues in Morocco and North Africa

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Hafida
Instruction Language: Arabic
Comments: This class was not challenging at all and it had no organization or clear lesson plan. When I expressed my frustration to the professor, she acted as though it was my fault I wasn't learning in the course when I was truly doing my best to follow her meandering lectures.
Credit Transfer Issues: No