An amazing study abroad experience March 26, 2019

By (University of St. Andrews) - abroad from 01/21/2019 to 04/12/2019 with

Qalam Center for Arabic Studies: Rabat - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience abroad was definitely worthwhile: my Arabic skills increased and I am much more confident in speaking now than I was two months ago. I had the opportunity to travel a lot around Morocco and I made a lot of friends, both from Morocco and international students that I met at Qalam. Rabat is also an amazing city to live in - there is always something going on in town, but you're at the same time very close to the beach and the countryside. I am really grateful for all the opportunities Qalam gave me and I strongly recommend it!

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.

I am very satisfied with the quality of the classes at Qalam - they are taught by highly-qualified teachers and there were only 6 students in my class, which greatly enhanced my learning experience

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I am living in the school residence and would recommend it as it is very conveniently located on campus.

* Food:

The cafeteria serves every day a number of delicious traditional dishes!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Students have the chance to experience the local culture through activities both inside and outside of class, and through the trips Qalam organises itself

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

As a girl, I felt really safe in Rabat.

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

I had an amazing time in Morocco. The study abroad program at Qalam is well-organized and caters for all interests. I study Modern Standard Arabic, but also Arabic Literature and Media Arabic, and an Area Studies course in English about Religion in Morocco. The staff is lovely and always willing to help, and you also have a lot of free time to explore Rabat and other parts of Morocco by yourself. I liked studying at Qalam so much that I am staying longer than expected!

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)

There are plenty of cheap restaurants around Qalam and you can easily spend less than 5€ a day on meals

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

As much as possible, both inside and outside of class!

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
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? I would recommend taking part in the extra-curricular activities organised by the school, such as the Media, Arts, Volunteering and Cooking clubs, go to 1 to 1 tutoring and take part in the weekly language café, which is the perfect opportunity to practice your Arabic with native speakers!

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • The quality of teaching and the small size of classes
  • 1 to 1 tutoring
  • The opportunity to explore Morocco
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I was afraid before coming that I would be overwhelmed by the intensity of the program, but actually it was not the case - everything is made for you to feel confident about your Arabic skills.

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.'