Viewing Morocco through the lens of journalism Past Review

By (University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh) - abroad from 01/31/2016 to 05/14/2016 with

SIT Study Abroad: Morocco - Field Studies in Journalism and New Media

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My main take-away from the program is that since we generally all speak the same language here in America, there is no reason to not step outside your comfort zone and engage strangers in a conversation.

Review Photos

SIT Study Abroad: Morocco - Field Studies in Journalism and New Media 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.

In particular, the last five weeks of the program (the independent study period) truly pushed us to our academic limits to create the best project possible.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Anna and Badr are so incredibly awesome; they care so much for their students and they truly want to help us succeed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

With the language barrier, the homestay portion was challenging but educational.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The homestay and ISPJ period really allowed us to get a feel for Moroccan culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The major problem we experienced was sexual harassment.

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

I'm interested in pursing journalism professionally and I really wanted to do a program that wasn't Eurocentric. I made great connections with other students on the program and learned so much about journalism and the country.


* 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 has a much lower cost of living standard than America.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Less than $100 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to spend your money on experiences rather than things. For example, you could buy that pair of shoes in a department store, or you could spend that money on a train ticket to a different city.


* 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

The language program was not intense, particularly when compared to the journalism component.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had not studied Arabic before going to Morocco.
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? Try to embrace the language rather than complain about how difficult it is.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Building friendships with other students
  • Getting a non-Western perspective on issues
  • Crash-courses on Moroccan issues and exploring them through the ISPJ
* What could be improved?
  • Language program
  • Prep for homestay
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The night before leaving for this program, I was absolutely terrified about spending the next three and a half months in a country where I didn't speak the language. But after this program, I now know that it's OK to not know exactly what people are saying in another language. There are more ways to communicate than through words.

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.'