I learned a lot but Morocco is a tough place to live. Past Review

By (Political Science and Government., Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/01/2012 to 12/15/2012 with

SIT Study Abroad: Morocco - Migration and Transnational Identity

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have never been so aware of my identity as a female because of the strict gender roles, numerous street comments every time you walk down the street, and the way I was treated by male informants during my research process. I learned so much about Islam and the situation in North African countries. I learned so much about migration and how it affects pretty much everything and is a huge mess. I learned that I do not want to be an academic researcher even though I liked that part of the course. It was difficult and I was often frustrated in Morocco but I do believe it was worthwhile.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Unfortunately my homestay experience was not great. My family and I lived 'agreeably' but they never made an effort to teach me things or take me places and rarely engaged in conversation unless I pressed. Seemed like they were largely doing it for the financial benefits and perhaps social status. The homestay is only for the first part of the program. Then we needed to find our own housing and were provided VERY LITTLE guidance or contacts for this process.

* Food:

Pretty good but not a ton of variety. LOTS OF BREAD AND LOTS OF SUGAR!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Program assistant took me to the doctor and was very helpful throughout the process and checked in with me for the next few days while I recovered and stayed at home. I got a sore throat later in teh program and the dosage instructions on the medicine I got from the pharmacy were different depending on the language.

* Safety:

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


* 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 an inexpensive country to live in, especially if you learn to bargain.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn to bargain. Find the restaurants with the huge portions and low prices that are still safe...they exist!


* 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

They encouraged us to use Arabic but we were learning modern standard Arabic which is not the dialect that they speak on the streets in Morocco. This was a very frustrating aspect of the program.

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? none
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? Decide if you want to be learning a language that you do not get to practice with everyone on the streets because they speak a very different dialect. People who are educated will understand but it will be a slow conversation.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Independent Reserach Project for 4 weeks at the end of the program.
  • Getting to meet with migrants, meet with scholars, visit organizations, meet with members of Dutch parliament etc...
  • The excursion to the Netherlands was so valuable! Really intersting to study our topic from Amsterdam for a week.
* What could be improved?
  • Language classes - perhaps there should be an optino to learn Darija instead of Classical Arabic
  • More migration theory
  • Homestay families and help finding living arrangements after end of the homestay
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I would be studying a different language than the local language. I wish I knew how to handle street comments. I was told that I would need to deal with street harassment in Morocco but I had not actually thought about what that would mean. I thought it would just be a little thing to get used to but it was frustrating and really makes you think as a woman. I wish I knew how to meet local Moroccan students....this was difficult to do especially as a woman and towards the last few weeks it became possible but it was still difficult.

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:

Study Methods

Course Department:
Instructor: Souad Eddouda
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The teacher was knowledgeable but not always well prepared. This was supposed to be a weekly class but we only had this class a few times during the semester and I felt like it was never taken very seriously by the teacher or the students. Could have gotten a lot more out of it but it was almost like the teacher and the students knew that we were just undergraduate students embarking on a research project so we just needed to figure it out as we went along during the research time.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Migration Seminar

Course Department:
Instructor: Souad Eddouda
Instruction Language: English
Comments: So interesting! Good reading materials were provided. Not that challenging unfortunately. I learned a lot about migration in Morocco but not a lot about migration theory or anything that could make this course applicable to other situations or migration study... Lots of lecturers came in which was good but they often did not know that we already had a lot of background information and had done readings so they just repeated facts and figures.
Credit Transfer Issues: