Morocco: Awesome but exhausting Past Review

By (Political Science and Government., Wellesley College) for

SIT Study Abroad: Morocco - Migration and Transnational Identity

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
You cannot underestimate a study abroad experience. It made me more self sufficient and prouder of what I was capable of doing. It made me more interested in internationalist and languages and being culturally savvy. It changed my future plans in the sense that i'm rethinking doing international politics, and i'm going to study spanish next year bc i know its more applicable to immigration than arabic is.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was really frustrated by some of the lectures- because they were repetitive, but some were quite amazing. The independent study was excellent. Arabic was frustrating bc the dialect was so much more difficult and was not really covered. The main difference between my home college was that people were less engaged bc we were worrying about the stresses of Morocco.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

in morocco it was pretty organized, but when we took a trip to Amsterdam my program director hardly tried to get us to lectures on time. it was such a waste bc there was such cool things relevant to our morocco program there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Host family was really difficult bc switching between French, Arabic dialect, and Arabic was really tough. We were assigned a family. my first family did not really show much interest in me, so i switched half way through and loved my second family bc i had three sisters there. safety was pretty good, and it was close to class. i was treated well and made great food, but i wish we could have taken trips with our host family and given more arabic dialect instruction.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

there were many things that frustrated me about the program, but overall the social aspects were awesome bc we were in morocco! lots of travel time. i would recommend going with a friend from school if you can- one of the hardest parts for me in adjusting was making time to get to know the other american students bc we always had homework, host family time, etc.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Morocco was really safe, even during protests. Healthcare was accessible when we were in the capital; I got treated for a cold by a program recommended doctor. I got vaccines for rabies, but that was pretty useless bc i was not in contact with animals that much. During independent study time if i got sick that would be more of an adventure- i probably would have called a taxi to take me to a doctor and hope that someone could translate for me or my french/arabic would be good enough. i got a credit card in case of emergency, but it was capped at 300, so that prob wouldn't help me. my program did have insurance for us though. my doctors visit was only 100-200 dirhams, 300 if the doctor comes to your house (about 35 dollars)

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


* 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? at least $1000
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I had no idea i would spend that much! But inexpensive taxi rides, snacks, souvenirs add up. i also bought a rug for my sisters wedding, clothes, a cooking class. during independent study time we were given a stipend but that wasn't enough for me bc i was renting an apartment for about 3/4 of the daily stipend which did not leave enough money for travel and food. it would have been better if i had negotiated a better price or lived with more friends. however, i took the first thing i could find bc it is stressful looking for housing when u don't know the process or the language!


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you are doing it just for the Arabic, consider going to Oman or somewhere where french is not as widely used and where the arabic dialect is easier to learn. The type of student who would benefit the most is someone interested in Muslim studies who is very open minded, adaptable, and good at picking up languages.