Some of the Best Three Months of My Life Past Review

By (Middle Eastern Studies, Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/31/2014 to 12/13/2014 with

SIT Study Abroad: Morocco - Multiculturalism and Human Rights

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a better awareness and love for the multicultural realities that exist in our world and gained a lot of self confidence by speaking Arabic daily and stretching myself by traveling and living in a place so different from what I defined as familiar five months ago. In other words, now the medina in Rabat and the US feel both like home. I made great friends that I am sure I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life and had a fantastic experience.

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.

The academic environment at the CCCL was definitely not as rigorous as the one that exists at Wellelsey. However, I deeply appreciated the opportunity to experience different cultures and languages from my own by learning through an experiential lens and being mindful of my impact on the spaces in which I interact with others. The resources provided were wonderful and allowed us to cover the complexities that exist within Moroccan society by redefining and reexamining what human rights means within this particular socio-cultural-religious context. One of my few complains about the academics of this SIT program is the fact that

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All incredible and hardworking staff in my program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My first home stay was not a very good experience because they frequently neglected to take care of me and feed me. My second homestay was definitely much better. I really enjoyed and loved my time with them and it was wonderful to bond with individuals from a different culture.

* Food:

So delicious. I miss it every day.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Very integrated with the local culture because I was living in the old medina of Rabat and with a host family.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe while in Rabat. I would definitely advise future students to be alert of their surroundings and other individuals, particularly if they are women interacting with Moroccan men. There was one instance where I almost had my phone stolen, so I think being aware and alert of one's surroundings is the best piece of advice I can give.

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

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)

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Arabic 202
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 definitely learn some basic Arabic before going abroad to Morocco or any Arabic speaking country and work on utilizing your skills and speaking as much as possible with your host family and others inside of the medina. Your confidence with speaking the language will definitely improve a lot.

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
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 experiential learning component
  • Home stay
  • Making life long friends
* What could be improved?
  • Focus more on Moroccan Arabic
  • Address intersectionality and other human rights issues beyond womens' rights
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It is going to be a little rough around the edges, but by the end, you're going to love it and leaving Morocco will be one of the hardest things you'll have to do.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!