It could be better if I know Arabic Past Review

By (Arabic Language, Multiculturalism and Human Rights in Morocco, Skidmore College) - abroad from 08/31/2015 to 12/11/2015 with

SIT Study Abroad: Morocco - Multiculturalism and Human Rights

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Although I did not learn much Arabic throughout the program, I obtained a lot of information about the multicultural identities of Moroccans, and the wider picture of Islam. The experience in Morocco definitely introduced me another portal to know a world that hidden from western medias.

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.

You will learn a lot throughout the program if you aim to learn it. The program has done its best job to gather the best local resources.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

People in the site were really nice to students, and some of them ended up being my good friends there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family were really nice to me, and my host mom definitely made the best Moroccan food I ever had in Morocco. Beyond the language barrier in the house, which could be a little bit awkward, but if you tried hard to communicate, you will find out the way. In the beginning I used Google Translate to talk with each family member.

* Food:

Best, best, best, Moroccan food comes from my host mom's hands. Overall, I could find a wide range of variety of food in Morocco, even Asian and Indian cuisines. The Moroccan food is pretty tasty already, but it also depends on what kind of place you pick to go. Check out reviews and suggestions from your Moroccan friends. Don't be too touristy!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Coming

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The program assistant has been very helpful in being a translator for me when I visited local clinics. Pharmacies, clinics, and public hospitals are around most places in the big cities. But in more rural regions, it might be pretty difficult to get proper health treatment. Also, the cost of visiting local clinics might be massive. Be careful and double check with your insurance company before you go.

* Safety:

Although I did not get much street harassment, but almost every female student in my program encountered different levels of street harassment from the locals. Sometimes racial comments or judgments might happen to you.

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

The overall experience is satisfying to me.

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)

1000 US dollars could make you feel like a rich person there for 3 months!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 20 dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Exchange money there with better ratio. The intern-bank transaction fee could charge you about $10 dollars every time you try to withdraw from local ATMs. If possible, carry some dollars there and then do currency exchange. Learn and be good at bargaining! It is fun and it matters. Do immerse yourself into local communities and open yourself to people there. I often got fed up or free accommodations provided by local friends. They are really nice to me. But don't try to make friend just for free stuff. Do live with your real heart!

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? 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? Nothing
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? Don't go if you don't know anything about Arabic or French.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • People
  • Excursion Trips
  • Free time during ISP
* What could be improved?
  • Language Course
  • Academic Intensity
  • Student Counseling
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The Arabic language or French, definitely ! It could change the total experience.

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.'