Beautiful country, great people, love Morocco! Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/31/2016 to 05/14/2016 with

SIT Study Abroad: Morocco - Multiculturalism and Human Rights

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself and my limits through pushing myself constantly out of my comfort zone.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Generally, the administration was competent, but the program assistants were wonderful and coordinated everything for the program as well as providing individualized support for students. They provided the vast majority of not only logistical, but emotional support for us and were the most helpful and truly wonderful people involved with the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I got a great homestay family, but I know that was not necessarily the case for everyone.

* Food:

Moroccan food is great. Before coming here I heard complaints of monotony, but I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of food an enjoyed everything (but ful).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

As with a lot of study abroad programs, you spend a good amount of time with people from your home country. That being said, study abroad is what each individual makes of it. There were plenty of opportunities, some of which given to us by the CCCL (the SIT affiliated school we attended), to meet and befriend Moroccans our age--we were responsible for establishing and maintaining those relationships if we so wished.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I individually did not experience severe health problems, but those I know who went to the clinic spoke about some difficulty with translation. Additionally, you have to pay up front and be reimbursed.

* Safety:

Rabat is safe, however it is not very safe for women to be out after a certain time at night and women are constantly harassed regardless of the time of day. Granted, harassment occurs everywhere, but here I have had men stop their cars on the street to harass me while I am alone and have been cornered on the street and these instances are frightening. So, though Rabat is generally quite safe (in the old Medina), caution is necessary after sundown for women (and other minority groups, namely dark skinned people of color who don't look Moroccan and LGBT--especially G and T folks)

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)

At this point in time the dirham to dollar conversion rate is almost exactly 10 to 1 (10 dirhams=1 dollar) so Morocco was super accessible for me financially. I tended to spend maximum 50-70 dirham during the week on coffee/tea at cafes and snacks like juice and crackers. Aside from that, I spent about 300-500 dirham each weekend traveling.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100-500 dirham/$10-$50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take out large sums from the atm to avoid repeated international bank charges.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate Arabic
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? If your family speaks fusha, speak fusha! It will improve greatly with use.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Program assistants
  • Excursions
  • Arabic class
* What could be improved?
  • Northern excursion
  • ISP contact
  • Darija instruction
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Fusha is very different from Darija!

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.