An experience of a lifetime! GO. Past Review

By (Oregon State University) - 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 how to be aware of my surroundings, and learned to take in all the good and even the bad at times. I gained memories and friendships that will last for a lifetime.

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.

Every week consisted of a different theme, the most meaningful part was all the field work you get to partake in. Interacting with citizens and different NGOs based in Morocco was a great part of the academics

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Some of the most welcoming and kindest individuals I have ever met. They want to make sure you are taken care of and they do everything they can and more.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host family experience was single-handedly one the highlights of the whole program. But know that the more you put in, the more you will get from this part. My only recommendation is to give students more guidance for housing during the research period, if they choose to move out of their host families.

* Food:

The food is amazing, Moroccan food specifically. It's hard to find other cuisines, if you don't want to pay a whole ton of money.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living in the old medina helps the immersion into the culture very imminent. The host family experience, alone with other components of the program, the village stay and other excursions give you a lot of exposure to the dynamic cultures of Morocco.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got sick twice, the program assistant is always available and very helpful with healthcare. She is very resourceful and always checks in on you.

* Safety:

Being a women in Morocco isn't the easiest at times. Being alone at night doesn't feel safe at all, however I never felt like my life would be threatened in the country. Whenever I was with a group of people, we were fine.

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

The people you meet and have the opportunity to get to know and interact with is what made this trip so worthwhile. Your not only surrounded by great people, but there's so much around you to take in, from the architecture, food, sceneries, history, culture and so much more. This program gives you the opportunity to take in all these things.

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)

Everything is super inexpensive and very affordable for a student. You can budget yourself very easily. I don't think you should be spending more then $80-$100 a week. Splurge on the leather good and save your money when you go on excursions and trips on your own.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100

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

I used the language at home and everywhere I went.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
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? The language component was hard for many students on this program because Moroccans will speak French to you immediately if they think your a tourist. If you're trying to practice french, it might be more beneficial than Arabic, if you don't have any arabic speaking experience.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* 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?
  • The center of cross cultural learning where the program is set in was amazing. The staff is so helpful and genuinely invested in your learning.
* What could be improved?
  • More guidance for housing during ISP.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew not to pack half the stuff on the packing list! don't listen to it, just pack essentials. Lastly, I wish I would've not have been as worried, don't listen to what everyone tells you before they go who have never been to the country. Its an extraordinary country.

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.'