The Adventure of a Lifetime August 16, 2019

By (Vassar College) - abroad from 01/27/2019 to 05/11/2019 with

SIT Study Abroad: Morocco - Multiculturalism and Human Rights

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I made connections in a continent I had never been to, immersed myself in destinations I never even dreamed of (from the Sahara to the second largest waterfalls in Africa). I learned about multiculturalism and human rights first-hand, in addition to Arabic.

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.

A combination of quality experiential learning and dry lectures.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Love Taieb, Mina, Samad, and all the other workers!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Loved my host family and cat, but it was a challenge to not have a toilet, shower, or meals at the time I was used to.

* Food:

My host mom's food was delicious and innovative, but lunch could be as late as 4 pm and dinner as late as 11 pm. I talked with my program staff and they got her to make me a separate dinner at 8 pm.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Morocco has free public healthcare for all, though there was a bit of a language barrier as English is not widely spoken there!

* Safety:

There are a few safety concerns in Morocco, like oppressive laws, cars that don't stop at crosswalks, and scams in Marrakesh's old city. That said, the country is safe overall, and rumors of violent crime and terrorism are far overblown.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

It was much harder to live in a country where queerness was illegal then I had anticipated. I'm glad I did the program, but couldn't live in present-day Morocco for three months again.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Morocco is an extremely cheap country so most students shouldn't have any worries. The flights there can be expensive, but I saved $600 by flying into Casablanca instead of Rabat, and then taking two trains.

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

My teacher, Assia, was one of the best teachers I've ever had, though I wish more dialect was incorporated into the class.

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? Upper-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? Most Moroccans can speak Modern Standard Arabic, you should practice with them!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
  • Apartment
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Program Staff
  • Excursions
  • Experiential Learning
* What could be improved?
  • Host Family Regulations
  • Dry Lectures
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? As I said before, how hard Morocco would be to live in.

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.'