Past Review

By (International/Global Studies., SUNY - Binghamton) for

SUNY Binghamton: Ifrane - Exchange & Study Abroad Program at Al Akhawayn University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, it was definitely worthwhile. My French improved greatly, I met amazing people, and I feel like I have a better understanding of what it means to live in a different culture. There are still some things about Moroccan culture that I have trouble understanding, but I now know how to appreciate these things instead of just feeling frustrated or confused. Being in Morocco also made me more easygoing and aware of how uptight and time-focused Americans can be; I think it was very healthy for me to be in Morocco because the attitude there is generally much less stressful.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: I don't actually attend SUNY Binghamton; I'm a student at Stonehill College in MA but used SUNY as a program provider.
The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Overall AUI was less challenging than my home institution.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

While there were definitely some things about the administration that I would have changed, overall they were accessible and genuinely helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in building 38 on campus. <br /><br /> The rules of housing took some getting used to (it was gender divided and campus had a midnight curfew Sunday-Thursday), but I really liked having the comforts of a dorm in an otherwise foreign setting. The dorm itself was very nice and I always felt safe and comfortable.

* Food:

I hated the food. I don't eat meat and there was nearly nothing for me to eat. Even my friends who do eat meat had a tough time adjusting. However, the staff were always very friendly and I am grateful for that.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The school organized a lot of on campus things, but my favorite activities were ones that the international students organized together. I travelled a lot on weekends, and met amazing people (both locals and internationals).

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

My school was incredibly fearful of H1N1 and there was a lot of panic on campus--people wearing masks to class, being sent to quarantine just because they had a cough, etc.--but during other times the Health Services were pretty good. I only felt unsafe when off-campus on weekends, and that was rare.

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


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I had a HUGELY unanticipated expense of $1700 because I was not a direct exchange student. This was almost a third of my savings for Morocco, so I really wish I had been informed that I might have to pay that much when I arrived.


Language acquisition improvement?

My French definitely improved, but my Arabic didn't; my class was okay but the spoken Arabic in Morocco is really different from standard Arabic that I'd learned at school.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think that AUI and Morocco in general are probably not for everyone, but if you can learn to live with little inconveniences it is MORE than worth it in the end. I had an amazing experience.