Phenomenal Country and Experience with Subpar Class July 25, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 06/02/2018 to 07/07/2018 with

Yale Summer Session in Ifrane and Rabat

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile because I have now seen a large portion of Morocco and feel like a have a good grasp on what the culture and people are like. I also think the program helped me overcome a number of previously held stereotypes.

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.

I learned a lot from the country and people I met, but the professor and course taught me very little about Morocco and North Africa as a whole.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

On-campus dining in Ifrane was terrible but that is where they put all our food money so if we wanted to eat better food off campus we had to pay our own money in addition to what we had already paid the program food fee.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Any integration was because of my own effort, not because the program set it up. One thing that particularly irritated me was that all our speakers were westerners, only one Moroccan came to talk with us.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

VERY safe so long as you make sure to take care of yourself (as you would in any city, though, not just Morocco).

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

The professor was ineffective at teaching the material and did not integrate us into Moroccan life in the way that we expected. He seemed to care about his research first and the class second.

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)

If you want to, you can make this trip extremely affordable (once the main fee is paid). That being said, if you would like to travel independently on our two weekends off or go out at night, it might be more difficult. I spent 100$ a week only on the week when I was paying for my own housing and food for four days, the others I was well below 100.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100 on a week when I traveled without the professor for four days, usually more around 30 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Morocco is a fairly cheap country to travel in. If you travel try to go with others and split an Air BnB to keep the price down and travel by train/bus instead of taxi when you can. Also be sure to negotiate taxi prices BEFORE getting in and ask locals how much a ride should be.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
  • 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

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • My fellow students
  • Morocco's culture
  • Morocco's interesting position between Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and how this manifests itself
* What could be improved?
  • The professor's ability to teach
  • Our immersion into Moroccan life
  • Amount of interaction with Moroccans
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You will be living with a Moroccan roommate. If you are a female make sure to go with a male if you are going to a beach.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Society and Politics of North Africa

Course Department: History
Instructor: Jonathan Wyrtzen
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The readings were challenging and all of our trips were very relevant. The teacher was knowledgeable but was not organized in how he taught his material which made it very difficult to follow at times. Because of this I ended up participating more in class than usual in order to try and clarify what he was saying. We were assessed through weekly four page papers, two quizzes, and a final 10 page paper. I learned a lot through our trips and readings, less through the teacher.
Credit Transfer Issues: I am currently in the process of transferring credits and getting credit for my major.