- Minimum GPA: 3.0
- Judicial Check
- 5 semesters of College-level French with a B- average for the Regional French Program
- Spring 2020: January-May (Al-Akhawayn University)
- Deadline: October 15th
- Spring 2020: January-May (Regional Studies in French Program)
- Deadline: October 15th
- Included 3 week Moroccan Arabic and Culture pre-program in Rabat
- Organized excursions around Morocco
- Ability to live and learn alongside Moroccans
About the Program
Morocco is a gateway to Africa and the Arab world. A meeting point for civilizations and continents situated on the northwest tip of Africa, contemporary Morocco with its nearly 35 million people is a fusion of Arab, European, and African cultural influences. In Morocco, visitors have the opportunity to experience life in a Muslim country while exploring the distinct society and traditions of the Maghreb. SMCM students have the option to enroll in two distinct program options through our partnership with AMIDEAST in Morocco. The first option is the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Ifrane, which offers a diverse curriculum through direct enrollment at Al-Akhawayn University (AUI), a private Moroccan university patterned on the American model of higher education. The second option is the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Regional Studies in French Program in Rabat, which offers a diverse set of courses taught in French on Morocco in its Muslim, Arab, African and Mediterranean contexts. In addition, students learn Moroccan Arabic and have the opportunity to study Modern Standard Arabic if they so desire.
Nestled in the Middle Atlas Mountains, the Province of Ifrane is home to the largest cedar forest in North Africa and is the most biologically diverse area in Morocco. Because of the year-round beauty of Ifrane’s natural surroundings, the town’s population of 12,000 swells to nearly 100,000 on weekends, holidays and in the summer. Both Fez, the intellectual capital of Morocco, and the imperial city of Meknes are approximately an hour away. The capital city of Rabat is two hours from Ifrane; the Sahara desert is just six.
Rabat is one of Morocco’s “imperial cities,” as well as its political capital. It is home to the leading educational institutions in the country and offers students opportunities to move from the shops and cafes of the “European” city to the winding alleys and exciting markets of the old medina in a few minutes’ walk. (Information via AMIDEAST website)
This AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program offers a diverse curriculum through direct enrollment at Al-Akhawayn University (AUI), an English-medium Moroccan university patterned on the American model of higher education. Students usually carry a 15 credit hour load per semester and may choose from any of the course offerings listed in the AUI catalog. More information about AUI, including course offerings, can be found on its website at http://www.aui.ma.
The AMIDEAST program at AUI begins with a 3-week program, known as the Moroccan Arabic and Culture program, which takes place in Morocco’s capital city of Rabat. All students studying at AUI through AMIDEAST are required to participate in the Moroccan Arabic and Culture program prior to the start of the AUI semester. For more information on the Moroccan Arabic and Culture program, please click HERE.
The AMIDEAST partner for this program is Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI). Founded in 1993 by Royal Dahir (charter), AUI opened doors to students in January 1995. The University is co-educational, residential and primarily undergraduate but has rapidly growing graduate programs. Tolerance is promoted and expected from all members of the community as they live and work together.
The majority of AUI’s 1000+ students study full-time and live on campus. The student population is equally balanced between men and women. There is an increasingly international character to the student body, with over 160 students of 28 nationalities on campus in study abroad and exchange programs during the regular semester, or during the intensive Arabic and North African Studies summer program. The student-faculty ratio is 11 students for each full-time faculty member. Because the average class size is 17, students have ample opportunity to question, respond, and interact with their professors and classmates.
Students in the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Regional Studies in French Program in Rabat carry a 15 credit hour load each semester. All students enroll in Moroccan Arabic and select four other courses from offerings taught in French covering such diverse topics as Islam, Women in the Muslim World, North African cinema, the history and politics of Morocco and Morocco’s relationships with its European, Mediterranean and African neighbors.
Alternatively, if students would like to enroll in Modern Standard Arabic (5 credits) they could then choose to take two or three Regional Studies courses (depending on their preference). If students choose to take two Regional Studies courses they will enroll in a total of 14 credits, whereas if they take three Regional Studies courses you will enroll in a total of 17 credits.
Students must have at least intermediate-high proficiency in French to enroll in the program. Students who wish may also enroll in Modern Standard Arabic, which is offered at seven different levels. All courses, other than Moroccan and Modern Standard Arabic, are taught in French exclusively for the AMIDEAST program, and students take classes only with other program participants.
All lectures, readings and written work in this program are in French. Library resources of the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program and the National Library of Morocco are available to students on the program. In addition, a Moroccan graduate student will be assigned to each course to assist students.
Housing and Meals
Students enrolled in the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program at Al-Akhawayn University (AUI) in Ifrane will live in dormitories, in double rooms with Moroccan roommates. There are seventeen dormitory-style residences on the AUI campus, ranging from small buildings with as few as 56 beds, to large buildings with as many as 234 beds. All AUI residence halls include a common kitchen, and student rooms are well-equipped with telephone, television, and Internet connections.
AMIDEAST program participants will be enrolled in a full meal plan for their semester at AUI, which will give them full access to the three distinct dining facilities maintained by the university.
During the pre-semester Moroccan Arabic and Culture Program students will stay with host families in Rabat.
All AMIDEAST Education Abroad students live with a Moroccan Family. Moroccan families have been carefully screened by AMIDEAST/Morocco from a database of qualified applicants. Students usually are placed with a roommate from the AMIDEAST program into families who have previous experience hosting American students through AMIDEAST. Most host family members speak Arabic as a first language and also speak French; a small number of family members also speak Spanish or Amazigh (Berber) as well. AMIDEAST matches students in the French Regional Studies Program with strong French speaking families in order to improve language acquisition. While all placement preferences may not be met in every case, AMIDEAST will strive to make the best match to ensure a rewarding and pleasant living experience. In the event of a problem, AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program staff members will be available either to mediate or to arrange a new host family placement. Students living with host families will be given a stipend for lunch, as often class schedules prohibit students from return to their host families for lunch.
In addition to the academic program, the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program at AUI offers a variety of additional learning opportunities to enhance participants’ study abroad experience.
- Weekend field trips will be arranged during the semester to ensure that students have the opportunity to visit key Moroccan sites (e.g., Fez, Meknes, the north, and Marrakesh) that are not necessarily visited during AUI’s course-related field trips.
- Visiting students are fully integrated into the social, academic, and cultural life of AUI, and they are able to make strong and lasting connections with their Moroccan peers. Students will find a variety of cross-cultural learning opportunities on campus. AUI has a full range of student clubs, all of which are open to AMIDEAST students; they include sports, artistic, cultural, and academic groups. The university also sponsors numerous activities each week. Community service is required of all matriculated undergraduates at AUI; therefore, such opportunities are widely available to AMIDEAST students as well.
In addition to the academic program, the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Rabat offers a variety of additional learning opportunities to enhance participants’ study abroad experience.
- Civil Society: Students will encounter a variety of Moroccan civil society organizations ranging from political and human rights groups to women’s organizations to sports clubs. AMIDEAST will organize special activities to facilitate student connections to these organizations.
- Service-learning: AMIDEAST coordinates organized service-learning projects either for individual students or for larger groups. With many connections to a wide range of organizations in Morocco, AMIDEAST can adapt projects individual student interests to ensure a unique and satisfying service-learning experience.
- Cross-cultural learning: AMIDEAST organizes a variety of cross-cultural learning opportunities. Ranging from meet-and-greets to formal presentations, these events give participants the chance to interact with Moroccan students, to learn more about Morocco, and to introduce others to American culture.
How credits taken abroad will transfer back to SMCM.
The academic and judicial requirements for any student considering studying abroad.
How financial aid will apply towards your study abroad program and what scholarships are available.
Payment processes for semester-long, short-term, and non-SMCM study abroad programs.