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Cultural Explorations: Living and Learning in Morocco


Rabat, Morocco

Program Description

This study abroad experience is structured around four weeks of living and learning in Rabat, Morocco.  It is designed to provide you with support and challenges. We will begin by exploring concepts of culture and identity and the knowledge and skills necessary for positive engagement with persons, ideas, and practices of another culture.  This will happen before you leave for Morocco, continue through your immersion and after your return.  

Once in Morocco you will participate in structured learning opportunities that include lessons from Moroccans with expertise in a variety of topics, guided tours of Rabat and areas outside of the city, including multi-day excursons to Fez, Meknes, Volubilis and Chefchaoun/Tangier, as well as a three day desert excursion (camping and camel ride).

Our classes will be in the IES Abroad Rabat Center, located in the heart of Rabat. The center provides you with a library, reading room and computer lab that you will share with their international students. You will also have unstructured opportunities for exploring and engaging with the people, places, practices and ideas of Morocco...its lived culture.

Upon your return from Morocco you will have structured and unstructured opportunities to engage in critical reflection, meaning making, and reminiscing with others in our group. You are beginning, or maybe continuing, a lifelong exploration and developmental process of being an engaged and successful citizen, learner, leader and professional.

Location Description

Morocco is located in the northwest corner of Africa and is bordered by the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Algeria and Western Sahara are the land borders to the south and east. The high Atlas Mountains separate the mild coastline from the harsh Sahara. 

Moroccans are Berber and Arab and most of the people are Muslim. The Berbers have been in North Africa for centuries. Many of the Berber people live in the mountains and still speak the Berber language. The official language of Morocco is Arabic, however you will usually hear Darija, a mix of Arabic and Berber languages. French is also commonly spoken in the country. It is not uncommon for people to switch between the two mid-sentence. 

Morocco provides you the opportunity to see the coast, the Sahara desert, groves of dates, and the Atlas mountains. You will roam ancient Kkasbahs, medinas, mosques, bazaars and modern cities. You can relax with a cup of mint tea or enjoy bartering with a shopkeeper. You will see streets wide enough for a donkey and with four lanes of cars. You will see people dressed in flowing layers and in business suits.

Rabat is the enchanting and welcoming capital city of Morocco, with a long and rich history. It is the capital city of Morocco and the home of King Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco. Rabat has buildings and neighborhoods dating back to the 12thcentury as well as the more modern new town conceived and built under the French Protectorate from 1912 to the 1930s.   


Cheryl L Beverly | | Learning, Technology and Leadership Education


Students will stay in IES Abroad arranged housing in homestays. Students will be in single or double rooms, with up to two students staying with each family. Internet access is available with these accommodations. A change of linen and 21 meals per week will be provided. IES Abroad will make a reasonable effort to house all students in the same area.

Students will be provided 21 meals with their home-stay families. Some meals are provided during the excursions out of Rabat. Students will also receive a small weekly stipend to be used for meals that are not provided.

Additional Items to Consider

A valid passport is required. No Visa is required for stays less than 90 days.

No immunizations required.

Cell phones with international capacity are required.

IES Abroad ( is an organization that designs and offers high quality study abroad experiences (over 125 different experiences and 1200 IES courses) in more than 30 global locations.  They are headquartered in Chicago.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.5

English proficiency, some French or Arabic would be helpful but not necessary

Students must be rising Juniors, seniors or graduate students

Major or minor advisor recommendation, essay, interview, attend an information session (group or individual), attend pre-departure sessions

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay
  • Faculty Letter of Recommendation 
  • Resume
  • Interview with Program Director
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

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Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


HUM 252: Global Cultures: Living and Learning in Morocco (3 credits)

EDUC 310: Teaching in a Diverse Society: Morocco Immersion (3 credits)

EDUC 490/501: Discovering Self as Local and Global Learner, Citizen and Leader: Morocco

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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