The AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Rabat offers a diverse set of courses, and semi-intensive instruction in Modern Standard Arabic and Moroccan Arabic. Students in the program live with Arabic-speaking Moroccan families and attend their classes at AMIDEAST's facilities in the bustling Agdal area of the city with professors from AMIDEAST's partner, the College of Letters and Humanities of Mohammed V University. Courses are taught by English-speaking Moroccan faculty members from the University and other universities in Rabat and neighboring cities. Students in the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Rabat carry a 14 to 17 credit hour load each semester. All students enroll in Modern Standard Arabic and Moroccan Arabic and select two or three electives from offerings in Middle East and North African studies in a variety of disciplines. Students must have the equivalent of four college semesters of French or more in order to take a French course. All courses are taught exclusively for the AMIDEAST program, and students take classes only with other program participants. Students will travel on excursions to significant sites throughout Morocco, engage in service learning activities, and participate in facilitated cultural dialogues with Moroccan students.
Rabat is one of Morocco's "imperial cities," as well as its political capital. Rabat exemplifies Morocco’s unique cultural blend of Arab, the indigenous Amazigh (Berber), and European influences. It is home to the leading educational institutions in the country and offers students opportunities to move from the shops and cafes of the contemporary city to the winding alleys and exciting markets of the old medina in a few minutes' walk. Students attend their classes at the AMIDEAST Center in the bustling Agdal area of Rabat, close to the buildings of AMIDEAST's partner, the College of Letters and Humanities of Mohammed V University and the Royal Palace.
Partner Institution – Mohammed V University
The AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in the Arab World partner in Rabat, Morocco is Mohammed V University. Founded in 1917 in Rabat, Mohammed V University is Morocco's most prestigious public university. It has over 25,000 students in its various schools, and over 10,000 in its College of Letters and Humanities. Its faculty includes many of Morocco's pre-eminent scholars, while its students are among the most promising in the nation.
Mohammed V University is an international academic leader, and is committed to the global exchange of ideas and people. In particular, it participates in a wide variety of bi-lateral and multi-lateral research initiatives, hosts visiting scholars from throughout the world, and works cooperatively with several international organizations, most notably the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The University is also home to a growing number of international students, most of them from African and Asian countries.
Students in the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Rabat carry a 14-17 credit hour course load per semester. All students enroll in Arabic (optional Modern Standard Arabic course for 5 credits and a mandatory Colloquial Moroccan Arabic course for 3 credits) and two or three other elective courses (depending on the student’s preference) from offerings in Middle East and North African studies in a variety of disciplines taught in English including political science, religion, sociology, women's studies, history, and Amazigh studies. Students must have the equivalent of four college semesters of French or more in order to take a French course. All courses are taught exclusively for the AMIDEAST program, and students take classes only with other program participants.
Students select 3 electives; options may include:
· Amazigh History and Culture
· Community-Based Learning
· Contemporary History of Morocco and North Africa
· Contemporary Moroccan Culture
· Gender, Islam and Society
· Islam and the West
· The Arab Spring
· Islamic Reform and Islamism
· Littératures Francophones du Maghreb (in French)
· Political Systems in the Maghrib
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.
Upon arrival in Rabat, AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program students participate in an in-depth, week-long orientation designed to introduce them to Moroccan culture and daily life, and familiarize them with the logistics of the program. During orientation students also are introduced to the principles of intercultural communication. Students stay in a hotel in central Rabat during orientation, and move to their accommodation for the semester at the end of the first week. The orientation combines structured informational sessions with organized activities and free time to familiarize participants with the city of Rabat. Students participate in an orientation that includes instruction and discussion about cultural adjustment, program components, academic advising, goals, expectations, safety, survival language instruction, and host city exploration. During the on-site orientation students also meet their professors, receive final language placements, and become familiar with the program's IT environment.
AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Rabat students participate in two program-organized excursions outside of Rabat to visit major cities and historical sites in Morocco. The excursions are coordinated by AMIDEAST/Morocco in conjunction with the program's academic staff and are led by an AMIDEAST team member. Organized activities are combined with limited free time, allowing students to explore independently within a safe and structured framework. Examples of past excursions include:
- Several days in Zawiya Ahansal, a rural Amazigh community.
- Several days in and around Fez.
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 encounter a variety of Moroccan civil society organizations ranging from political and human rights groups to women's organizations to sports clubs. AMIDEAST organizes 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.
Upon successful completion of an AMIDEAST Education Abroad program, the on-site AMIDEAST Education Abroad staff sends final course grades to AMIDEAST Headquarters. Students are issued an AMIDEAST Education Abroad grade report. Alternatively, students in Morocco can request (for an additional fee) a transcript issued by AMIDEAST's Institution of Record.