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.
The AMIDEAST Education Abroad Regional Studies in French Program in Rabat 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. Students in the program live with French-speaking Moroccan families.
Classes take place both at the AMIDEAST Center in the bustling Agdal area of the city close to the buildings of AMIDEAST's partner, the College of Letters and Humanities of Mohammed V University. Courses are taught by French-speaking Moroccan faculty members from the University and other universities in Rabat and neighboring cities.
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 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.
Students must have at least intermediate-high proficiency in French on the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) scale 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.
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. Topics such as safety and health, family life in Morocco, cultural adjustment, program regulations, participant responsibilities and other essential information are all discussed during orientation. During the on-site orientation students also meet their professors and become familiar with the program's IT environment.
Partner Institution – Mohammed V University
The AMIDEAST Education Abroad partner in Rabat, Morocco, is Mohammed V University.
Founded in 1917 in Rabat, Mohammed V University is Morocco's most prestigious public university. It enrolls over 25,000 students in its various schools, including 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 committed to the global exchange of ideas and people. In particular, it participates in a wide variety of bilateral and multilateral 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.
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 a member of the faculty. Organized activities are combined with limited free time, allowing students to explore independently within a safe and structured framework. Program excursions may include the following:
- Several days in Zawiyat Ahansal, a rural Amazigh community
- Several days in and around Fez
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.