|Homepage:||Click to visit|
|Dates / Deadlines:|
|Term||Year||App Deadline||Decision Date||Start Date||End Date|
|Language of Instruction:||Arabic, English||Class Eligibility:||2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior (fall only)|
|Housing Options:||Family Stay||Maximum Credits Earned (per semester):||4.0|
|Academic Area of Study:||Africana Studies, Arabic, Economics, French, History, International Studies, Middle East Studies, Political Science, Religion, Sociology||Foreign Laguage Prerequisite:||2 semesters strongly encouraged|
AMIDEAST - Rabat, Morocco
The AMIDEAST Morocco program offers students with an interest in Arabic language, French language, and issues pertinent to North Africa to study in the region for the fall, spring, or academic year. Students live with homestay families and have all of the benefits of basing their studies in this lively and livable city.
Morocco is a gateway to Africa and the Arab world. It is a unique mixture of Middle Eastern, European, and African cultural influences. Rabat is one of Morocco's "imperial cities," and its modern 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 America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc. (AMIDEAST) was established in 1951 to provide international education, training, and development assistance opportunities to the Middle East and North Africa. Today it provides programs and services to improve educational opportunities and quality, strengthen local institutions, and develop language and professional skills for success in the local economy. AMIDEAST is a recognized leader in study abroad programs for Americans interested in learning more about this important region.
Two tracks are available on the Rabat program: 1) Area & Arabic Language Studies in Morocco and 2) Regional Studies in French.
Students in the Arabic Studies Program carry a 14-17 credit hour load per semester. All students enroll in Arabic (8 credits: Modern Standard and Moroccan Colloquial Arabic) and two or three other elective courses 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, and history. All courses are taught exclusively for the AMIDEAST program, and students take classes only with other program participants.
Students in the Regional Studies in French Program 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 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.
This Partner program requires students to have at a minimum:
- 3.0 GPA
- Two semesters of Arabic strongly encouraged for Arabic Studies program
- Minimum of four semesters in French for the Regional Studies in French program
Open to all majors. All students must have a declared major at the time of application.
As a part of the review process students’ conduct records and account status are also reviewed. Students and their parents should note that the review process takes all elements of the student’s academic record into consideration and that even if a student has the required minimum GPA and language prerequisites, he or she may not be admitted.
Students who have questions about the review process or their particular candidacy for a program should come into the Center for Global Study and Engagement for advising.
Center staff will not discuss students’ applications with parents, friends or any other party without the student’s consent and presence in the conversation.
Who should study in Morocco?
Students with an interest in the Arabic world can study a variety of topics through AMIDEAST. Courses focus on Middle East and North African studies, but are applicable to a variety of majors, including Anthropology, Art, History, Economics, Environmental Studies, French, International Studies, Middle East and North Africa studies, Political Science, Religion, Sociology, and Women's and Gender Studies.
What are some sample courses I could take?
Offerings include Contemporary History of Morocco and North Africa, The Islamic World and the West, Political Systems of the Maghrib, The Arab Spring: Revolution and Reform in the Arab World, U.S. Relations with the Arab/Muslim World, Islamic Reform and Islamism, and Gender, Islam, and Society
What language skills do I need?
At least two semesters of college-level Arabic are strongly recommended for the Arabic Studies Program. A minimum of four semesters in French is required for the Regional Studies in French Program.
What is the language of instruction?
Classes in the Arabic Studies Program are taught in English; students will take 8 credits of Arabic (Modern Standard and Colloquial Jordanian Arabic) at the appropriate level. Classes in the Regional Studies in French Program are taught in French; students will enroll in Moroccan Arabic.
How many credits will I earn?
Students in the Arabic Studies Program enroll in 14-17 credit hours per semester. Students who successfully complete 14 credits will earn four Dickinson transfer credits; 17 credit hours = 4.5 Dickinson transfer credits. Students in the Regional Studies in French Program enroll in 15 credit hours per semester. Students who successfully complete 15 credits will earn four Dickinson transfer credits.
To over-enroll, a student must petition Brian Brubaker, the Director of Education Abroad. If a student registers for more than the maximum courses allowed without permission from the committee, the On-campus Coordinator, their academic advisor at Dickinson, and the Center for Global Study and Engagement, the course credit will not transfer. Students will also be responsible for any additional fees for doing this.
Will the courses count towards my major?
Many courses taken through AMIDEAST can count towards your major. You should check with your academic advisor on campus prior to course selection.
Generally speaking, courses must have an equivalent at Dickinson. Exceptions include classes that focus on the culture and/or history of the country in which the student is studying. Transfer credit will not be awarded for coursework that duplicates what a student has already completed at Dickinson.
If I am enrolled in the Regional Studies in French Program can I earn French credit?
Possibly. You will need to discuss this with the chair of the French department prior to selecting this program.
Will courses count in my GPA?
Course titles and letter grades earned are recorded on the Dickinson transcript, but the grade is not computed in the GPA. To receive credit you must earn a grade equivalent to a Dickinson ‘C’ (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or above. A grade of ‘C-’ or below will not earn credit.
What kinds of excursions are available?
AMIDEAST provides students guided academic excursions around Morocco to locations such as Zawiya Ahansal, a rural Amazigh community, the city of Fez, and northern Morocco.
What expenses are covered during excursions?
Students’ lodging costs will be covered during overnight excursions. Also, any meals that would not be otherwise covered by a standard meal stipend for all students on the program will be covered. Group transportation to and from the excursion site, as well as group travel for all group activities will be covered. Students will not be reimbursed for snacks, personal travel and personal activities during an academic excursion.
When will I find out where and when we’re travelling?
Specific dates for longer excursions will be announced at the beginning of the semester. Local site visits in and around Rabat will be organized and announced during the semester.
Can a friend or family member who is not on the program also travel with us?
No, unfortunately, for logistical and academic reasons non program participants are not able to join the program for excursions.
Are excursions optional?
Not necessarily. These excursions are linked to your academic program and, in some cases, content delivered through the excursion will be relevant to a student’s studies and assessment. All students should plan to participate in all excursions. If a student misses an excursion or a planned departure for a trip, these arrangements and costs will not be made up for the student. It is each student’s responsibility to be where they need to be in order to participate fully in each academic excursion.
What other opportunities will I have to bolster my classroom experiences?
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 and Mohammed V University-Agdal organize 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.
When is orientation?
In addition to the full day mandatory pre-departure orientation you’ll have on campus, there is an in-depth, week-long orientation designed to introduce students 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, take language placement tests, and become familiar with the program’s IT environment.
What are the program dates?
Tentative dates for the fall, spring, and academic year sessions can be found here.
Is there a group flight?
No, students are responsible for arranging their own travel to Morocco. Arrival and departure instructions are provided by AMIDEAST.
What if my family wants to visit me?
If you have family or friends who are planning to visit you, please do not make travel plans until you arrive at the program and become familiar with your class schedule and program excursions. It is not acceptable to skip class for personal travel.
When will I have time to travel?
Aside from AMIDEAST excursions, students may travel on their own during breaks when classes are not in session. It is not acceptable to skip class for personal travel.
Can I arrive early or stay after the program ends?
Students may arrive early or stay late if they wish to travel on their own when classes are not in session. Please note that if you choose to arrive early or stay late, you will not be able to stay in your program housing. You should also consider your visa validity when you make the decision of whether or not you may arrive early or stay late. Students may not arrive late for the start of the program.
How much does the program cost?
Students pay Dickinson comprehensive fees to attend this program. The cost includes tuition, room, board, and local travel. However, airfare and visas are not included in this cost. Budget sheets are available for more information.
What is included in the program fee?
The fee covers tuition, room and board with a host family, an allowance for meals not eaten with the host family and local transportation, excursions, additional cultural activities, a program-supplied mobile phone, emergency insurance, and pre-departure and on-site orientation.
Are additional scholarships available?
As a Partner Program, students may use their Dickinson financial aid to cover the Dickinson comprehensive fees to attend this program. Additional scholarships are available from AMIDEAST and eligible students are encouraged to apply.
How much extra money do I need to bring?
This depends on you. We encourage students to not travel every weekend, but to really engage their host city in meaningful ways during their semester abroad. An estimate of personal expenses is included on the budget sheet, but it really depends on you and your spending habits.
How will I access my money while in Morocco?
There are many international and national banks in Rabat with ATM services, although not in smaller villages. ATMs in Morocco are quite reliable, and the easiest and most convenient way to obtain cash. However, you should ask your bank if they charge a fee for international ATM transactions; they may also have other recommendations for accessing your funds overseas. Credit cards, especially Visa and MasterCard, are accepted at major hotels, and at some high-end restaurants, shops and grocery stores. If you plan to use one of these cards (debit or credit) you should notify your card company that you will be in Morocco, as they often place security holds on accounts when foreign charges appear unexpectedly. Also, please make sure that you have a 4 digit pin, as some places can’t accommodate longer pin numbers.
Will I receive a stipend?
No. Allowances for additional meals ($500 per semester), local transportation ($320 per semester), and cultural activities ($500 per semester) will be deducted from the Dickinson comprehensive fee by Student Accounts. It is your responsibility to have access to these funds while abroad so as to use them to cover these living expenses.
How do I access health care in Rabat?
AMIDEAST field staff maintains a list of recommended doctors and medical facilities and will assist you in arranging and paying for appointments. The program fee includes medical and accident insurance through HTH Worldwide Insurance.
Is Rabat a safe place to study?
These are challenging times, particularly for those involved in programs for American students in the Middle East and North Africa. At AMIDEAST, student health, safety, and security are the number one priorities. While no one can guarantee that unexpected risks or situations will not arise, AMIDEAST continually strives to provide the support necessary for students to have a safe and healthy education abroad experience.
AMIDEAST continuously monitors the security situation in all of our program locations and work with our local staff and other local contacts to get up to date information on the safety of the cities in which we operate.
Although it is not possible to eliminate risk, AMIDEAST is committed to ensuring that its programs operate in safe and secure environments. AMIDEAST's longstanding physical presence in the Middle East and North Africa and long history of service to local communities have enabled the development of strong local networks and relationships with local institutions and individuals. AMIDEAST’s Country Directors maintain close ties to the Regional Security Officers at the U.S. Embassies, and local program staff members are included in the U.S. Embassy warden network. AMIDEAST is also a member of the Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council.
AMIDEAST facilities are accessible only through controlled entrances. Local staff is able to send out text messages (SMS) simultaneously to all students' program-provided mobile phones to update them instantly as issues related to health, safety, and security develop. Local staff maintains a vital local network and contributes to the understanding of ongoing and developing situations on the ground.
In addition, to further enhance access to up-to-the-minute information in crisis situations, AMIDEAST contracts with iJET: Intelligent Risk Systems, to offer certain services directly to AMIDEAST students. Lastly, an internal communication system links AMIDEAST Headquarters in Washington, DC, with field offices in the Middle East and North Africa, and key staff members are available at all times to respond to emergency situations. AMIDEAST Staff also provides information to students about how to register with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Where will I live?
In Rabat, students live with carefully selected Arabic speaking host families. Many families also speak French. Families generally host two AMIDEAST students at a time. Not only will students observe invaluable insight into daily Moroccan life and culture, they are also immersed in the language while inside the home.
Will I eat every meal with my homestay family?
All meals are provided by the home-stay family although there may be times that students cannot return home for a lunch due to their class schedule. Dickinson students will receive a board credit on their Dickinson student account to assist with lunch expenses as well as a transportation credit. It is expected that you will use the excess money available to you for your food and transportation expenses while studying abroad. Please note that no stipends will be dispersed in Rabat; you must plan to have access to these funds while studying abroad.
Should I bring a gift to my homestay family?
It is always a nice gesture to bring your new host family a small token from your hometown or region and as an initial ‘thank you’ for having you in their home. You could also bring them something from Dickinson.
What if I don’t like my homestay family?
If there is an issue with an aspect of your housing arrangement, it is always best to try to resolve this first with the family (to the best of your ability) to respectfully explain any issues you are having. Many times simply addressing an issue with the family is the best way to create a positive change. You are encouraged to talk to the AMIDEAST staff if there is an on-going problem and they will be happy to talk to the family or mediate a conversation.
How will I access the internet?
The AMIDEAST Rabat office, where classrooms and administrative offices are located, has wireless internet access for study abroad students. Students may either use the computers in the office or bring their own laptops and use the network in the AMIDEAST Study Abroad room during open hours. Host families may have a computer with Internet access that is shared with the entire family that they may allow you to use. Rabat also has many relatively cheap Internet cafes. Please keep in mind that internet may not be as fast or as consistent as you are used to in the U.S. Students are advised to bring their own laptops if possible.
Are internships available?
Traditional internships are not available on the AMIDEAST program; however, volunteer and community based work placements are available to students enrolled in MENA 390: Community Based Learning. The purpose of the CBL course is not to provide work experience for students but rather for them to have the opportunity to interact with Moroccans in work environments. In turn, this acts as a window to help students better understand various aspects of Moroccan culture as they are manifested in the workplace.
Can I conduct research while abroad?
Students may be able to conduct research abroad under the guidance of a Dickinson advisor. The Student International Research Fund (SIRF) was established to help students with extra travel costs associated with independent research projects. Students are encouraged to present their research at the International Research Symposium when they return to campus.
What is a visa?
A visa is a document, normally affixed within your passport, which allows you to enter a country and stay for the duration of your program. The requirements for the visa and visa process are controlled by the government of the country you are entering, are non-negotiable, and can change regularly.
Do I need a visa?
US citizens do not need a visa to enter Morocco, but you will need to obtain a student visa to stay for longer than 90 days. AMIDEAST staff will assist you in extending your original entry permission while you are in Morocco.
How do I get a visa?
When you enter Morocco, you will do so on a three-month tourist visa. AMIDEAST staff will assist you in extending this visa to last the appropriate time.
How much does a visa cost?
There is no additional charge to extend the three-month tourist visa.
If I’m not a U.S. passport holder, do I need a visa?
You will need to do your own research on visa requirements for citizens of your home country to study in Morocco. The CGSE may be able to help you with the required documents. Also, you will need to inform Marlee Meikrantz and Jackie Wong that you will be studying outside of the United States and discuss how you will remain in valid F-1 status during your studies abroad.
Global Ambassadors are returning study abroad students who serve as peer advisors for their program. Please feel free to contact them for a student perspective.
My name is Jessica Lowenstein and I studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco during the spring 2014. I am a Middle East Studies major with a focus on Arabic. I plan to work for the U.S. Department of State creating sustainable diplomacy and initiatives within the MENA region. One of my favorite academic activities was during my Arab Spring class. Our professor was an expert in the field and regularly spoke on television about it. One day he brought some of the activists that were at the forefront of the protests in Rabat. The next week, we toured around the city to see where the activists met and planned protests. Amideast is too small to have student organizations but once a week or so we would have cultural dialogues with Moroccan students on topics ranging from gender to politics. We also had language partners to meet with weekly and practice our Arabic or French. I spent a lot of time wandering around the medina, shopping, and chatting with store owners. I also traveled a lot and saw many different cities in Morocco including Tangier, Marrakech, and Merzouga which is one of the major cities for camel treks into the Sahara Desert. I really like Morocco and arranged an internship for myself at my host family's language school so I could return for the summer.
For more information, please contact:
Center for Global Study and Engagement
Prof. Ed Webb, Faculty Coordinator
Departments of Political Science and International Studies
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013