Morocco: Mountains & Cultures High School Summer Program

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Carefully balanced mounds of spices - red, green, brown and deep ochre - flank narrow paths winding through a living labyrinth. Wandering through a Moroccan “souq” (market place) framed by the ancient walls of city medinas, you are sure to think that you have entered another era.

Though Morocco shows us a land of great differences, we come to see how religion and culture connect indigenous Amazigh (Berber) and Arab peoples. Our time in Morocco provides us wonderful opportunities to learn about the history and tradition of this, often characterized as mystical, Muslim culture. Whether outside an intricately decorated mosque in Casablanca or walking an unpaved road in a quiet mountain town, we often hear the call to prayer, and are reminded five times a day that among the vastly disparate lives of Morocco’s people, Islamic culture, faith, and devotion continue to bring families and communities together as it has for over 1300 years.

  • Exploration of the culture, practices, and philosophy of contemporary and historical Islam through local visits, speakers, and observations.
  • Spend time in a rural home-stay, with an additional possible stay with an urban family and/or people in a High Atlas mountain village.
  • Study Moroccan colloquial Arabic through regular language lessons emphasizing oral communication skills. Learn to write the Arabic alphabet and get a short introduction to one of the indigenous dialects.
  • Spend multiple days trekking in the beautiful and rarely visited High Atlas Mountains; either in the remote nomadic region of the Imilchil Lakes or in traverse of the M'Goun Massif in the central High Atlas mountains. ABOUT COMPONENTS ENROLL
  • Examine the diversity that exists throughout Morocco: urban/rural, Arab /indigenous, mountains/desert, progressive/traditional, and influences of Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East.

Questions & Answers


based on 2 reviews
  • Growth 10
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.5
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Where There Be Dragons: Morocco

I had the amazing opportunity of going on the Where There Be Dragons Morocco Trip not too long ago. I walked into JFK having not met the instructors or students, yet minutes later, I knew that the next thirty days I would be spending with them would be unforgettable. The people I went with and met along the way, I continue to keep in contact with, and have no doubts in calling them some of the most genuinely wonderful people I have ever met. I could write about the trip for hours, but from counting shooting stars on the roof of riads, walking across the sand in Sidi Kaouki and capping off each trekking day with conversations I hold dear, I would unquestionably return to Morocco any time. I think about this trip almost everyday, and how it only furthered my love for travel. Morocco was a marvel that I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

Yes, I recommend this program

My Summer In Morocco

I wish I can sum up my experience in Morocco under one review, but I'm afraid I would physically need Moroccan mint tea or a recording of the sound of Moroccan Arabic in the souks for me to tell you what it is like to go there. So, I'll talk about one of my countless favorite moments.

When we were staying in Azrou, all with our own host families, I really learned the challenges of traveling but also the "type" of traveling I want to do. I lived in a house that had your traditional Turkish toilet, with just a hole on the ground and a bathroom where I took my bucket showers. I didn’t have my own room and shared it with three of my sisters. As someone who values privacy and independence, this was definitely an uncomfortable experience in the first days. None of my family members also spoke English, and just spoke Arabic and French, which was difficult especially when I had to advocate for rest time or alone time. However, this was just in the first days. After some time, I learned to be more appreciative of the discomfort. Not having anyone speak English in my home allowed me to utilize my phrase book and body language to communicate. I learned about my host sister’s passion for human rights, her beliefs on feminism, and her boyfriend, all in broken Arabic, English, French, and hand motions. In the same time, having to share a room with my sisters helped me become more aware of the amount of space I take, not just physically. I realized that often times, when we stay at a hotel or something, we just drop all our stuff and feel like we own the place. Even with the small amount of stuff that I had packed in one backpack, I still felt like I was taking a lot of space in staying in my family’s house. This realization, although small, has really helped me realize that for us to really immerse and learn about another’s culture, we need to pack less, take less space, listen.

As I write this I am in a café in Mexico for a trimester abroad, and my experiences in Morocco really helped me realize how I want to travel and be immersed. Despite my beginner-level Spanish, I feel confident trying out my Spanish because I know despite not having a shared language, there is always a way to communicate. I also pack less now and left more space for the important things I pick up during my trip. And with all the challenges that studying abroad entails, I am now more aware and appreciative of my discomforts because I know these are places for learning.

Dragons definitely has a unique way of traveling, something that I wish more programs can do. In just under 4 weeks, I was able to learn so much about myself, the culture, the language, and it all continues to be useful where I go.

Yes, I recommend this program

About Where There Be Dragons

Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly...