IES Abroad Rabat – Study in Rabat

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Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, IES Abroad has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

Video and Photos

Students pose for a fun photo
Students pose for a fun photo
Students go for a hike in nature
Students go for a hike in nature
Architecture in Rabat
Architecture in Rabat
Students go shopping in Rabat
Students go shopping in Rabat
Students enjoy a traditional dinner
Students enjoy a traditional dinner
Atlantic Ocean in Rabat, Morocco
Atlantic Ocean in Rabat, Morocco
Sahara visit
Sahara visit
Lanterns in Meknes

About

Delve into the fascinating layers of this North African nation as you learn Modern Standard Arabic with courses at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Learn Colloquial Moroccan Arabic to communicate with local Moroccans, and if you have already taken advanced French, you can take French-taught area studies courses at the IES Abroad Center or local universities. Our area studies courses focus on North African and Islamic Studies and introduce you to the many influential forces shaping the history and culture of Morocco.

Rabat will also be your classroom. Rich in cultural heritage and a diverse population, Morocco has been influenced by many different ethnic, cultural, and religious groups that have settled in the country throughout its long history. Visit historic treasures like the Rabat Archaeological Museum, the Hassan Mosque, and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V to see ancient artifacts and learn more about the Islamic culture. Welcome to study abroad!

Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

Value
$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

89%
based on 16 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 7.6
  • Safety 8.1
Showing 1 - 8 of 16
Default avatar
Mae
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Wonderful Challenge

My semester in Morocco with IES Abroad Rabat was rich in culture, language, and learning. It pushed me to think in new ways and step out of my comfort zone. I had the opportunity to take a course at the University Mohammad V in Rabat which allowed me to learn about the university system there, which is significantly more chaotic than in the United States! The faculty at IES Abroad are the top in their respective fields, whether that is literature, language, or religion and they care about their students and welcome them with open arms. My host family was so kind and welcoming, and I was able to foster a close relationship that I hope will last. Morocco contains so much history and knowledge so it was worth the daily exhaustion that comes from living in a very different culture from the United States. We got to see different regions of the country through program-sponsored trips, and I particularly enjoyed the Sahara trip and seeing Volubilis, and ancient Roman city. IES also helped me arrange an internship at an AIDS hospital, which was an incredible learning experience and allowed me to see another part of Moroccan culture. I will take this experience with me through the rest of my time in college and even into my career, as I gained invaluable intercultural skills and understanding.

What would you improve about this program?
I would add more psychological/emotional support from the program. It was a challenging place and it would have been nice to have a professional staff member to talk to that wasn't also running other parts of the program so they could more fully support students.
Default avatar
Lara
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An incredible academic and cultural experience!

My study abroad in Rabat, Morocco was unlike any academic or cultural experience I'd ever had before. In a city rich with religion, language, and life, the history and culture of Morocco were embedded into every corner, every view and every interaction I had. Along with taking relevant courses on North African politics, North African cultural identities, and media in the Middle East, all taught by Moroccan professors, my study abroad experience was enhanced through the opportunity to participate in a part-time internship with a local organization. Also, through my experience living with a host family and the relationship I cultivated with them, I was able to experience what felt like a much more authentic reality and integration into Morocco. IES Abroad Rabat also did a fantastic job of hosting weekly cultural events and organized numerous group trips to different cities and regions across Morocco; some of my favorites included Chefchaouen and the Sahara Desert! This experience not only allowed me to further explore academic interests in North African post-colonial politics but also develop personal ties in the exploration of potential career paths that could take me back to Morocco.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be prepared to be uncomfortable! It isn't always easy, and it isn't always fun, but I promise that it is so, so worth it.
Default avatar
Yara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Rabat: Couscous & Sunsets

Although Morocco was always where I wanted to study abroad, I couldn’t decide between two extremely prominent, strong programs (IES being one of them). I was even finishing my other application when I found IES. However, from its website alone, I could tell that IES was a transparent, direct program that provided students with the aid and information needed to successfully study abroad. This ended up being the deciding factor when I chose IES.

IES Abroad’s direct communication and desire to help students only improved when I arrived in Rabat. Although I expected more pre-departure information regarding class schedules, etc. it became clear once I arrived that some information simply couldn’t be provided until we were there, especially with housing in the medina (Rabat’s old city). Despite this, we were taken care of every step of the way. Each professor was always willing to help us understand different subjects, even if it wasn’t their teaching material, were so great about giving travel tips, and other advice as well. They were so eager to help and really, genuinely cared about our learning experiences. The staff did as well, and our coordinator worked (literally) day and night to make sure we were always doing okay, from having check-in meetings, to homstay inspections, to always responding to our WhatsApp messages, to even just hanging out and talking with us in the center. Our experiences in Morocco were improved a thousand times over because of her hard work, which often went hand in hand with the director’s work. Although he was always really busy, he always found a moment to help us out, even with figuring out travel plans. The faculty and staff at IES Rabat played a huge role in helping us feel comfortable during our time in Morocco.

Beyond school though, Morocco was more beautiful and inviting than I could have imagined. I eventually grew accustomed to the bustle of the medina’s main roads, and felt comforted hearing shop owners calling out their prices as food sizzled on grills in the background. We laughed with taxi drivers, bargained with shop owners, and bantered with the waiters at our regular cafe, who always wished us the best in our time there. I’m still so grateful for the way Morocco welcomed us, and for how its people, and especially my host family, extended their hospitality through food, sarcastic (but loving) jokes, and joy at our immersion in the culture. Each experience was improved so much by the people, and when I think of the times I miss in Morocco, I find that what I miss most is the people that were there, and how they made each memory so much better.

I don’t think I’ll ever know how to fully show my appreciation for my time in Morocco, but I do know that I’ve been home for over a month, and I still think about its beauty every day. I can’t recommend this program, or this country, enough as one of the most rewarding places to study abroad and learn about so many different topics that are rarely discussed in the Western world. I can never thank IES enough, and I know that someday I’ll be back to Morocco for its food, sunsets, and adventure again.

Default avatar
B
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Found It All in Morocco

Rabat, Morocco was not the first place I thought I'd be when studying abroad in Spring. But it was the place that brought forth everything I was looking for in a study abroad experience.

1) I wanted a cultural encompassment. I wanted to learn from a perspective outside of the Western scenario I’d grown up in all my life. How does a little difference highlight the gems of human life? How does it question our unquestioned habits?

In Morocco I learned that difference is the warmest reason for people to reach out and connect to each other. A little willingness to speak Darija, the local dialect, and every Moroccan I met wanted to have a conversation. My host family was my real family, with astounding hospitality I could never have expected. The religion I most often heard about in news allegations at home became a cultural foundation rich in history, art, science, and morality.

2) I wanted a vibrant experience. To see lots of color, pleasing architecture, and varied nature surroundings. To taste delicious food as the true foodie I am. To surround myself in beautiful difference as loud as my senses could experience.

In Rabat, I met the land of color. Where every wall, floor, and pillow can be a different pattern and official buildings were never bland. If you love food, you will LOVE Rabat. My host mom prepared every meal for her family and encouraged me to try new things. My walk home was a path of temptation from bakeries, sandwich shops, smoothie stands, fresh fruit carts. The U.S. dollar was worth about 9 Moroccan Dirhams, adding to how inexpensive it was to eat. I could enjoy a restaurant meal and dessert for less than 10 USD.

3) Coming from a wintery U.S. university, I wanted to be warm by the beach!

Welcome to Rabat, where a jacket will do from January to April, and May was finally warm enough spend a day at by the water. Being so close to the ocean was amazing! If you study here, be sure to take advantage of the view, the sunscapes, soccer on the beach, and more.

4) I wanted travel opportunities and the chance for all kinds of cities and nature.

Who knew Morocco is a gradient of desert, mountain, and forest terrains. Rabat’s location was excellent for reaching well known Moroccan cities for under $40 both ways. The ONCF train system made it very easy to travel. There was a train station only about a 15 minute walk from the IES center. Once in a city, I could stay in a hostel for $10 a night or split an Airbnb with friends.

5) Probably my BIGGEST reason for studying abroad was language-related. I wanted to continue learning French with native speakers.

Living in Morocco meant I could start learning standard Arabic, another language goal of mine. Here I could see what it was like to live in a society where most people speak about three languages. The language dynamics and feeling on multilingualism was amazing. Moroccans were so encouraging to non-native speakers who tried to communicate. Morocco is rewarding place to learn a new language if you’re nervous about practicing. For learning standard Arabic with no prior experience, this program was a gift. I had one of the best professors who was patient, determined, and informative of the language.

I communicated in French with my host family, took three classes in French (1 was at the local university), and sometimes used French to talk to barter or order food. Overall, I began to feel like Darija was the language of choice for the Moroccans I encountered. My host family spoke with each other in Darija, and not every Moroccan spoke French, which was often treated as a more academic or prestigious language. I was surrounded by both French and Arabic writing.

I wouldn’t say Morocco is the best place to learn French if you want to really engage with the people there. It was a good place to practice using the French I already knew with confidence. In this way, I know I improved in my pragmatic French skills. I would still like to live somewhere where I had no choice but to speak French with locals all the time.

~~~And that is why I give a grateful shout-out to the Everything that Morocco brought me.

What would you improve about this program?
For my experience, I would improve the
Default avatar
Gregory
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rabat Summer 2017

I traveled with IES Abroad to Morocco for a seven-week intensive language program over the summer. In total, the trip was excellent. The program excels at cultural and linguistic immersion, with classes taught solely in the focus language and an important homestay and cultural activity component.
Predeparture, the information provided seemed a bit sparse, but upon arrival it became clear that things like homestay address were inherently difficult to provide. Upon arrival, the staff was very helpful with cultural integration and navigating the new locale.

Academically, the language-intensive program was very beneficial. The MSA teachers were excellent at teaching Arabic to English-speaking learners. The homestay structure was incredibly useful for learning the language as well.

Overall, I would highly recommend this program.

What would you improve about this program?
Pre-departure information can be more thorough, though as mentioned the nature of that information makes this difficult. Additionally, cultural activities can be more varied in nature.
Default avatar
Emma
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing immersive experience

Experiencing Morocco with IES Abroad was life-changing to say the least. Not only was I paired with the most wonderful host family imaginable, but the program also arranged immersive travel experiences to the Sahara and to a remote Amazigh village. The staff at the IES Center in Rabat were welcoming and ready to help whenever we needed it. They also went to great lengths to have genuine connections with my fellow students and me throughout our time in Morocco, helping us to feel comfortable enough to ask questions and seek advice. On the administrative end of things, IES made every aspect of the experience really easy to understand. From the moment I submitted my application, a very coordinated system of knowledgeable people made sure that I was always in the know about scholarship opportunities, deadlines, updates, safety information, and useful tips. Moreover, IES offers plentiful opportunities to go above and beyond the regular program structure through opportunities to participate in internships, take classes at the local university, and research.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that the cell phone policy could be re-thought. We were all required to invest in a cheap phone that could call Moroccan numbers, but the phones were difficult to keep track of and lost charge quickly. I think it would be better to allow students to become aware of the different ways to stay in communication (whatsapp credits, for example) so that it meets the needs of each student.
Jada
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One Semester, a Lifetime Change

For many people, Morocco is not the first choice destination for study abroad, and I can understand why.
The Language, the cultural norms, and the location is different and does take time to adjust to. However, it is not impossible to find yourself really acclimating to the Moroccan lifestyle--which is a vibrant blend of chaos, fast driving, embraces, street food, singing, dancing, bargaining, coffee shops, and diversity.
IES Abroad in Rabat does a wonderful job of providing enough resources and support for students to ease into living in Morocco, while also giving us the freedom to move around, explore, and learn on our own.
The first ten days of Orientation equip students with helpful phrases in survival Arabic and explanations of cultural practices. The Program trips are well planned out and exhibit different places and cultures within Morocco. The program also provides a lot of support when it comes to homestays, from the vetting of possible hosts to checking up with students throughout the semester about their happiness with their host family. Everybody is always happy and content with their families. With such a safe support system, it empowers students to not be afraid of the foreignness of Morocco and really get out there and explore. Exploration was my favorite part of my time abroad. I had quite a few crazy nights/adventures: clubbing in Marakesh, randomly meeting friendly Moroccan youth in Rabat and traveling to little known cool spots, traveling to beach towns and throwing house parties, eating the best couscous of my life after a long day in exploring in Jaam'a Lefna. All this was possible due to the endless hospitality of the Moroccan people, and the support of the IES staff, who give you to the tools to travel Morocco with confidence.

What would you improve about this program?
I would prefer if the program provided students with a more comprehensive academic schedule earlier on in the semester, so that everybody understood the expectations and when finals would take place.
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Chloe
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience in the Maghreb

IES Abroad Rabat Summer Studies program was a great experience for me. It was the perfect opportunity for me to use and improve my French in an academic setting as well as pick up some Moroccan Arabic. While I was participating in the program, I also got to experience Ramadan, which was an interesting opportunity to learn more about Islam and its practices. My host family spoke good French but was really encouraging and helped me practice my Arabic every night.

The field study in Senegal is also a major benefit of this program. Before going on the program, I had studied French for several years but wanted to expand my horizons and experiences cultures much different from my own. Morocco offered many fascinating cultural experiences, but my personal growth was definitely multiplied by our stay in Dakar. It changed my previously held views about North and West Africa. If you’re interested in learning more about the Francophone world, I highly recommend this program.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish I had more time to explore Morocco. Every weekend, my friends and I would travel outside of Rabat to different cities and places in the country, like the Sahara and Meknes, but there was still more to see! Also, since it's a summer class, the day is mostly taken up by classes so there isn't as much time for cultural immersion.