• Morocco
    • Rabat
Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Subject Areas
African Studies Anthropology History Media Relations Political Science Religious Studies Sociology

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Apartment Host Family


Starting Price
Price Details
Includes tuition, health insurance, excursions, and orientation.
What's Included
Some Activities Classes Travel Insurance
What's Not Included
Accommodation Some Activities Airfare Meals Transportation Visa
Feb 20, 2020
Dec 26, 2018
2 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The Middlebury School in Morocco is designed for students with high intermediate proficiency in Arabic, who adhere to the Middlebury Language Pledge while studying abroad. By promising to speak only Arabic while in Rabat, students have the best chance of acquiring fluency and actively engaging in the local environment. All coursework is conducted in the Arabic, and students take their courses in a variety of subjects, from advanced Arabic classes including Moroccan Colloquial Arabic to electives in North African Studies.

The program is based at Mohammed V University, which was founded in 1957 as the first modern university in Morocco. As a city which has hosted a mix of Berber, Arab, African, and European peoples for thousands of years, Rabat offers an excellent environment for cross-cultural exchange.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • All course work is conducted entirely in Arabic
  • Students adhere to the Middlebury College Language Pledge
  • Housing with host families
  • Internships for full-year students in their second semester
  • Co-curricular excursions and activities

Related Programs

Program Reviews

9 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 71.43%
  • 7-8 rating 28.57%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.4
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Yes, I recommend this program


This program was really challenging because I came in with a lower level of Arabic but they were able to create another MSA class to accommodate my level. However, because I was at a lower level, my other classes and the language pledge were really challenging because those were still at a higher level. My professors were able to help me overcome many of those initial challenges because of the small size of the program. I had a really great host family who helped me practice my speaking and listening and respected my space. The city of Rabat is big enough so you do not get bored but not too big that you are overwhelmed. I would recommend this program to anyone who is looking to really grow academically and personally through their study abroad experience. However it is not a program for someone looking for an easy semester.

What would you improve about this program?
1. Better structured content courses
2. More pre departure materials
3. Better respect of students' time
14 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A rigorous and enjoyable opportunity for Arabic learners

I had the pleasure of studying at the Middlebury School in Rabat in the fall of 2018. Due to Middlebury’s language pledge you speak in Arabic all the time, which can be a challenge, but is an incredible opportunity for increasing language skills. My professors were phenomenal, some of the best I have had anywhere. Over the course of four months I was able to see exponential growth in my Arabic skills. The administrators are also terrific. They are very involved and willing to work with students to make sure their needs are being met. Rabat was also an excellent place to study. Quieter than many of the other cities in Morocco, Rabat is much less touristy, while still beautiful (especially along the coast), and gave a better sense of Moroccan life. Additionally, as the capital, Rabat has tremendous resources in the form of libraries, museums, and organizational headquarters.

What would you improve about this program?
Host families can be somewhat hit or miss. There was a wide range in the quality of accomadations, but each year the program reviews its families so the set will only improve over time.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic program and learning opportunity

I really loved my experience abroad with Middlebury. Middlebury is a great program - the Director, the Resident Coordinator, and the professors were amazing, caring, and very passionate - the whole program felt like a family the whole time. There was definitely more work than at other programs in Rabat, but I thought it was helpful because we learned a lot. Middlebury has a language pledge which meant that we were only allowed to speak Arabic, and all 4 of my classes were in Arabic. When I was there I took Darija (dialect), Fusha, Moroccan
Media Culture, and Berber Society, all of which I liked a lot. Although the day from Monday through Thursday could be long, there was no class on Friday, so weekends were relaxing. My Arabic and Darija really improved because of the individualized focus and practice I was able to get while there.

When I wasn't in class or on program excursions, Rabat was an amazing city to hang out in! I spent a lot of time with my host family, who were very kind and fun. I also ended up making a lot of Moroccan friends - Moroccans are super friendly and will befriend you if you are out and about and talk to them, and there is a large college-aged community (go to Renaissance Cafe on Monday nights!). I liked that we weren't always with the program and that we had freedom in the evenings and most weekends to do activities that interested us - it never felt like we were being handheld by Middlebury, but Middlebury was always there to support us if we needed it.

I would 100% recommend this program for the academic opportunity and the chance to be a part of life in Rabat.

What would you improve about this program?
We spent a lot of time in class which could sometimes mean the day was super long, but I think it was necessary for the language gains.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great opportunity to immerse yourself in a beautiful North African country

I studied in Morocco for two semesters. It was a wonderful experience. Morocco is a beautiful country where everything is relatively cheap, so there are a lot of opportunities for travel, eating out on a regular basis is doable and the food is great, and you'll meet a lot of interesting and welcoming people. The program itself offers a unique opportunity to study both Standard Arabic and Moroccan Arabic in a setting where you later have the chance to put those skills to use. The people that work in the program are always accessible and more than willing to help, and in my experience do their best to make everyone feel at home.

What would you improve about this program?
With time things will only get better.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Unique program for ambitious, gifted students

I have completed three language programs with Middlebury college, two summer intensives in California and the study abroad program in Rabat, Morocco. The distinguishing component is the Language Pledge, a strictly (but kindly) enforced policy which forbids use of any language other than the target language. Without a doubt, leaving your native tounge behind is the best and fastest way to learn any language, and Middlebury provides the structure and support to do just that over the course of a semester or a year. While I opted to move to a village in the Atlas Mountains in order to conduct research, but there is no way I could have do e that without the invaluable instruction I received at Middlebury. I couldn't recommend the program enough if your main goal is language learning. That said it is very challenging, so if your goal is to hangout on the beach in Morocco you will be disappointed. But if you would like to return with excellent Arabic skills, this is the program for you!

What would you improve about this program?
The facilities at University Muhammed V are lacking a bit, but I hear quite a few improvements since I was there.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great program, great experience

I was in Morocco for the entire academic year and it was run very well, especially since it was only the first year of the program. The coordinator and director of the program make sure that the host families and apartments are in line, and academics are very well handled, as they are rigorous and the professors chosen are capable of explaining material in Arabic to non native speakers. The director and coordinator are very responsive to students' needs and are very personable; I did not feel alone because of them. The program was not perfect, as sometimes there were some scheduling issues with tests and some issues with some professors, but considering that it was the first year of the program it was very well run.

What would you improve about this program?
Changing professors and scheduling tests and research papers, although since I went the program has already improved on these aspects
16 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A growing program for students serious about Arabic

I studied in Rabat one semester after the program started in Fall, 2017 and was beyond impressed by how well-run and organized the program was. The two program directors make themselves very accessible: they're fun, attentive, and very serious about what they do. The program is full immersion, meaning all your classes are in Arabic. Despite misunderstandings with one of my professors, I felt culturally and linguistically comfortable in my classes, all of which I took with other Americans.

One major misconception about studying in Morocco is that learning Darija is impossible and ultimately useless if you'd like to end up in the Middle East. I do consider Darija challenging, but you can get around Morocco easily with MSA and, in the end, this experience is only one year (or semester) of your Arabic-learning adventure out of maybe 10 if your goal is to become fluent.

I loved my host family and still talk to them often. Hospitality is very important in Morocco, and my host family made an effort to include me in their parties and group outings while still giving me space. Not everyone felt the same--it's kind of a matter of luck--but you can talk to the program directors if you feel that you and your host family aren't a great match.

I really enjoyed living in Rabat. It's a small, safe city that has a growing art and youth culture (still small), and scenic, un-touristy neighborhoods. Traveling in Morocco is super easy and cheap--a train ticket to Marrakesh costs $12 and the trip takes three hours. Pretty beach towns are only about an hour away. Overall, I really enjoyed my experience and would recommend the program to anyone looking to improve their Arabic.

What would you improve about this program?
A female mentor would have been a helpful resource since both the directors are male. I also would have appreciated more opportunities to meet Moroccan students; our only connection to the university was through the language partner program. Some of the teachers need training in how to teach non-native Arabic speakers.
16 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers