AMIDEAST programs are designed to provide excellence in Arabic language study and area studies. AMIDEAST programs provide Arabic language instruction in both Modern Standard and colloquial Arabic, program-related excursions, student centered academics, and other activities designed to develop students’ intercultural and global competence. AMIDEAST programs also include ample opportunities to interact with local university students through facilitated dialogue discussions with students from local universities and language partners. In addition, each program is coordinated by an AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program Manager familiar with the local environment to coordinate housing, orientation, excursions, issues discussions, and other program-related activities.
AMIDEAST is distinguished by its small program size and student focused staff. Students are given opportunities to get involved in aspects of Moroccan life that they might not know to look for otherwise. AMIDEAST is also known and respected for its work with Moroccans (teaching English, administering valuable tests, etc.), not only for bringing Americans to study. Enrolling in an AMIDEAST program is also joining a recognized and locally valued organization.
AMIDEAST purposely keeps our groups small in order to maximize the faculty/staff to student ratio. In small groups we find that students are able to get to know one another and the community in which they live. On average, our programs have 15-35 students, with a maximum enrollment of 40 students. This program size allows staff to work closely with each student throughout the semester. While most program participants are from the U.S., you may also have classmates from other countries (e.g., Australia, Italy, Japan, Latvia). Similar to the overall group, AMIDEAST class sizes are kept small to maximize student learning.
Students are responsible for making sure their home institution is willing to grant credit for the program prior to enrolling. Each institution has a different transfer credit process and AMIDEAST staff will provide documentation and other information to help you complete the process at your institution. If your home institution requires a transcript from an institution accredited in the U.S., you may opt to receive a transcript from AMIDEAST’s Institution of Record, Northeastern University, for an additional fee of $350.
AMIDEAST class sizes are kept small to maximize student learning and your classmates will be among the other students on your AMIDEAST program, from a variety of academic institutions in the United States. Classes are mainly taught at the AMIDEAST center unless otherwise specified. Courses are generally 3 credits unless otherwise specified, with a work load comparable to rigorous U.S. universities. See below for more details for specific programs.
Area & Arabic Language Studies in Morocco (Semester/Academic Year)
Students enroll in four or five courses (14-17 credits) per semester. While the majority of classes are held at the AMIDEAST office, some humanities and social science classes may be held at the Mohammed V campus. Area & Arabic Language Studies students enroll a Modern Standard Arabic (5 credits) and Colloquial Arabic (3 credits) course. In addition, students will take two or three electives (depending on a student’s preference) which are offered from a variety of disciplines. All courses are taught exclusively for the AMIDEAST program, and students take classes only with other program participants. The humanities and social science courses are usually conducted as lectures; however, there is a great deal of interaction with the professors. Arabic classes are highly interactive, with the focus on improving your proficiency. This is a rigorous program and the volume of assignments will be comparable to upper division courses at a U.S. institution.
Regional Studies in French (Semester/Academic Year)
Students may take a 15-credit course load or 17-credit course load. With 15 credits, students enroll in four content courses taught exclusively in French, as well as a 3-credit Moroccan Arabic course. For 17 credits, students enroll in three French-language content courses as well as an 8-credit Arabic course combining Modern Standard Arabic and Moroccan Arabic. Students must have at least intermediate-mid proficiency in French on the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) scale to enroll in the program. Classes are taught at either AMIDEAST’s Agdal facilities or the College of Letters and Humanities of Mohammed V University – Agdal.
Al-Akhawayn University (Semester/Academic Year)
Students direct enroll at Al-Akhawayn University (AUI) in Ifrane, Morocco, in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. AUI is an American-style, English language university, with 1000+ students. AMIDEAST students will also have a 3-week pre-session in Rabat, where they will take a 3-credit course in Moroccan Arabic and Culture at AMIDEAST’s Agdal facilities and live with a Moroccan host family. All AUI courses are taught on the university campus and students live in the residences with other full-time students.
Intensive Arabic in Rabat (Summer)
The Summer Intensive Arabic Programs in Rabat, Morocco offers Modern Standard Arabic programs in two 4-week sessions. The Intensive Arabic program is highly interactive, with five contact hours of Arabic language instruction each day, five days a week for a total of 100 hours of Arabic during each four-week session. Students receive 80 hours of instruction in Modern Standard Arabic, covering the material usually taught in one semester on a U.S. campus and 20 hours in Moroccan Arabic. Students should expect to spend a minimum of 3 additional hours per day on homework. Classes are held at AMIDEAST’s office in Agdal and are taught by AMIDEAST’s Arabic language faculty.
Most of your classes will be in AMIDEAST’s building in Rabat’s Agdal district. Some humanities and social science classes also may be held at the Mohammed V University campus. The AMIDEAST office is located close to coffee shops, fast food restaurants, cafés and shopping. AMIDEAST has classrooms, a computer lab, wireless Internet, offices for program staff, a small program library, and space for students to relax.
AMIDEAST’s full-time program staffs have extensive knowledge of the countries in which they work and provide unparalleled academic and cultural support to students during their time abroad.
AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs in Morocco are taught by a select group of Moroccan professors from a variety of institutions in and around Rabat. These lecturers possess a strong instructional experience in English-speaking environments. All faculty members have either earned post-graduate degrees from North American or European universities, or have spent considerable time at English-medium institutions as students, faculty members, visiting faculty or visiting researchers.
Courses are graded on a 4.0 scale using the U.S. letter grade system.
Students in Morocco receive an official transcript issued from AMIDEAST’s Academic Partner: Mohammed V University-Agdal in Rabat. One transcript will be sent to your university while one copy will remain with AMIDEAST. Alternatively, students can request a transcript issued by AMIDEAST’s Institution of Record, Northeastern University, for an additional fee of $350.
Yes, but not insurmountable difficulties. You will study colloquial Arabic as a required course and will quickly learn enough to ask and understand the basic questions and responses to routine conversation. As the program progresses, your proficiency will increase and your difficulties will lessen. You will also find that a significant number of Moroccans speak enough English to help you if you cannot make yourself understood in Arabic. While in Morocco you will have ample opportunity to learn and practice Arabic with your host family and people you encounter.
Beginning and intermediate French are not offered as part of the program.
We currently offer several French courses as part of the Regional Studies in French program in Rabat. Area & Arabic Language Studies participants are able to take one of these courses if they desire and have an appropriate level of French. These courses are intended for advanced students of the language who are prepared to take a course that is taught entirely in French. Enrollment in the course is dependent on the results of a French language placement exam that will be administered during orientation. Typically, students must have successfully completed at least 2 years of college-level French in order to place into these courses.
The program fee covers pre-departure preparation, in-country orientation, tuition, housing, main meals (provided by host families or by stipend for students in dorms), program-organized excursions, supplementary lectures and special events, and medical insurance (including medical evacuation and repatriation, and political and security evacuation coverage).
Students are responsible for international airfare, local transportation costs (aside from transportation to and from the airport), extra meals/food, textbooks, travel insurance, optional excursions, communication and other personal expenses.
Although our programs operate in areas of the world where the cost-of-living is significantly less than in the U.S. or Europe, we do suggest that students appropriately budget for spending money during their time abroad. The amount of spending money a student will need depends on spending habits and travel plans. Students are also responsible for phone and internet costs, outside of the AMIDEAST facilities, incurred while on the program. It is considered very thoughtful to bring small gifts to give to friends you may meet during your time abroad. Please refer to the cost section of the program on the website. There will also be more detailed information provided in your student handbook which will help you estimate the exact amount of spending money you should bring.
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. Traveler’s checks provide added security but are not recommended as they are not widely accepted and the exchange rate is much worse. 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.
AMIDEAST offers scholarship opportunities to students participating in our Education Abroad programs. For more information, including eligibility and application process for AMIDEAST Scholarships as well as links to external scholarship opportunities please visit the scholarships section of our website. The scholarship application deadline is usually the same as the program application deadline.
Yes, if you happen to be a U.S. citizen, you will be eligible for a larger number of awards as well as U.S. federal financial aid, which can be used for study abroad programs. Sometimes aid is also reserved specifically for non-U.S. citizens. You need to make sure the university is clear about your citizenship in advance so that you receive the correct financial aid information and forms.
Student safety is our number one priority. AMIDEAST has been working in Egypt for nearly 60 years, Jordan for 50 years, and Morocco for 40 years. AMIDEAST maintains a close relationship with U.S. Embassies in the region and you will be required to register with the embassy prior to departure. AMIDEAST staff members constantly monitor the political and security situation in host countries and in other surrounding countries in the region.In order to further enhance our access to up-to-the-minute information in crisis situations, AMIDEAST contracts with a company called iJET: Intelligent Risk Systems. iJET’s mission is to protect international travelers through the use of technology and intelligence. In addition to providing AMIDEAST with risk assessment reports on a regular basis, iJET also gives us the ability to immediately communicate with students and staff in the event of an emergency situation.
All students on AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs are able to access the iJET website for background information on their local community and other places they may be visiting. Detailed information about iJET and the services available will be communicated shortly before your departure for the program country.
Should a situation develop that presents a specific security risk, appropriate action, within well-defined emergency response plans, will be taken in consultation with U.S. Embassy and Department of State officials, with whom AMIDEAST maintains a close relationship. On arrival in your host country all students are provided with a cell phone so that AMIDEAST staff can contact you (and you can contact them) at any time in case of an emergency.
All students are covered by political and security evacuation insurance by HTH Worldwide Insurance, which came into play when the students who were in Cairo in January 2011 were evacuated. During the period from the beginning of demonstrations in Cairo on January 25 until the students were evacuated on January 31, AMIDEAST staff were with the students 24/7 and provided a constant communications link both to AMIDEAST Headquarters in Washington and, through staff there, with the students’ families and home institutions. As a result of the combined efforts of AMIDEAST staff in Cairo and Washington and AMIDEAST’s insurance and evacuation partners, the students were never in danger and were safely evacuated on a charter flight to Athens. From there they were able to continue their semester abroad in either Amman or Rabat on AMIDEAST programs.
AMIDEAST provides medical insurance for all students on its programs through HTH Worldwide, the leading provider of international health plans to the international education community. Our field staff maintains a list of recommended doctors and medical facilities and will assist you in arranging and paying for appointments. In addition to medical insurance, HTH will provide medical, political, and security evacuation coverage.
Please be sure to register on the HTH website after you receive your medical ID information in your program country (www.hthstudents.com) in order to access online resources such as country reports and translations of over 700 medical terms and phrases. You will be sent additional information about your HTH coverage prior to departure.
AMIDEAST’s facilities have a number of computers available for student use. Rabat also has a large number of internet cafes that charge between 5-10 DH (roughly $1-$2) an hour for use of their computers. Also, be aware that keyboards in Morocco are AZERTY or ‘French’ format, which uses different key positions.
Although computers are available, AMIDEAST recommends that students bring a laptop if possible, but this is not a requirement. You may want to consider purchasing laptop insurance in case of damage or theft. Please note that Mac support is limited and expensive in Rabat.
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 the following hours, (Sunday – Thursday, 8.30 AM to 8.00 PM). 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.
Semester/academic year students may stay with a host family or in a private student residence hall in the university quarter. Please note that space in the residence hall is limited and AMIDEAST cannot guarantee placement there; it is particularly difficult to secure residence hall rooms for male students. Both options provide immersion into Moroccan culture, albeit from very different perspectives. All summer program students are placed with host families.
Host families provide students with a window into Moroccan culture; this unique experience will give you a view into the important role family plays in Moroccan society as well as how local community affects family life. Living in the residence hall provides insight into Moroccan university culture. Students who select the residence hall option will have a Moroccan roommate who is not necessarily associated with AMIDEAST. Students are encouraged to practice speaking Arabic and French with their host families or roommates as much as possible.
Once accepted to the program, you will be asked to provide AMIDEAST with information about your hobbies and preferences which will help us pair you with a complementary roommate.
For years, AMIDEAST has provided host family placement and support for a variety of study abroad programs. Within AMIDEAST’s host family network, many families have hosted a series of students and are in tune with the program and student experience. Our experienced field staff carefully screens and selects host families from a cross section of society. Additionally, each host family participates in a host family orientation in order to better understand their roles and responsibilities for the program.
The host family experience is a memorable, rewarding, yet challenging program component. Living with a host family will require some adaptation on your part. For example, it is possible that you may share a room with a host family member of the same gender. Thus you may experience standards of privacy and personal independence that are different from what you have at home on your home campus. There will also be a variety of economic levels and religions found among host families. While living with a host family, you will be able to observe and experience many different aspects of daily life. Host families will likely treat you as part of the family and will include you in many of their daily activities such as cooking, eating, and family outings. It is up to you to determine how invested you are in your host family’s activities; please keep in mind, though, that you are expected to approach these experiences with flexibility, an open mind and a positive attitude. You are also most likely to have another AMIDEAST Abroad student living with you and your host family.
In Middle East and North African countries, family members converse in colloquial Arabic and in Morocco they also may speak French, Spanish, or one of the Amazigh (indigenous) dialects such as Tamazight, Tashelhit, or Tarafit. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is not used for everyday conversations but it is used in the press and in formal documents. Since most of AMIDEAST’s host families have previously welcomed American students into their homes, they are accustomed to effectively interacting with them. Some members of your host family may speak English, however they are instructed to speak to you in Arabic. If needed, remind them to speak to you in Arabic, as they will often switch to English out of politeness to make things easier for you. If you prefer to be with a family that does not speak English, please indicate that on your personal profile form and will try our best to fulfill that request.
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is not used for daily life interactions in any Arab country; it is only used in formal settings such as interviews and speeches. You may use MSA when looking at electronic and print media, and books. While everyone will understand you when you speak MSA, they will likely respond to you in colloquial Arabic.
Islam is the official state religion and nearly 99% of Moroccans are Sunni Muslims. Thus, it is highly likely that you will be living with a Muslim family.
Usually students bring items for their host family that represents their particular culture, region, or home institution. For example, past students have brought candies, nuts, and calendars specific to their city or state. They have also brought T-shirts, mugs or baseball caps with their university or college logos. Some families may have kids, so you could bring games or toys that are not age specific (a hacky sack, a card game, travel games, playing cards, American music/DVDs, etc.). It is also possible to bring something small and then purchase something in Morocco that you think they might like/need for the home, or give something small in the beginning and save a bigger gift for a parting gift. If you would like to give your family a parting gift, past students have collected photos that they took with their family during their stay and put these in photo albums or frames. Previous AMIDEAST students have suggested that students provide their family with a parting gift which can be more meaningful than an arrival gift. Also, your host family will want to see photos of your family and of the places you live, so you could bring some with you to share – this doesn’t have to be a gift.
Although Rabat is a cosmopolitan city, Moroccan society remains fairly conservative, thus a certain degree of modesty is recommended. Summers are fairly hot while winters can be quite cold, with temperatures below freezing not uncommon in Morocco. While it doesn’t go below freezing in Rabat except on very rare occasions, the winters feel very cold because of high humidity and the lack of central heating in most homes.
Because the daily temperature during the fall and spring fluctuates, we recommend that you dress in layers. For women, we recommend basic, cotton apparel such as: three quarter length-sleeved shirts, Capri trousers or skirts below the knee and jeans. Do not bring sleeveless shirts, tank tops or excessively tight clothing. Cotton shirts or sweaters and jeans or trousers are suitable for men. When traveling outside of the city, we recommend trousers or long skirts. Please bring comfortable walking shoes as you will spend a lot time walking and exploring. Dressing respectfully demonstrates adaptability and will help minimize unwanted attention, especially for women. A packing list is located in the student handbook which is sent to participants prior to departure.
Students may travel independently during the program. Students must provide AMIDEAST staff with a Travel Information Form at least one week prior to their first day of travel. Students may travel during the weekends or in between sessions, but are not permitted to miss class for travel. Although travel outside the country is permitted, students must notify AMIDEAST of travel and AMIDEAST may strongly discourage travel to particular areas of the region. Students who fail to follow these guidelines may be dismissed from the program and will be sent home at their own expense, with no refunds given.
Upon arrival, all students are supplied with a mobile phone, local number, and a small number of minutes for calling. These are pay-as-you-go phones, so when the initial allocation of minutes runs out you will have to buy a top-up card either from the mobile provider at a company store or from one of the many kiosks (“hanoot”) and small stores that sell them. The phone, along with the charger, must be returned to AMIDEAST at the end of your term. Most participants prefer to text each other and use Skype for international calls as calls can be relatively expensive to make on the pay-as-you-go phones.
Students receive communication from AMIDEAST Washington, D.C. staff regarding courses, housing, insurance, packing, flights, visas and what to expect upon arrival. AMIDEAST staff is available to answer program and country specific questions and ensure students are prepared prior to departure for their host country. You should feel free to contact the Washington office with any questions you may have leading up to your program.
There are approximately 15-35 students on every AMIDEAST program each semester, with a maximum enrollment of 40 students. You will interact with American students in your study space, classes, during excursions and activities. While most program participants are from the U.S., you may also have classmates from other countries (e.g., Australia, Italy, Japan, Latvia).
Although AMIDEAST encourages and provides opportunities to interact with local university students (including arranging for language and cultural partnerships) you will be the one who truly develops these relationships. AMIDEAST will assign a local language partner with whom you can meet to practice Arabic and how much you interact with this person is up to you and your partner. In addition, AMIDEAST will organize frequent cultural dialogue sessions throughout the semester, giving you the opportunity to discuss pertinent issues of identity, religion, gender, etc. with local university students. Your host family, including extended family members, will also provide you with many opportunities to interact with Moroccans.
AMIDEAST maintains a small but growing library in the Program Center for AMIDEAST students. The collection is focused on works to supplement assigned reading for the courses offered each semester, and there is a small leisure reading section built mostly on books donated by previous students. Students are also able to use the facilities of the National Library and the Library of the Faculty of Letters of Mohammed V University – Agdal; however, most of the books in both are in Arabic or French with a very limited selection of English materials. By using the wireless internet available at AMIDEAST students also may access the electronic holdings of their home institutions’ libraries for research.
There are churches of various denominations and synagogues in major Moroccan cities, including Rabat. As a visitor you are free to practice your religion, but proselytizing is a crime in Morocco.
Eligible applicants for AMIDEAST Programs
Students begin the application process on AMIDEAST’s online application system. Students must submit a completed application online and the following additional documents to AMIDEAST headquarters in Washington, D.C:
After all documents are received, applications will be considered. The Admissions Committee reviews each application individually and AMIDEAST staff inform students of their application status within two weeks of receipt of all supporting documents.
Applications for AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs are accepted and considered on a rolling basis with the following deadlines: April 15th for fall programs, October 15th for spring semesters, and March15th for summer sessions. Despite the open nature of our application process, we urge you to complete your application as soon as possible in order to ensure space for you on your preferred program as our admissions are decided on a rolling basis.
If you are interested in hearing first hand from students who have studied abroad with AMIDEAST previously, please email email@example.com and we can put you in touch with some of those students.
You are required to arrive to and depart from your host country on specific dates so that AMIDEAST personnel can better serve all program participants. Students that arrive before their program begins are responsible for arranging and paying for their own transportation and lodging until their AMIDEAST program begins. The same applies for students staying past the end of the AMIDEAST program.
Arrival and departure dates can be found can be found on the Academic Calendars of our different programs: Summer Intensive Arabic in Rabat, Area and Arabic Studies (Semester/Academic Year) in Rabat, Regional French Studies (Semester/Academic Year) in Rabat, Al-Akhawayn University (Semester/Academic Year). Because we have specific time frames for when you should arrive and depart from your host country, you should not buy tickets without first checking in with AMIDEAST staff in Washington D.C. You will receive more information about flights in pre-departure emails after acceptance.
We have specific time frames for when you should arrive and depart from your host country. You will receive more information about flights in pre-departure emails after acceptance. Please do not buy tickets without first checking in with AMIDEAST staff in Washington D.C.
If you would like to use a travel agent to book your ticket, here is the contact information for the travel agent with whom we work:
Golden Eagle Travel Agency, Inc.
7700 Leesburg Pike, Ste. 107
Falls Church, VA 22043
If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need to obtain a visa before departing the U.S. On arrival in Morocco at Passport Control you will be issued a 3-month tourist visa. Therefore, you will only need to present a U.S. passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your departure date. If you do not already have a passport or your passport will expire before that date, please begin the process of applying for a new passport as soon as possible.
If you are a dual national holding a U.S. passport, we strongly recommend that you use your American passport for entry into Morocco. Using your U.S. passport will assist staff with extending your 3-month visit permit stamp during the program.
Further information about this process is included in the student handbook you will receive prior to your departure. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you should contact the Moroccan Embassy in your country of citizenship to inquire about visa requirements. AMIDEAST staff in Washington may be able to assist you if you encounter difficulties, but will need to know immediately if that is the case as sometimes it takes more than a month for a Moroccan visa to be issued from a consulate in the U.S.
An AMIDEAST staff member will be at the Rabat-Salé Airport or Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport holding an AMIDEAST sign to meet students arriving on the designated arrival day. It is essential that you provide us with flight details so we know when you will arrive and on which airline. If you arrive before the designated arrival day, you are responsible for your own transportation and housing until the program begins.
AMIDEAST strongly discourages visits from family and friends during its programs and recommends that such visits be postponed until the end of the program. We have found that visits during our programs have the potential to have a negative impact on a student's experience. It is fairly common for friends and family to arrange visits once the program has finished. At the end of the program students have more time to spend with visitors and will be well accustomed to the country in which they are studying and able to serve as guides and cultural interpreters for their visiting family and friends.