Experiment in International Living: Morocco- from the Mediterranean to the Sahara

Multiple cities, Morocco

Overview

Learn Arabic, ride camels across dunes in the Sahara, and discover the rich history and cultures of Morocco during this high school summer abroad program.

Experience Amazigh and Arab cultures in Morocco and learn about the nation’s history and modern society. Take formal Arabic language lessons; learn to cook a traditional Moroccan meal; and study traditional Moroccan arts such as music and dance, basket weaving, and tablet writing. Explore ancient ruins and the cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fes, and Marrakech. Cross the Atlas Mountains and go trekking across the dunes of the Sahara.

The program begins in Morocco’s capital, Rabat, where you’ll explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods, street markets, and ancient medina. Local experts will introduce you and your group to aspects of current Moroccan society, including religion and gender roles. Your Moroccan Experiment continues to unfold as you spend two weeks in a rural community, immersed in the daily lives of a Moroccan homestay family. Share couscous and mint tea with your family and play soccer with local youth. During this period, you and your group will participate in a community service project such as planting trees, painting a school, or teaching English to local children.

Numerous excursions allow you to see several of Morocco’s cities. Meet with artists in Fes and see storytellers, snake charmers, acrobats, and other street performers in Marrakech’s famous Jamaa el Fna Square. Explore ancient port cities along Morocco’s coast and enjoy a picnic at the ruins of the first-century Roman city Volubilis. You’ll also have opportunities to experience Morocco’s natural environments. Stroll sandy beaches, hike in the Todgha Gorge, and visit remote villages in the High and Middle Atlas Mountains. On an excursion to the Sahara, ride in a camel caravan and watch the sun set behind the dunes.

Language Certificate: At the conclusion of this program, each participant will earn a language certificate noting how many hours of language classes s/he completed.

Sample Itinerary

Days 1–5
Orientation in Rabat

  • Learn about the history and culture of Morocco
  • Hear from local experts about religion and gender roles in Moroccan society
  • Get to know other members of your group during activities and discussions
  • Begin your Arabic language lessons
  • Explore diverse neighborhoods and visit street markets in the Rabat medina
  • Learn about the arts of traditional tablet writing and Moroccan cooking

During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Days 6–10
Thematic Focus in Marrakech, Fes, and the Sahara

  • Explore Marrakech; visit the city’s gardens; and see storytellers, snake charmers, acrobats, and other street performers in Jamaa el Fna Square
  • Go hiking in the Todgha Gorge
  • Go on an excursion to the Sahara and explore the desert by Land Rover, go on a camel ride across the sand dunes, and watch the magnificent desert sunset
  • Take a guided tour of Meknes, picnic at the ruins of Volubilis, and meet with artists in the Fes medina
  • Continue your language training

During this period, you and your group will stay in hostels, hotels, and a tent camp.

Days 11–23
Homestay

  • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a Moroccan family and community
  • Explore your host community and the surrounding area with your group
  • Do activities with your host family
  • Participate in a community service project such as teaching English at a local school or assisting with a small-scale construction project
  • Observe and learn techniques from local weaversLearn to cook traditional Moroccan meals
  • Experience traditional music and dance
  • Go on excursions outside of the village to a regional souk

During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample host communities: Ait Ouahi, Taouniya, Oulmes

Days 24–26
Excursion to El Jadida and Essaouira

  • Explore these ancient port cities with your groupRelax on beaches, enjoy meals at street-side cafés, and shop in local markets

During this excursion, you and your group will stay in hotels.

Days 27–28
Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Rabat

  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program

During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Day 29
Departure

About The Experiment

The Experiment in International Living is a non-profit organization that has been offering immersive experiential learning programs abroad since 1932. Today, The Experiment offers three-, four-, and five-week summer programs for high school students in more than 20 countries around the world.

Programs are designed to equip participants not only with essential cultural skills and, in many cases, language skills, but also with a deeper awareness of and sensitivity to critical global issues shaping the diverse communities and regions we visit. Each year, hundreds of Experimenters come away from their summer abroad with invaluable new skills, connections, awareness, and knowledge that help them to thrive—and lead—in diverse, intercultural environments.

The Experiment is committed to providing participants from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds with access to The Experiment’s immersive cross-cultural programs through its partnerships, scholarships, and other initiatives.

The Experiment places the highest priority on health, safety, and security. Each program follows a comprehensive structure designed to maximize the well-being of all participants while they engage in dynamic cross-cultural experiences. We have implemented specific risk management strategies that include a 24-hour emergency on-call service and regular safety reviews. We hire and train experienced adult group leaders and maintain longstanding partnerships with in-country offices to support each of our programs.

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