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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Morocco Regional Area Study

Semester: Spring
Date: Mid-January to mid-April
Offered: Every other academic year (odd years)
Program Focus: Country Study


Arabic 101, with a 3.0 minimum GPA in the course.                                  
Spring 2020 Program Leader:

Leah Gilbert

Associate Professor of Political Science

ext. 7642

Spring 2019
Program Leader:

Oren Kosansky 

Associate Professor of Anthropology


Spring 2017
Program Leader:

Joann Geddes
Director of Academic English Studies (Retired)

Program Design:
This program focuses on the history, culture, social dynamics, and socio-economic institutions of Morocco. The course of study includes Modern Standard Arabic (prior to departure) and intensive Moroccan Arabic, as well as the diverse religious heritage of the region, Morocco’s distinctive architecture and urban landscape, colonial and post-colonial experiences, modernization and globalization, and women and gender relations. The program is located in Marrakesh, Agadir and Fez with excursions to other cities. Students will live with host families.


Requirements Fulfilled:
IS coursework fulfills the two-course International Studies Gen. Ed. Requirement

4 courses per semester/16 credits. (Students who do not have previous Arabic language skills at the 101 level will also earn 4 credits in the preceding fall for Arabic 101.)


FL 102: Moroccan Arabic:
This course provides an intensive introduction to Darija, the Moroccan dialect of Arabic. Four weeks intensive study followed by continued study at regular intensity. Initial focus on “survival” language skills to be followed by broader study of the language. Emphasis on speaking skills, supplemented by use of written Arabic.

IS 215: Development and Sustainability in Morocco: 

This course will take students on a journey through the multiple and overlapping realities of contemporary life in Southwest Morocco. If one of the major challenges for a modern post-colonial national-state continues to be the prosperity of its population and the growth of its economies, in what ways are these faring today as the paradigms of modernity and bountiful natural resources are in crisis? This course will engage students in a study of energy concerns, livelihood quests, individual community hopes and aspirations, the larger frame of what is identified as “progress” and the role of development within such an endeavor. 

IS 241: Moroccan Modernity:
This course explores Moroccan society, culture and politics in contemporary global context. Lectures, discussions, and field trips will be led by a variety of Moroccan experts, supplemented by regular discussions with program leader. Emphasis will be placed on Morocco’s vibrant participation in the dynamics of post-colonial state formation, modernization, and globalization—and the ambivalent effects of this participation. Also included is exploration of the literary, visual, and musical arts and the religious communities of modern Morocco. Students will be encouraged to connect classroom activities to their ongoing experiences of living in Morocco. Reading and writing assignments, journals, presentations, independent study projects, and field exercises are used to promote and test multifaceted approaches to learning.

NOTE: Students have a choice of taking either Modern Standard Arabic for their fourth course, or Gender and Society. 

IS 217: Gender and Society in Morocco:
This course examines the multifaceted relationships between women and men in Moroccan society. Beyond considering how gender formation and relations have been mediated by historically dynamic Islamic ideologies and institutions, the course attends to numerous other factors that have shaped gender identity, performance, and hierarchy. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which gender intersects with other structures of identity formation and social life, such as ethnicity, class, and religion. Topics include: doctrinal norms and lived realities, language and gender, models of masculinity, Moroccan feminism and women’s rights, gender and international migration.

AR 102 or 202: Beginning or Intermediate Arabic, 4 credits

Course level will be determined by previous subject study. 

ARB 102 Beginning Arabic II

Continued introduction to Modern Standard Arabic. Emphasis on reading and writing, pronunciation, comprehension of basic texts, vocabulary, basic grammar and syntax, and media to facilitate further learning of simple communication in common spoken Arabic. 

ARB 202 Intermediate Arabic II

Continued development of reading, writing, and speaking skills in Modern Standard Arabic. Listening and speaking skills in either Levantine or Egyptian dialect will also be introduced. Emphasis on expanding knowledge of more complex grammar and syntax in Modern Standard Arabic. Ongoing learning about Arab cultures in the context of language learning through the use of texts and multimedia materials. 


Check out a video by Molly Brown from Spring 2017! 




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