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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 2017
Program Leader:

Joann Geddes
Director of Academic English Studies (Retired)

Spring 2015
Program Leader:

Pauls Toutonghi
Assistant Professor of English
Ext. 7404

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. 




More information regarding travel and program preparation here. 


Blog Feed: Morocco

  • March 9, 2017 at 2:26pm
    While the Canary Islands brought us a multitude of unexpected adventures including a missed flight, a hurricane-like storm for the ages, and a hospital visit for one student (all is well), it also offered the opportunity to learn about water challenges on the island of Tenerife. We hiked with a guide in Malpaís and learned […]
  • February 26, 2017 at 4:19am
    Right now, I’m sitting in a café with two of my classmates, both named Emily. The two Emilys are researching for paper that we will be writing for our class on sustainability and development in Morocco, taught by Dr. Jamila Bargach. I tried for a while, but feeling stuck, was just now reflecting on the […]
  • February 19, 2017 at 5:11am
    This past weekend, we took a trip to Tenerife, and Island within the Spanish Territory of the Canary Islands. The purpose of this trip was to see a fog collection project that was similar to the project we have the opportunity to see in Sidi Ifini, led by Dar Si Hmad, the organization we’re working […]
  • February 15, 2017 at 2:32pm
    We just arrived in Agadir after our wonderful few days in the Canary Islands! We went to Tenerife, where we were able to learn more about fog harvesting, which is a component of our Sustainability and Development class. Unfortunately, we were not able to see the fog harvesting because of the bad weather, but a […]
  • February 15, 2017 at 10:17am
    We’ve all been enjoying bread in Morocco but while in the Sahara, we had a very special treat.  Here’s how to bake your bread in the sand!
  • February 9, 2017 at 4:33pm
    Emily HR ’19 is excited to make it into the mountains Ait Ben haddu’s Kasbah, which is an old city and kasbas are spread out Morocco. Kaye Johnson ’18 looking up the riverbed from the top of the kasbah in Ait Bin Haddu. Vela ’19, enjoys the view of the sunset from a top of dune. […]
  • February 1, 2017 at 2:04pm
      Oh my lovely msemen You are so oily and sweet We are so #blessed to have this chance to meet You are so crisp and light And you occupy my thoughts into the night With jam, honey, or plain You are always in my brain My soulmate, my love Msemen, Msemen    
  • January 20, 2017 at 2:35pm
    “Honestly, the dead skin that left my body probably weighed a pound in total.” This is a quote from my journal entry my first day with my host family in Marrakech. When my sister asked if I wanted to go to the Hamaam, I jumped at the opportunity to see more of the neighborhood and participate […]
  • January 19, 2017 at 5:58am
    The very first evening with my host family, they excitedly told me that they had a “marriage” in the family, and I would get to attend. I happily accepted, believing that I would have a few weeks to practice my dariija, buy new shoes, and mentally prepare myself. Little did I know that the wedding […]
  • January 19, 2017 at 5:36am
    It has been a little less than two weeks since we have arrived in Marrakech, and have all been making the adjustment. After a disastrous journey over with airline blunders and misinformation, it is a relief to finally be settled. I am living with a wonderful host family in the neighborhood of m’hamid, with two […]


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