NOTE: Students who are accepted to this program must commit to or decline participation by March 17. (Be aware that notification and commitment both take place over spring break; plan to access your application record during that time.) Students will need to depart the U.S. no later than May 26 to arrive in Ifrane on May 27. Do NOT book flights until instructed to do so by the ISO.
Complete a year's worth of Arabic in 8 weeks! Based at Al Akhawayn University in the resort town of Ifrane, Morocco, participants enroll in Arabic Language and Moroccan Dialect & Conversation, taking classes alongside students from around the world.
Join Program Director Suad Mohamed for an Info Session about this program on Tuesday, February 19 from 4:30-5:30pm in Hotel A (at the end of the West Range, across from the Chapel). Food is provided!
At the crossroads of civilizations and continents, Morocco is located in the North West corner of Africa. The country is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea on its northern coast, and the Atlantic Ocean on the western coast and the Sahara desert to the south. The port city of Tangier, only 9 miles from Europe, faces the southern most point of Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar.
Located one hour from the cities of Fes and Meknes, Ifrane is a university town nestled in the Atlas mountains. Students have access to a range of outdoor activities, including hiking and horseback riding, as well as amenities including restaurants, cafes, and markets.
Students take 6 or 8 credits of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) plus 1 credit Moroccan Dialect & Conversation. Students should have completed between one and three years of Arabic prior to the start of the program. The levels listed below correspond to second, third, and fourth year at UVA:
During the week, students will be housed on Al Akhawayn University's campus in a double room with en-suite bathroom. When possible, students are paired with a Moroccan roommate. A meal plan will be provided, allowing students to dine on campus in one of several restaurants and cafes. In addition to accommodation and dining facilities, students will also have access to the university's library and recreational facilities.
Family homestays are arranged for weekends when there aren't other planned excursions.
Weekend and day-long excursions are planned to the Moroccan desert, Tangier (on the north coast), and the imperial cities of Fes, Meknes, and Marrakesh. Note that excursions may be altered or cancelled if necessary.
Cost & Financial Aid
The program cost and payment schedule are listed under the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page. Students with identifiable financial need are encouraged to apply for fellowships, scholarships, and financial aid.
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.
Passport and Visa
Students traveling on a US passport do not need a Moroccan visa to participate in this program. Students traveling on other passports are responsible for verifying Moroccan visa regulations, and should meet with an International Student and Scholar Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process. All students should ensure their passport is current and will remain valid for at least six months past their date of return.
Health and Safety Information
All students considering Education Abroad should consult the Students Abroad section of the U.S. Department of State’s web-based travel resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health web resources to research health, safety, and security conditions; visa requirements; immunization requirements; and recommendations on staying healthy and safe in their target destination(s). Students should also carefully review the UVA Education Abroad Health & Safety Abroad web page. Parents and guardians are strongly advised to review all of these resources, as well. UVA students and visiting students enrolled in UVA Education Abroad programs are subject to the University of Virginia’s Policy on Student International Travel.