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Programs and Deadlines
About Penn Abroad
AMIDEAST Area & Arabic Language Studies in Morocco (BRA)
Rabat, Morocco (Fall Spring Academic Year Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall,
Homepage: Click to visit
Budget Sheets Fall,
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
Arabic, English Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0
Credit Available For:
College, Huntsman Other Eligibility Requirements: 1 Area Studies Course in Language or Culture, Previous Study of Arabic Recommended
Type of Program:
Application Deadline:
Fall/Year: March 1, Spring: October 1
Program Description:
Photo Credit: Janis Kreilis

Program Snapshot

(click on the links highlighted in blue below to learn more)
The Academic Program
  • Island Program
  • Fall Semester: late August - mid-December
  • Spring Semester: mid-January - mid-May
  • GPA requirement: 3.0
  • 1 area studies course in language or culture required.
  • Priority will be given to applicants with at least one semester of college-level Arabic study
  • Students must be physically and emotionally prepared to live in Morocco for 4 months and adapt to a new, potentially challenging environment
  • Host family
The City of Rabat
  • Morocco is a gateway to Africa and the Arab world. A meeting point for civilizations and continents situated on the northwest tip of Africa, contemporary Morocco, with its nearly 35 million people, is a fusion of Arab, European, and African cultural influences.
  • Situated at the confluence of the Bou Regreg River and Atlantic Ocean, Rabat is Morocco's cosmopolitan and national capital with a population of approximately 1.7 million people, making it the second largest city in the country.
  • The population is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim, adhering to the moderate Maliki school of Islamic law. Moroccan Islam has attracted considerable attention from scholars for its openness to democratic reforms (support for multiparty democracy, human rights, women's rights, and acceptance of liberalism in government). The new emphasis on Amazigh (Berber) culture is another area of increasing interest in many fields as well.
  • Morocco is one of the most politically stable countries in the Arab world, and a long-time ally of the United States.
  • Search for this program in XCAT as: AMIDEAST Rabat
  Special Features
Language Partners, Excursions, Cultural Dialogue Sessions
The Application Process
Financial Matters
Penn Resources

This program requires an advising session with a Program Manager prior to opening an application. To view the schedule for upcoming group advising sessions, or to schedule an individual appointment, select the ‘Schedule an Advising Appointment’ button on the Penn Abroad homepage.  

The Academic Program

Information about AMIDEAST Rabat

Penn students attend the Area and Arabic Language Studies program in Morocco. The AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Rabat offers a diverse set of courses, and semi-intensive instruction in Modern Standard Arabic and Moroccan Arabic. Students in the program live either with Arabic-speaking Moroccan families or in a private Moroccan student residence hall and attend classes at AMIDEAST’s facilities in the lively Agdal area of the city. Courses are taught by English-speaking Moroccan faculty members from AMIDEAST’s partner, the College of Letters and Humanities of Mohammed V University, and other universities in Rabat and neighboring cities.

Orientation: Upon arrival in Rabat, AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program students participate in an in-depth, week-long orientation designed to introduce them to Moroccan culture and daily life, and familiarize them with the logistics of the program. During orientation students also are introduced to the principles of intercultural communication.  Students stay in a hotel in central Rabat during orientation, and move to their accommodation for the semester at the end of the first week. The orientation combines structured informational sessions with organized activities and free time to familiarize participants with the city of Rabat. Topics such as safety and health, family life in Morocco, cultural adjustment, program regulations, participant responsibilities and other essential information are all discussed during orientation. During the on-site orientation students also meet their professors, receive final language placements, and become familiar with the program’s IT environment.

Required Courses

Students in the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Rabat a 14-17 credit hour course load per semester. All students enroll in Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic: 5 credits and Moroccan Colloquial Arabic: 3 credits) and two or three other elective courses (depending on the student’s preference) from offerings in Middle East and North African studies in a variety of disciplines taught in English including political science, religion, sociology, women's studies, history, and Amazigh studies. Students must have the equivalent of four college semesters of French or more in order to take a French course. All courses are taught exclusively for the AMIDEAST program, and students take classes only with other program participants.

Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school.

Learn More About AMIDEAST Rabat

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Students enrolled in the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Rabat, Morocco live with a Moroccan Host Family that has been carefully screened by AMIDEAST from a database of qualified applicants. Students usually are placed with a roommate from the AMIDEAST program into families who have previous experience hosting American students through AMIDEAST. Most host family members speak Arabic as a first language and also speak French; a small number of family members also speak Spanish or Amazigh (Berber) as well. AMIDEAST matches students in the French Regional Studies Program with strong French speaking families in order to improve language acquisition. While all placement preferences may not be met in every case, AMIDEAST will strive to make the best match to ensure a rewarding and pleasant living experience. In the event of a problem, AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program staff members will be available either to mediate or to arrange a new host family placement. Students living with host families will be given a stipend for lunch, as often class schedules prohibit students from return to their host families for lunch.

Special Features

In addition to the academic program, the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Morocco offers a variety of additional learning opportunities to enhance participants' study abroad experience such as excursions and language partners. Students should visit the following page to learn more:

Financial Matters

Students are charged Penn tuition and student fee (called study abroad fee the semester abroad) for all Penn programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, meals, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheet to determine other costs. 

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package.
  • Program Resources for Budgeting Your Semester Abroad - Students thinking about studying in Jordan should take a look at the Boren Scholarship.

Penn Resources

Students who study abroad are encouraged to take advantage of Penn's many resources for students, even if you haven't used them before going abroad.  There is an extensive list of resources on the Penn Abroad website that can help you to explore issues that might pertain to you and to help you prepare for a term abroad. 

In addition to these resources, we encourage you to reach out to a past program participant or ambassador to learn more about the program from a student perspective.
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