A Day in my Life in Rabat, Morocco with IES Abroad

Mariama Regaignon headshot
Mariama Regaignon
October 17, 2023

My days in Rabat are very engaging and start bright and early! On most weekdays, I tend to wake up around 7:15 in the morning. I get ready for school and sit down for breakfast around 7:30 after my host siblings leave for school. My host mom makes me an incredible Amazigh (indigenous Moroccan) breakfast every morning with amlou (ground almond spread with honey), soft cheese, and mint tea. Although it's a very early morning, my host mom does everything she can to make it easier for us, and my Arabic professor is thankfully pretty flexible about attendance.

I leave for Modern Standard Arabic class around 7:45 with my roommate, and we generally meet up with some friends and take the tram together to the IES Abroad Rabat Center for class at 8:15. It’s an early morning, but class is very engaging, and since there are just four students in my class, we get a lot of personal help with the language. At 9:00 we take a break for some more mint tea in the Center’s cozy common space, and then have another hour of class. 

After that, we have content classes (I’m taking North African Cultural Identities, Islam, and Moroccan Colloquial Arabic), or I’ll hang out and do homework with friends in one of the Center’s many common spaces or at a nearby café. We also often take field trips with our classes—some field trips for my Cultural Identities class have included the headquarters of the PJD Islamist political party and IRCAM, the Amazigh language planning institute. Most host families pack lunches for the students, and there’s a mini-kitchen at the center where we can heat things up, but some days I also buy lunch out and about! On Wednesdays, in the afternoon after classes end, we have Cultural Activities like pottery making or workshops in cooking or Arabic calligraphy. These are sometimes in the Center, but sometimes we go elsewhere, like to visit a farm.

On warm days, once my friends and I are done with homework and classes, we like to go to Rabat’s beautiful beach to do arts and crafts and watch the sun set, or we'll hang out at a cafe or go shopping in the souq. Around 8:15, I go home for a delicious home-cooked dinner, and then often hang out with my host siblings (who are 9 and 14) and play games or help them with their homework. They go to bed around 9:00, after which I like to shower, call my friends and family back in the United States, do homework if I still have any to get done, or just relax and get an early night. My wonderful host mom usually brings me a snack or a cup of herbal tea before she goes to sleep around 10:00. I generally walk quite a bit, so my days are pretty tiring, and usually quite intellectually engaging as well. These are my days Monday through Thursday; we have no classes on Fridays and so I’ve been traveling most weekends (more to come about where I’ve been traveling)!

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Mariama Regaignon headshot

Mariama Regaignon

I'm from NYC and attend Bryn Mawr College near Philly! I'm passionate about film, social justice, backpacking, fashion, jewelry-making, reading, and plant-based cooking. When I'm at home I love exploring the city or hanging out with my two cats.

2023 Fall
Home University:
Bryn Mawr College
Religious Studies
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