As you walk the boulevards of Rabat, it’s hard not to be enchanted by the mystery and tradition of this timeless city. From the bustling souqs (open-air markets) and energizing atmosphere of the city to the serenity of the surrounding mountains and sea, Rabat is an ideal place to learn about the languages, cultures, and religions of North Africa and the Middle East.
Dive into the fascinating culture of this North African nation as you learn Modern Standard Arabic with courses at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Learn Colloquial Moroccan Arabic to communicate with Moroccans, and if you have already taken advanced French, you can take French-taught area studies courses at the IES Abroad Center or at our partner institution, Université Mohammed V. Our curriculum focuses on North African, Middle Eastern, and Islamic Studies, and IES Abroad courses introduce you to the many influential forces shaping the history and culture of Morocco.
Rabat will be your classroom. Rich in cultural heritage and diversity, Morocco has been influenced by many different ethnic, cultural, and religious groups that have settled in the country throughout its long history. Visit historic treasures like the Rabat Archaeological Museum, the Hassan Mosque, and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V to see ancient artifacts and learn more about the Islamic cultural influences. You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship placement and accompanying academic seminar.
We want you to feel at home in Morocco so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in Rabat. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible. Whether it’s taking part in a volunteer opportunity, dance lessons, or cooking classes, you have many opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of Moroccan culture.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.
We offer unique courses that explore Moroccan Language, history, and culture with an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local institutions enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.
You must take 16–19 credits per semester. Modern Standard Arabic (6 credits, semester long) and colloquial Moroccan Arabic during orientation (1 credit) are required. All other courses are 3 credits, unless otherwise stated.
Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
Université Mohammed Vwww.um5a.ac.ma
Named after the former King of Morocco, the Université Mohammed V was founded in 1957 after Moroccan independence as the country's first modern university. IES Abroad Rabat students with advanced-level proficiency in Arabic or French may enroll in courses taught in these languages in the Faculty of Letters and Humanities of the University Mohammed V - Agdal.
Courses are available in Arabic and French and focus on language, linguistics, literature, and cultural studies. You are advised on-site about the academic offerings of the university. Courses are available in the following fields:
Course offerings may vary from semester to semester and particular courses may not be available during your semester or academic year in Rabat.
Course-related excursions are academic trips associated with courses that are organized each term. They are organized to complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general
knowledge of Moroccan culture and society. Participation is based on course registration. All course-related excursions are included in the program cost.
Past excursions have included:
Interning abroad as part of your study abroad experience will help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market. It’s an exhilarating challenge, and we’re here to help guide you in securing your placement and succeeding in your internship.
Participating in an internship abroad helps you:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Customize Your Internship
Once you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to determine your academic and career goals and try to match you with an appropriate internship placement. We place students with a wide variety of organizations and businesses—from traditional business to social action placements. If we don’t currently work with a business or organization in
your field of interest, we will search out a placement.
Available FieldsPast students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Rabat, it will feel like home.
HomestayLive with a local family in the Medina within walking distance of our Center and experience Moroccan traditions and family life, while practicing and improving your Arabic and/or French. You will receive three meals daily. In some cases, more than one IES Abroad student may be placed in each home.
Part of making you feel at home in Rabat is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing that is well-located and comfortable, or field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
Orientation begins with a brief stay in Rabat to meet the IES Abroad Rabat staff, visit the Center facilities, and tour some sights in the city. The second portion of orientation takes place in the city of Meknes, where you will live with a host family in the Medina, take intensive Colloquial Moroccan Arabic (Darija), and attend lectures on Moroccan culture and history. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during orientation. Before returning to Rabat, you will explore ancient Morocco with a field trip to Fez and Volubilis, the site of well-preserved ancient Roman ruins.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Rabat through our cultural events, such as:
Even though your adventure starts in Rabat, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. These trips are partially subsidized by
IES Abroad. Some trips carry an additional fee. Here are a few possible destinations:
Granada & Córdoba, Spain
4 Days | Fall & Spring
Experience the cultural and historical connections between Europe and Africa by visiting Granada’s magnificent Alhambra. Tour an ancient mosque in Córdoba that now serves as a Catholic cathedral.
Middle Atlas Mountains & Berber Village
3 Days | Spring
Spend two nights with a Berber family in the Middle Atlas Mountains. Experience local Berber traditions and participate in activities such as visiting natural springs, meeting with local associations, making bread, and learning about medicinal herbs native to the region.
3 Days | Fall & Spring
Journey to the Sahara Desert to meet with Berbers living in traditional settings. Make your journey on camel-back and gain insight into Berber history, culture, and music, and camp overnight at a desert oasis.
Tangier & Chaouen
2 Days | Fall
Explore the colorful sites of Tangier, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean at the Strait of Gibraltar. Then head to Chaouen to see its picturesque buildings in various shades of blue.
Fez & Volubilis
1 Day | Fall & Spring
During orientation, visit the city and famed tanneries of Fez, and admire the ancient and well-preserved Roman ruins and more than 30 original mosaics throughout nearby Volubilis.IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.
About the Center
The IES Abroad Rabat Center is located within easy walking distance of the Medina and is just steps away from the Mausoleum and Hassan II Tower.
With recent updates to our Center space, features include:
Prior to his work as Director of the Rabat program, Mr. El Addouli was the Director and co-founder of the International Arabic Institute in Meknes. He was also the Program and Outreach Director at the Moroccan American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (Fulbright Commission) in Rabat. Mr. El Addouli is a former Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of New England in Maine. He held teaching, coordinating and training positions at different institutions in Morocco, the U.S and Europe namely Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, the International School of Bologna in Italy, and QWL in Rabat. He first studied Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy at the University of Bologna in Italy and then participated in a four partner university program to obtain two masters in Global Studies and International Relations from the Universities of Leipzig in Germany, the London School of Economics in the UK, the University of Vienna in Austria, and the University of Wroclaw in Poland. Mr. El Addouli's interests span the fields of TAFL, Educational Curriculum Development and Design, Global Studies, Educational Governance, Civil Society and Democracy, Cultural Studies, and International Law. He has translated books and written and published articles and book reviews on transformational Education, issues on North African Politics and other related subjects. Mr. El Addouli holds a strong cosmopolitan outlook as he has studied, visited, lived in, and was trained in more than twenty foreign countries.
IES Abroad Rabat Staff
Abdelghani BelkadiProgram Assistant and Accountant
Mohammed EchkaouProgram Assistant
Nisrine AttarStudent Affairs Coordinator