UMD: A Globally Connected University

CIEE Summer Language and Culture in Rabat, Morocco

Rabat, Morocco
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Whether your Arabic is basic or advanced, the CIEE Summer Language + Culture study abroad program in Rabat, Morocco is designed to help you develop your Arabic language skills and learn firsthand about contemporary Morocco.

Through language study, an innovative course that explores Morocco’s rich history and culture, and a variety of opportunities for cultural engagement, you will improve your Arabic while gaining greater insight into present-day Moroccan society.

Study abroad in Rabat and you will:

  • Learn Arabic at your level, and learn the local dialect through the elective Colloquial Moroccan Arabic course
  • Focus on Moroccan society and culture in an innovative elective course
  • Live with a local family and immerse yourself in Moroccan culture
  • Visit museums, festivals, the Medina, and Kasbah and take field trips to the ancient ruins of Chellah and the Andalucian Gardens; explore another Moroccan city on a multi-day stay

The CIEE Difference


Undertake intensive language study while examining Morocco’s complicated and fascinating culture and contemporary society. Explore Moroccan history, politics, development, economics, education, gender issues, and popular culture. role in the Arab world and its ties to Europe.


The study abroad program includes a series of required and optional cultural activities and field trips in and around Rabat, including concerts and festivals, as well as visits to the ancient ruins of Chellah, the Andalucian Gardens, local elementary schools, and government agencies. Group activities are also held in the Medina and Kasbah. As part of the language courses, students may visit local markets and attend music and theater performances, which provides practical language training opportunities. Students also enjoy a multi-day stay in another Moroccan city such as Fez or Marrakech.

Community Engagement

Students may choose from a variety of volunteer activities with local NGOs, schools, and other organizations. In the past, CIEE participants have worked with blind students, mentally challenged youth, women’s groups, Berber groups, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank.

Recommended Credit

Total recommended credit for the summer is 7 semester/10.5 quarter hours.

Modern Standard Arabic has 60 contact hours with recommended credit of 4 semester/6 quarter hours. Contemporary Moroccan Culture and Society and Colloquial Moroccan Arabic have 45 contact hours with recommended credit of 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.

Program Requirements

All study abroad students enroll in Modern Standard Arabic Language at the appropriate level. Students who want to focus entirely on Arabic language also take Colloquial Moroccan Arabic, while other students take Contemporary Moroccan Culture and Society.

About Rabat

Rabat, Morocco’s capital and second largest city, has a population of 3,000,000. Rabat hosts Morocco’s most prestigious universities, as well as many international governmental and non-governmental institutions such as UNESCO and the World Bank. The city offers a combination of modern and traditional, and provides a wide range of opportunities for students to experience its culture through art exhibits, music, and theater. Central Rabat has a modern infrastructure with large office buildings, palm tree-lined boulevards, cafés, restaurants, and shopping centers.

Where You’ll Study

Université Mohamed V, Souissi 

Université Mohamed V, Souissi  offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as several non-degree opportunities, such as the Arabic for Speakers of Other Languages program. This program attracts study abroad students from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East contributing to the internationalization of the student body. CIEE students have access to facilities and services available to UM5-S students, including all student activities, a cafeteria, and library facilities.

All CIEE study abroad language courses are held at the Qalam wa Lawh Arabic Language Center (Qalam Center). The Qalam Center provides programs for the study of Arabic as a Foreign Language to students from around the world. It is conveniently located in Rabat’s prestigious neighborhood of Souissi within minutes from downtown. The campus features 12 large, air-conditioned classrooms, an on-site cafeteria serving Moroccan dishes, a library, and a large garden open space for study and relaxation. CIEE study abroad students have full access to all Qalam Center facilities and language activities.

Housing & Meals

Students live with Moroccan families in modern or traditional homes in various neighborhoods throughout Rabat. Families are carefully selected by local CIEE staff. Most homes combine western and traditional Moroccan elements, and families are typically multilingual. Study abroad host families provide breakfast and dinner on weekdays and additional meals on the weekend.

Academic Program

Established in 2008, the Language and Culture summer study abroad program gives students the opportunity to take Arabic language courses taught by Arabic language specialists at the at the Qalam wa Lawh Center for Arabic Studies (Qalam Center) and take the CIEE Contermporary Moroccan Society and Culture course taught by faculty from the Université Mohammed V-Souissi campus.
The program is designed to provide students intensive Arabic language training along with a multifaceted academic analysis of Moroccan culture and history. In addition to the courses offered, students can engage themselves locally through volunteer opportunities. Students wishing to focus a larger percentage of their studies on Arabic language may choose to take an elective language course in Colloquial
Moroccan Arabic.

The program is suitable for students with a strong interest in Arabic language, as well as a variety of academic disciplines, including Moroccan studies, religion, business and economics, and literature.

Academic Culture

Teaching methods involve a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and fieldwork. Guest lectures, field trips, and excursions are also an important component of the academic curriculum.

Nature of Classes

Participants take classes with other CIEE students only.

CIEE Community Language Commitment

As students gain proficiency in Arabic, resident staff encourage them to use their language skills in everyday settings. The more students participate, the more a community that contributes to Arabic language proficiency and understanding of Moroccan society develops.

Grading System

All courses utilize a continuous assessment model and may include quizzes, exams, individual and group presentations, research projects, and papers. Courses are designed to follow a standard U.S. grading scale from A–F.

Language of Instruction



The Arabic language courses are taught by faculty from the Qalam wa Lawh Arabic Language Center. The contemporary Moroccan culture and society course is coordinated by the CIEE academic director.

Please check the CIEE website for final program dates, and speak with your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor prior to booking airfare. 


To apply to this program, you must complete two main steps:

  1. Submit a UMD approval application - start by clicking “apply now” at the top of this page. This application allows UMD Education Abroad to approve your study abroad program selection so you may earn credit in a program outside of UMD.
    This application will require you to meet with your EA advisor, who will communicate important details related to participating in this program. If you do not complete this application by the stated deadline, you may not receive credit for your study abroad program and will lose your student status for the time you are not studying at UMD.
  2. Apply directly to the program provider. After receiving UMD approval, you should submit the program application directly to the program sponsor by their deadline. Your program sponsor will determine your official acceptance to a program. You must adhere to the provider's timeline, eligibility standards, and application requirements.

After being accepted to your program, your EA advisor will guide you through the course pre-approval process where you will determine which credits you will fulfill abroad.

UMD partners with CIEE to offer affiliate program options to UMD students across the globe. While you will maintain your UMD student status while you are away, you will work directly with CIEE program staff as a participant on their program. Your EA advisor will assist you with this process and can answer questions you may have about the application process.

Academics on a CIEE program
Visit the Academics & Study Abroad page which outlines key considerations for your academic planning as you navigate different phases of study abroad:

Browse UMD course evaluations in the Study Abroad Course Database:


There may be other course offerings on this program that are not currently listed in the Study Abroad Course Database (SACD).  If you are interested in taking a course not listed in the SACD, please submit a transfer credit evaluation request.

Transcript from a CIEE program
UMD will require the CIEE School of Record transcript from Tulane University in order to apply your study abroad credits to your UMD degree. CIEE waives the fee to issue a School of Record transcript for UMD students. Please ensure that the transcript from Tulane University is sent to UMD Education Abroad at the end of your semester abroad. CIEE will provide instructions and deadlines for submitting your School of Record Request.

Costs & Billing for a CIEE program
The affiliate program costs apply to this program.  All fees are billed to your UMD student account unless otherwise noted. The following CIEE program fee discounts apply to UMD students: 

  • $2,000 off of CIEE semester program fee (MSI Grant)
    • Pell-eligible students are also guaranteed free airfare through the GAIN travel grant (see below)
  • $750 off of CIEE summer program fee (MSI Grant + UMD discount)
    • Pell-eligible students are also guaranteed free airfare* through the GAIN travel grant
  • Waiver of $500 school of record fee

As part of your program application to CIEE, you will pay a $50 application fee to CIEE directly. If accepted, you will then pay a $300 confirmation fee (deposit) to CIEE directly. The remaining CIEE program fees, including housing, will be charged to your UMD student account. You will be able to use any financial aid you receive from UMD towards these charges.

Scholarships for this program are available through the UMD Education Abroad Scholarship and for up to a maximum of $4,000 for the semester and $2,000 for the summer in CIEE Scholarships & Grants, including need-based awards, and automatic CIEE discounts and awards for UMD students (see above).

In addition to the guaranteed UMD student discount or MSI grant, CIEE competitive scholarships and grants, Pell-eligible students automatically qualify for the following:

  • *Guaranteed* GAIN travel grant, which covers the cost of airfare (up to $2,000) to your CIEE program site. 
  • Gilman Go Global Grant of up to $2,500 for semester programs and $1,000 for summer programs if you qualify and apply to the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship (regardless of whether or not you receive the Gilman scholarship).

To be considered for the CIEE funding, just check the “Scholarships and Grants” box on your CIEE program application.


Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Summerterm 2020 03/15/2020 01/01/2020