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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Fez, Morocco
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year UMass/IPO Application Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2020 03/15/2020 ** Varies TBA TBA
Summer 2020 04/01/2020 ** Varies TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admissions.

If you are applying to a partner program, you must check their website for ACTUAL APPLICATION DEADLINES. The posted deadline above indicates when your UMass Abroad application materials are due and the program’s deadline may be sooner.
Program Description:

About Arabic Language and Culture in Morocco

Explore madrasas, fondouks, palaces and 13th century ruins. Take intensive Modern Standard Arabic and fascinating cultural courses. Live with warm and welcoming host families. Surround yourself in Arabic. On weekends, travel to the imperial city of Meknes, the capital city of Rabat, and the hypnotizing markets of Marrakesh.

Fez's medina, declared an UNESCO world heritage site in 1981, is one of the largest and most enduring Medieval Islamic settlements in the world. Experience the complexity of modern and ancient Morocco in the cultural and spiritual city of Fez. All classes are held in a large villa, surrounded by a lush garden and patio, in the modern Ville Nouvelle neighborhood.

The University of Minnesota partners with the Arabic Language Institute in Fez (ALIF), a language institute which has an excellent reputation as the preeminent institution in the Maghreb for the teaching of Arabic as a foreign language.


Learning Outcomes

  • Strengthen Arabic language skills
  • Deepen cross-cultural understanding through interaction with local students, host families, community members, etc 
  • Gain Moroccan and international perspectives on academic disciplines
  • Increase independence and self-reliance through learning to successfully navigate Moroccan society

Academic Structure

Program type: Arabic Language & Culture in Morocco is a study abroad center program. Take area studies classes at a study center with instruction in English and Arabic language courses by Moroccan faculty.

Level: 1000–5000 levels.

Terms: Fall semester, spring semester, or summer session

Prerequisites: 2.5 GPA

Courseload: 13–16 credits for each semester, 6 credits for each summer term


The courses on this program are designed for rapid Arabic language acquisition and development, and are intensive in nature.  Language courses typically carry 20 classroom hour per week (120 hours per 6-week term).  A small number of courses are available in various aspects of Moroccan culture and society to give a background of local culture.

Faculty & Staff

All courses are taught by Moroccan faculty members from local universities. ALIF's instructors hail from prestigious modern state universities in Morocco, like Mohammed V in Rabat, and traditional institutions such as the Qarawiyyin University, an Islamic institution of higher learning in Fez.

Housing & Meals

Homestays are an integral component of the Arabic Language and Culture in Morocco program learning experience. All students live and share most meals with Moroccan families. Students can choose to either live in old medina or to live in the modern part of Fez.

Excursions & Social Activities

Excursions may include vineyards, a walking tour of Fez (including the medina), Mid-Atlas Mountains, a Sahara desert tour, Volubilis, Chefchaouen, as well as an excursion to neighboring Meknes.