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Arabic Language and Culture in Morocco

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Summer, Spring, Fall


Fez, Morocco




Minimum 2.5 GPA

Application Due:

Spring 9/24, Summer 3/8, Fall 3/24

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

Academic Program

Medina donkey

The University of Iowa has partnered with the University of Minnesota to offer this opportunity for immersion in the Arabic language. Students should reference the University of Minnesota's website for the most current information.

This program offers resident credit. Students will receive 6 credits for Arabic language study and 1 elective credit for the Moroccan Society and Culture course. These credit can be applied to the Arabic minor, please consult your academic advisor for further details.

Please refer to the academic section of UMN's website for further details on the classes.

Embedded, Credit-Bearing Internships and Research Opportunities

Increase your knowledge of Moroccan culture by examining political, economic, societal, and cultural trends in old and modern Moroccan society. This course includes a walking tour, discussions, and guest lecturers. Weekly class meetings, short reflective papers, and short oral presentations will help students to reflect and understand their experiences in Moroccan society. Taught in English. No prerequisite.

NOTE: The 3-credit option is available for semester/academic year students interested in completing an intensive research project (100 hours of research) or an internship.

More information can be found at: Arabic Language and Culture Courses


Students can go for the semester (Fall/Spring) or during the summer. During the summer students have a choice between two 6 week summer sessions or one 9 week summer session. Please reference UMN's website for specific dates.

For More Information

Old City

University of Iowa

Amy Bowes, Study Abroad Advisor
(319) 335-0353

University of Minnesota

Lindsay Lahr

If you are ready to learn more, please call 319-335-0353 and ask the receptionist to schedule an appointment with study abroad advisor Amy Bowes. Students should also discuss their study abroad plans with their academic advisor and other appropriate faculty.

Arabic Language Institute in Fez


Instruction on this program is provided by the Arabic Language Institute in Fez (ALIF). Housed in a villa in the Ville Nouvelle, ALIF is an ideal setting for studying Modern Standard Arabic. The instructors are native speakers with years of experience teaching Arabic to American students. ALIF resources include a computer lab with high-speed internet, WIFI, a library, a small bookstore, and an on-site café that serves lunch in a lovely garden. For more information, visit


Fez is a modern city of approximately 950,000 residents with a great historical and cultural heritage. It is really three cities in one. The oldest section, Fez el-Bali, is a bustling walled city of narrow pedestrian streets filled with shops, mosques, and tourists. In the adjoining Mellah, the Jewish quarter, balconies overlook the busy streets below. The new city, or Ville Nouvelle, centers on the Boulevard Hassan II where in the evening men, women, and children of all ages leisurely stroll and chat with friends. The predominant languages are Colloquial Moroccan Arabic and French.


Fez market

The Kingdom of Morocco has a unique history and rich culture shaped by a blend of Arab, Berber, European, and African influences. The landscape includes a rugged mountain interior, great deserts, and Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. Approximately 32 million people live in Morocco.

More information about Morocco and Fez can be found here: UMN Morocco Handbook.

Living Arrangements

Students live with carefully chosen Moroccan families that provide living accommodations and three meals daily. Usually two students are placed with each family. Students may choose between the medina (a more traditional Arab home) and the Ville Nouvelle (a more European-style home). Students find that they learn a lot about Moroccan culture and language from their family!

Travel Information

Participants will receive flight information and booking instructions from Village Travel in St. Paul, which handles flight arrangements for the Learning Abroad Center. Students from the Twin Cities area fly in a group; students from elsewhere join that group in either a US or a European hub. Visit Village Travel’s website at: It is generally considerably more expensive to fly directly to Fez, so most often the designated flight will be to Rabat or Casablanca. Students who arrive on the group flight will be picked up and driven, as a group, to Fez. If you elect not to take the coordinated flight, you must arrive prior to the coordinated flight in order to travel with the programarranged van to Fez.

More information about travel and pre-departure can be found here:UMN Morocco Handbook


Students must have a 2.5 GPA, and be in good academic and disciplinary standing. You must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university at the end of the semester, too.  If you are not in good standing at the end of the semester your acceptance will be revoked and you will be responsible for the associated withdrawal fees.

Program Cost Sheet

This is the Cost Sheet for Arabic Language and Culutre in Morocco Summer 2015 and this is the Cost Sheet for Fall 2014PDF . This document outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Iowa students will be U-billed the course fee (set by UMN:website), study abroad fees, and Iowa Regents CISI Insurance. Students will pay directly to Minnesota the application and housing fees.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

Scholarship Opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.

Withdrawal policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to University of Iowa Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
Within the first nine days after the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: $400
Portion of course fee: $100
10-19 days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: $400
Portion of course fee: 50%
20-44 days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: $400
Portion of course fee: 75%
45 or more days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: 100%
Portion of course fee: 100%

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. Check with your specific provider/host university for details. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

How to Apply

Iowa students will fill out BOTH and Iowa application and a University of Minnesota application

• The Iowa application can be found here
• The University of Minnesota application can be found here:

NOTICE: For the Summer Term, this program has Summer I & Summer II options. In the UI online application under “Offering” you will be asked to choose between “Codes” A or B.

Code A=Summer I

Code B=Summer II

Please be careful to choose the correct session that corresponds to the dates you wish to be abroad. If you need help with this, please consult your study abroad advisor.

Please be sure to follow the instructions given by UMN, if you have questions please ask!


Spring applications are due September 24

Summer applications are due March 8

Fall applications are due March 24

Passport and Visa


To study abroad, you must have a signed, valid passport from your country of citizenship that will not expire for a minimum of 6 months after your planned return date. If you do not have a passport, or it's about to expire, make sure you apply or renew as soon as possible! US Citizens can refer to the US Department of State’s website for more information regarding passports.


Students traveling on a US passport do not need to apply in advance to study in Morocco. The on-site staff will assist in getting students the proper documentation to remain in country for the duration of your program as necessary. ALIF staff will discuss visa requirements at the orientation in Fez.

It is possible that some airline ticket agents may erroneously ask you to show a copy of a student visa to travel to Morocco at the US airport. Be sure to print and bring with you a copy of the Embassy of Morocco’s visa page at www.

Pre-departure Materials

• UI Student Health Service Travel Clinic:
• More information about travel and pre-departure can be found here:UMN Morocco Handbook

Orientation Information

Prior to departure there were be a mandatory large group orientation for all Iowa students attending the Arabic Language and Culture program. The orientation will discuss the Credit Approval Form, visa information, and registration. In addition, several returned students from Morocco will be on hand to address questions students have about life in Morocco, what to pack, classroom structure, etc.

All Iowa students are also required to complete the mandatory online Study Abroad orientation distributed through ICON prior to departure. Optional pre-departure sessions are available as well. Past topics have included: First-Time Solo Flyers, Packing, and Traveling in Europe. Information will be emailed directly to students and past information can be accessed here: Prepare for Departure.

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

Phone: (319) 335-0353
Fax: (319) 335-0343