By Former ISA Site Specialist, Cori Cummings
This article was originally posted on 2/18/2015
ISA is excited to offer all levels of French (from beginning to advanced) during semester programs! If you’re studying French and looking for a unique place to improve your language skills, here are 5 reasons Morocco may be the perfect place for you!
1. Unique Destination
Any study abroad experience is going to be an adventure, but if you’re looking for a location that is sure to help you get out of your comfort zone, Morocco is right up your alley. In addition to France, most people know that French is also spoken in Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. But did you know that French is an official language of 21 African countries? Having a background in French will open up a world of opportunities in today’s fierce job market.
A semester program in Meknes, Morocco is one of the most affordable programs that ISA offers. Students can take 12-18 credit hours per session, take part in some amazing excursions throughout the country and, included in the program cost, have 3 meals a day, 6 days a week. Spending a semester in Morocco is, overall, inexpensive which is great for students who are studying abroad on a budget.
3. Culture and Food
Morocco is a country full of vibrant color with an incredible blending of cultures. Influences of Islamic, European and Berber art, music, and literature make Morocco a dynamic country with much to offer. One way the French legacy remains in Morocco is in the country’s cuisine and restaurant style. Commonly served dishes in Morocco combine French techniques and flavors with native ones.
Morocco’s history has been influenced by the Berbers, the Roman Empire, Spanish settlers and the French who all tried to claim the country as their own. It wasn’t until 1956 that Morocco gained its independence from France, which is why most people speak French in addition to Darija, the local Arabic dialect. As you travel the country, you’ll have the rare opportunity to experience the fusion of all these cultural influences.
5. Service-Learning Opportunities
ISA Service-Learning offers placements in Meknes with local organizations such as community centers, a women’s development organization, and a center for disabilities. These programs address the needs of the community, but students can also practice their French language skills with locals, enhance professional skills and gain cultural awareness. Service-Learning programs may be combined with an ISA academic semester or summer program and are available for academic credit.