When it comes to attracting students to study in their country, Morocco is leveling up. The country recently “unveiled a 15-year development model with aims that include establishing the country as a regional hub for higher education, research and innovation in order to attract students from the African continent and beyond.” Since Morocco has been described as a crossroads for Europe, Africa, and the Arab world, the country is situated to become a powerhouse for higher education. In order to meet the demand of its burgeoning and expanding educational population, the country will become home to 21 new universities over the next two years. This gives prospective students ample opportunities to find a school that’s the perfect fit for them. Read on to find out eight reasons to study in Morocco.
1. Amazing culture and food
Studying in Morocco gives students access to some of the most amazing, diverse culture and food experiences in the world. You can have the opportunity to explore the many cultural influences, “including Berber, Jewish, Arabic, French, and Spanish legacies.”
2. Study in French or English
If you’re an English or French speaking student, you won’t find yourself struggling to keep up with your coursework, as many of the classes are taught in French or English. For those looking to replicate their American-style experience overseas, they can attend Al Akhawayn University in Ifran, which offers “an American-style university program”. English is used primarily at this institution.
Sarita Hari, who studied abroad in Morocco, says, “As one of my Moroccan professors explained to me, English is currently being increasingly chosen as a first or second language in Morocco. Moroccans such as my host family learn English through watching films and television, but primarily through talking to foreigners. Most Moroccans will be very excited to speak English with you, however you shouldn’t let that deter you from answering in French or Arabic to practice your own language skills. Especially in Meknes, where tourists are not as common, English-speakers are a rare and treasured commodity by Moroccans.”
3. It’s cheaper
It’s hardly a secret that studying abroad can be expensive. However, Morocco is one of the remaining countries that’s kind to a study abroad student’s bank account. Overall, living costs are considered to be very reasonable compared to other countries. Students attending university in Morocco can expect to pay around $10,000 - $15,000 a year, which may include some living costs depending on the institution.
4. Easy to get around
Navigating around a new city or country can feel daunting, but fortunately Morocco is easy to figure out. Not only is it very easy to travel around the country by car or rail, you can be within a new location within just a few hours. There are plenty of buses or taxis to take you for a day hike in the Atlas mountains, or to visit the famous city of Casablanca.
5. Pick up Arabic
If learning Arabic is something you’ve always wanted to try your hand at, Morocco is the place to go. Arabic is the official language of Morocco, and it’s also the fifth most spoken language in the world. Guess what? Arabic isn’t the only language one can pick up while studying in Morocco. “In addition to Arabic, you’ll most likely also hear French, Spanish, and even Berber spoken in Morocco,” and you can learn more about the Berber people.
6. Great nature
For students who love to experience the great outdoors, Morocco has so much to offer. From stunning vistas, to beautiful beaches, and mountain ranges to explore, Morocco has everything an adventurous traveler could hope for. There’s also a wide variety of wildlife and with over 40 ecosystems, the diversity can be seen from its arid deserts to its mountain ranges and coastal regions. You’ll be able to see everything from eagles to camels in this varied ecosystem.
7. Amazing history
Believe it or not, the “history of Morocco goes back thousands of years: It 'has been inhabited since Neolithic times, at least 8000 BCE, North Africa,” according to Study Abroad. Many different peoples have inhabited Morocco over the centuries, leaving behind a culture that’s rich, diverse, and absolutely unique. Today, Morocco is governed by a constitutional monarchy, which features an elected parliament and King.
8. It’s safe
Safety is an important factor when it comes to selecting a place to study abroad. Although nearby Libya and Syria are currently experiencing political unrest, Morocco remains a safe haven for study abroad students. Gun violence is extremely low, with police officers not even always carrying weapons. Additionally, the country is overall welcoming to students from overseas. With a stable economy, it’s unlikely that Morocco will see any unrest that would make it unsafe for study abroad students any time soon.
Sarita concludes, “Morocco is an extremely diverse country, full of a multitude of opportunities for students and tourists alike. In my first month of life as a student and service-learning participant in Morocco, I have walked in the Atlantic Ocean, explored the hectic medina of Marrakech, swam in the water of Ouzoud Falls, and driven through the Atlas Mountains. To label Morocco with a single adjective would be to diminish the value of all this extraordinary country has to offer. With the exception of the tundra and the tropical rainforest, Morocco contains every other biome within its borders. Students who want to study abroad in Morocco should be ready for the experience of a lifetime, full of adventure and cultural immersion.”
From amazing landscapes, great academic programs, vibrant food, and outstanding culture, Morocco has it all. If you are thinking about where to spend your study abroad experience, consider adding Morocco to your list. There are boundless possibilities and opportunities available to students willing to think outside the box.