One of the most culturally diverse countries on the planet, location of great historical importance and the home of movie-star famous Casablanca, Morocco is an increasingly popular destination in North Africa. After over 50 years of gaining independence from France, Morocco is still establishing its national identity, which is being modified by every new generation.
Morocco’s cultural diversity is rival to any other location on the planet; its lands were roamed and occupied by Romans, Phoenicians, Carthaginians and many others. It was exposed to nearly every major religion in the world. Today Morocco is a popular travel destination for students seeking to experience a rich culture, see sights of historical and religious significance or witness pristine biodiversity.
Morocco’s official languages are Arabic and Amazing; French is the unofficial second language and Spanish is not far behind. English is quickly becoming a popular second language but is not nearly widespread as the previous. Islam is by far the most dominant religion in Morocco, with over 98% of the population being Muslim. The country contains many relics and mosques deemed sacred in Islam.
Located in North Africa, Morocco is a common destination for students interested in exploring its unique cultural intersections. With influences from the French, Middle East, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, it is no wonder many students choose to study abroad here. Students interested in International Relations or Politics, especially within the Middle East/North Africa region choose to study here. Additionally, it is an appealing location for those seeking to further their Arabic language skills.
Even though Morocco is predominantly Muslim, there are plenty of options to fulfill the western concept of a good time. Bars, clubs, discos, hookah lounges are available in major cities and towns. The local universities also hold sponsored events on campus, and are great places to meet peers and have a good time.
The climate is Mediterranean, with some regions fitting into the Maritime zone. The desert regions experience the most extreme climates, with very hot summers and cold winters. The climate is least temperamental during spring and fall seasons.
The country of Morocco has a number of public as well as private universities and colleges. The largest and most well-known university is Mohammed V University, which was founded by royal charter in 1957. The world’s oldest continuously-operating university is in Morocco.
Al Karaouine was founded in 859 as part of a mosque by the daughter of a wealthy merchant. It is known for its study in Islam.
Another notable institution is Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, which was built using funds donated from the Sultan of Saudi Arabia. The university boasts an ‘international outlook’: half the faculty are from other countries and many international students study there as well. Ifrane is also known for being a place of natural beauty that attracts tourists year-round.
Universite Cadi Ayyad: Considered by many sourced to be the best university in Morocco. UCO was founded in 1978 and now has 13 offices in two regions of the kingdom. The university has a distinguished faculty and several excellent research programs.
There are many scholarships to fund your study abroad experience. Here is a list of Diversity Abroad scholarships available for study in this country:
For more scholarships, visit Scholarships for Study Abroad in Morocco
Western Sahara is a disputed area, which has seen armed conflict between the government and the rebel Polisario front since 1975. Parts of it are mined.Visit the CDC’s Morocco page for updated information on health conditions in Morocco.
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Also, here are some links to potential opportunities for students who have studied abroad and graduates interested in work opportunities in Morocco.
Homosexuality is illegal and an imprisonable offense in Morocco. Although it is a common and socially accepted practice for men to be friendly and even hold hands throughout the country, public displays of affection are uncommon and generally unwelcome. Students who identify as LGBTQ should be cautious or practice discretion while studying abroad.
Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%
Exploring the world-famous sites of Morocco can take up countless hours. Casablanca, the largest Moroccan city is home to locations of great religious and historical significance. Hassan II Mosque is the second largest mosque in the world, and is a site of great religious importance for Muslims around the world. The breathtaking panoramic views of Moroccan landscapes like the High Atlas are worth enough alone to pay Morocco a visit. Marrakesh, or Red City, is a historically preserved wonder with giant defense walls and the city of Meknes is known as the “Versailles of Morocco”. Moroccan cuisine is considered to be one of the most diverse cuisines in the world, and will often lead to pleasant surprises. Hammams, public bathhouses, are a favorite among the locals and provide a relaxing environment that allows you to let go off stress and worries.
Go to Marrakesh, the Imperial City of Morocco, to explore the many sights of the Jemaa el Fnaa and the souk (or marketplace) surrounding it. Try local cuisine or shop for traditional goods. You'll also want to spend time in Fes, the oldest city in the country -- specifically Fes El Bali, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll feel like you've been transported back in time.
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