UVA in Morocco: Arabic Language

Complete a year's worth of Arabic in 8 weeks!

Based at Al Akhawayn University in the resort town of Ifrane, Morocco, participants will enroll in Arabic language and Moroccan Dialect & Conversation, taking classes alongside students from around the world.

At the crossroads of civilizations and continents, Morocco is located in the North West corner of Africa. The country is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea on its northern coast, and the Atlantic Ocean on the western coast and the Sahara desert to the south. The port city of Tangier, only 9 miles from Europe, faces the southern most point of Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar.

Located one hour from the cities of Fes and Meknes, Ifrane is a university town nestled in the Atlas mountains. Students have access to a range of outdoor activities, including hiking and horseback riding, as well as amenities including restaurants, cafes, and markets.

During the week, students will be housed on Al Akhawayn University's campus in a double room with en-suite bathroom. When possible, students are paired with a Moroccan roommate. A meal plan will be provided, allowing students to dine on campus in one of several restaurants and cafes. In addition to accommodation and dining facilities, students will also have access to the university's library and recreational facilities.

Family homestays are arranged for weekends when there aren't other planned excursions.

Weekend and day-long excursions are planned to the Moroccan desert, Tangier (on the north coast), and the imperial cities of Fes, Meknes, and Marrakesh. Note that excursions may be altered or cancelled if necessary.

Course Information
Students take 6 or 8 credits of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) plus 1 credit Moroccan Dialect & Conversation. Students should have completed between one and three years of Arabic prior to the start of the program. The levels listed below correspond to second, third, and fourth year at UVA:

  • Lower Intermediate: 8 credits MSA + 1 cr. Dialect
  • Upper Intermediate: 6 credits MSA + 1 cr. Dialect
  • Advanced: 6 credits MSA + 1 cr. Dialect

Courses meet Mondays through Fridays.

UVA students: courses taken at Al Akhawayn will appear as transfer credit on your transcript, but can fulfill Arabic language requirements.
Non-UVA students: official transcripts for this program are issued by Al Akhawayn, not by the University of Virginia.

The program cost and payment schedule are listed under the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page.

Passport and Visa Information
Students traveling on a US passport do not need a Moroccan visa to participate in this program. Students traveling on other passports are responsible for verifying Moroccan visa regulations, and should meet with an International Student and Scholar Advisor in the International Studies Office and the Education Abroad Advisor as part of the application process. All students should ensure their passport is current and will remain valid for at least six months past their date of return.

Accessibility Statement
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.

Further Information
Mohammed Sawaie, Faculty Program Director
Suad Mohamed, On-Site Director

For more information, contact the UVA Study Abroad Office at (434) 982-3010.