Rabat, Morocco

Arabic Language & Moroccan Culture

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Information for term Arabic Language & Moroccan Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Extended Deadline

June 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: June 1, 2020
  • Dates: Aug 30 – Dec 18, 2020 (16 weeks)

Application Deadline

September 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: September 1, 2020
  • Dates: Jan 17 – May 10, 2021 (16 weeks)

Extended Deadline

June 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: June 1, 2020
  • Dates: Aug 30, 2020 – May 10, 2021 (36 weeks)


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A charming seaside city with rich Moroccan culture makes an unforgettable setting.

Enjoy everyday life in this vibrant, friendly, and relatively small North African city as you hone your language skills and immerse yourself in a fascinating new culture. You’ll spend each weekday in intensive language study, taking on both Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Darija, the Moroccan dialect. After classes, head to the city center (Rabat is highly walkable) and hang out in a park or cafe near the 12th century Kasbah.

Through CIEE, you’ll get to participate in a variety of cultural activities like a Moroccan tea workshop, a dinner with Andalusian music, and a tour of the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. You’ll be staying with a welcoming homestay, who will provide inside info on other things to do that only the locals know about!

Rabat is a modern city in a traditional Muslim country, so you’ll hear the five daily calls to prayer in Rabat as you travel the tree-lined boulevards each day. You might stop for mint tea and a croissant at a charming café, haggle with merchants in the medina (old city), or head to the waterfront for some breathtaking views.

Although not as touristy as Casablanca, there’s still plenty to do in Rabat. You’re also a quick train trip from Marrakech, Chefchaouen and Fez, and a cheap plane trip from Western Europe. You’ll have plenty of time to get out and see all the sights you’ve been dreaming about, and make this a year you’ll never forget.

The Take-Aways

  • Language Proficiency

    15 hours per week of language instruction in Modern Standard Arabic and Darija (the Moroccan Arabic dialect)

  • Global Citizenship & Cultural Competence

    Up to 20 hours of CIEE's Global Competence course providing you with a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning

  • Certificate

    Earn a Certificate of Learning in Arabic

  • of alumni say their language skills improved

  • said they learned to interact with different cultural backgrounds

  • say it made them more mature young adults


Location & Culture

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A unique mix of traditions with Arab, Spanish, French, and African influences.

Life in Rabat offers an enticing mix of traditional and modern Morocco, and a mosaic of Arab, Spanish, French, and African influences. Take time to explore the city’s art, architecture, cuisine, and cultural heritage and see why many consider it to be one of the region’s best kept secrets.

By all accounts, Rabat is one of the most welcoming cities you’ll find. It’s relaxed and full of history, ideally located on the Atlantic coast, and an easy train ride from many other desirable destinations.

Rabat is known as an open and progressive society. Strolling through the city, you’ll hear locals speaking Arabic and French, and the five daily Muslim calls to prayer echoing through the streets and ancient markets. Rabat is a livable city, with many lush gardens and calming palm tree-lined boulevards to relax and recharge you.

Morocco is also known for its diverse geography, with cities, mountains, beaches, and deserts all within easy access for you to explore. From Rabat, you can easily visit like Marrakech, Casablanca, and Fez. Dreaming of Paris? You’re a cheap plane trip from Western Europe, so the opportunities will seem endless.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

"After my trip with CIEE I have definitely grown in ways I never could if I had stayed in the US."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blog.


  • Housing

    Private bedroom in home of carefully screened homestay.

  • Local Support

    CIEE resident staff available 24/7.

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Sample Activities & Excursions

  • Take a tajine workshop to learn how to prepare this classic North African Berber dish
  • Watch a traditional Moroccan women’s band perform, and get artsy yourself at a henna party or carpet-weaving class
  • Check out world-class art at the Bab Rouah gallery or Villa des Arts
  • Trace ancient history at the Rabat Archaeological Museum

The program fee also includes two day trips and two multiday excursions hosted by CIEE staff per semester, so you’ll get the chance to take part in the following jaunts.

Tangier/Asilah day trip

Experience Northern Morocco with a visit to Tangier, the largest Moroccan port on the Strait of Gibraltar, and Asilah, a fortified town with its ramparts and gateworks still intact. Visit the medina, explore the Caves of Hercules, and catch some sun at one of several beaches that line the port.

Meknes day trip

Head over to the historic imperial city of Meknes to see cool archaeological sites like Volubilis, a partly excavated Berber and Roman city dating from the 3rdcentury B.C. Explore mosaics and ruins at this peaceful UNESCO World Heritage Site, and make a stop in the medina to check out local handicrafts.

Casablanca day trip

Take a train to Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco and its economic and business capital. Visit the Hassan II Mosque – the largest mosque in Morocco and the only one that allows non-Muslims to enter. During your free time, you can grab a coffee at Rick’s Café, the infamous setting of the movie “Casablanca.”

Marrakech, Essaouira, Ourika, and Chefchaoen multi-day excursions

Hit the road for a four-day adventure. In Marrakech, experience Djemaa el-Fna, the main square and marketplace of the city’s medina. Then head out for a short hike at the foot of Mount Toubkal in Ourika, followed by a visit to a pottery studio and a guided exploration of several small villages in the valley. In Essaouira, you’ll spend time in a surfer town on the Atlantic coast, enjoying the fresh fish and view from within the 18th-century ramparts. On a separate trip, students will head north to Chefchaouen, a blue city situated in the Rif Mountains. Chaouen, as it is commonly called, is famous for its blue-washed buildings nestled into the mountainside. Students will explore this blue city, and take a hike to a waterfall just outside of town.

Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

What People are Saying

  • I cannot stress enough how rewarding it has been for me to network with so many different people. I found that being myself and being open-minded is one of the best ways to begin building a relationship, even with people you may think you have nothing in common with superficially.

    Hannah H., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • Taking a gap year was the best decision that I could have made before heading off to college. I have come out a more mature, open-minded, culturally aware, and ultimately happier person. I entered college with a sense of accomplishment for already having spent a year in transition and I find that it is already paying off both socially and academically. If anyone is considering taking a gap year, the answer should be yes!

    Kira F., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • The decision to join the CIEE Gap Year Abroad program was simply the best decision of my life. It taught me things about myself, and the world, that I am certain I could not have learned in an average classroom.

    Alexandra L., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna

Eligibility & Fees

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Eligibility & Fees


Fall: Rolling Admissions
Spring: December 1
Contact CIEE for more information


  • High school graduates in good academic standing.
  • Students must demonstrate, through the application and interview process, flexibility and maturity.
  • Students must be 17 years or older at the time of their departure.
  • No previous language experience required.

Application Fee


You can create a duo program by combining any two CIEE Gap Year Abroad semesters and get 10% off the second semester.

Apply to a Fall Semester or Academic Year term by our 5/1 priority deadline and get $400 off the cost of your program. Apply to a Spring Semester by our September 1 Priority Deadline and get $400 off the cost of your tuition.

Program fee includes iNext travel insurance. Full inclusions are found online.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Academic Year 2020 36 weeks Jun 1, 2020 Aug 30, 2020 May 10, 2021


Fall 2020 16 weeks Jun 1, 2020 Aug 30, 2020 Dec 18, 2020


Spring 2021 16 weeks Sep 1, 2020 Jan 17, 2021 May 10, 2021


Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?