camels by the ocean rabat morocco
Rabat, Morocco

Arabic Language & Culture

Arts & Culture Language & Culture

Tentative Dates

-

33 weeks

Priority Deadline

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Tentative Dates

-

11 weeks

Priority Deadline

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Dates

-

12 weeks

Costs

$16,250

Final Deadline

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Dates

-

11 weeks

Costs

$16,250

Priority Deadline

Enroll Now

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Dates

-

33 weeks

Costs

$29,300

Final Deadline

Enroll Now

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Tentative Dates

-

12 weeks

Priority Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Dates

-

12 weeks

Costs

$15,000

Priority Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Enroll Now

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Program Overview
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. The courses are interactive and dynamic, connecting you with locals to make discoveries about the culture you’re exploring – discoveries tourists often miss. Your language classes will involve going out to the marketplace to buy vegetables for a cooking class, to an outdoor café to order your own Moroccan tea , or interviewing locals about an issue that impacts their community. After classes, head to the city center (Rabat is highly walkable) and hang out in a park or cafe near the 12th century Kasbah.

You’ll get to participate in a variety of cultural activities like a Moroccan tea workshop, a dinner with Andalusian music, roundtable discussions with local high schoolers, kayaking off the Bouregrag River, volunteering with a West African and Syrian refugee NGO, learning the art of Arabic calligraphy, visiting Rabat's Botanical gardens, and touring the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. You’ll be staying with a welcoming homestay, who will provide insider information into 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.

On weekends and in the evenings, you'll spend time with your homestay where you'll get into the rhythm of Moroccan life while exploring all your neighborhood has to offer. Prepare meals with your hosts, hit the beach, and take a day trip to explore a nearby town or cultural site. Make the most of this amazing opportunity! 

The Take-Aways

Language Proficiency

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

Global Perspective

Build a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning. Come home with an improved sense of self and awareness of what shapes others.

Certificate

Earn a Certificate of Learning in Arabic

96%

of alumni said their language skills improved

94%

said they learned to interact with different cultural backgrounds

89%

said their level of independence increased

The Destination
  • cehefchaoune
  • rabat-kasbah-amridil
  • rabat morocco site downtown

The Destination

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

Life in Rabat offers an enticing mix of traditional and modern Morocco—a mosaic of Amazigh, 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 cities like Marrakech, Casablanca, Chefchaoune and Fez. Dreaming of Paris? You’re a cheap plane trip from Western Europe, so the opportunities will seem endless.

Daily Life

Daily Life

A successful gap year abroad achieves the right balance between structured language instruction, practice in the community, and cultural activities to be fully immersed in the local culture.

Here's how a typical week goes on a CIEE Gap Language & Culture program:

  • 10-20 of interactive language learning at our Study Center
  • 3 cultural activities
  • Free time to explore and have fun!

Weekends are for group excursions (1 overnight trip and 2 daytrips per semester), additional CIEE cultural activities or personal travel and exploration.

Carefully Screened Homestay*

Local Support

Local CIEE Center staff available 24/7

Program Blogs

Exploring The Unknown

By Margaret G.

It simultaneously feels like I landed yesterday, and like I’ve been living here my entire life. I guess that’s what happens while living on Moroccan time. But in reality, I’ve... keep reading

From CIEE

Epiphanies

By Anne Jiang at CIEE

Two weeks ago, CIEE Rabat hosted what we’ve dubbed amongst ourselves “the worldwide conference”—a gathering for CIEE directors around the globe, over a hundred in total. It goes without saying... keep reading

From CIEE

New Year, New Us

By Anne Jiang at CIEE

I still can’t decipher whether anxiety or excitement took center stage last Monday as I took the tram to the CIEE study center in Rabat for the first time in... keep reading

Activities

Sample Activities

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 or brass etching workshop.

Check out world-class art at the Bab Rouah gallery or Villa des Arts or traditional art at the Oulja Potter Co-op. Take part in an artisan tour of the old city where you meet the masters and their apprentices and learn about the transmission of these traditional skills through generations.

Trace ancient history at the Rabat Archaeological Museum or through a comparative religion tour of the Jewish quarter in the old medina.

Visit Rabat's beaches to explore the tidal basins and learn about Morocco's geographical diversity while watching the incredible Moroccan sunsets with language and culture peers.

rabat morocco girls

Sample Day Trips

  • 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, explore the Northwestern tip of Africa (Cape Spartal) while glancing over at mainland Spain, and catch some sun at one of several beaches that line the port.
  • 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 3rd century 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.
  • 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.”

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!

Eligibility

Eligibility

  • Program open to recent high school graduates (no more that 1 year post-graduation) who:
  • Are at least 18 years old at the time of their departure
  • Are in good academic standing
  • Demonstrate—through the application and interview process—flexibility and maturity.
  • No previous language experience required.
  • Please note Gap participants may volunteer at local organizations with prior authorization from CIEE. Gap participants however, are not authorized to take any job or seek employment during their stay.

For more information, refer to our detailed GAP eligibility criteria.

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Fees

$50

Priority deadline discount: Apply to a fall semester or academic year by June 1 and get a $400 discount. Apply to a spring semester by October 1 and get a $400 discount. Discounts are deducted from final balance.

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

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Costs

Program Academic Year 2025 33 weeks Start Date * End Date *
Program Spring 2026 11 weeks Start Date * End Date *
Program Fall 2024 12 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $16,250
Program Spring 2025 11 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $16,250
Program Academic Year 2024 33 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $29,300
Program Fall 2025 12 weeks Start Date * End Date *
Program Spring 2024 12 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Costs $15,000

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

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