1) Who are the teachers?
All of our Arabic teachers are native speakers and appropriately qualified to teach the language at any level. They are all graduates of some of Morocco’s top universities and hold respective degrees in Arabic, linguistics, or communication. In addition, they are also competent users of English and French.
2) Accommodation – where do I live?
MCAS offers you many different choices for accommodation. It is MCAS policy to set up accommodation for all our students, interns and volunteers with local Moroccan families. Single or double private residences are also available. We encourage staying with a family as this unveils Moroccan culture to the student as well as offering an arena of Arabic communication not otherwise found. We have a selection process for the families and you can be assured that your Moroccan family will provide you with a hospitable, safe and educational environment.
Moroccan culture holds a special place for foreigners and you will be treated with respect among your new family members. Moroccans are very kind and hospitable people, they love to talk about just anything and don’t be surprised if you must finish your meal before getting up. For one of the more endearing aspects you will find is that Moroccans have little tolerance for waste.
3) Can I get Credits for my classes?
Most of the time, it is not a problem to attain college or university credits from your studies at MCAS, as we are an accredited institution by the Moroccan Ministry of Education. However, this is dependent on your institution and their policies. If you wish to receive credit for your program at MCAS, then you must put us in touch with your academic institution. We would be very happy to supply them with a detailed syllabus of your coursework as well as running progress reports and at last, a transcript upon your graduation.
4) Morroco – is it safe?
There is relatively little to no danger that the traveller may face in Morocco provided they exercise sound judgment. While in Rabat you will be well looked after by MCAS staff. Outside the city we also have connections as well as sound advice born of experience. The staff is present and happy to assist in any matter of traveling within the country: advice, transportation, destinations, etc.The safty of our students, volunteers and interns is a priority at MCAS and thus we will do anything we can to help, assisst in case of emergency should anything happen.
5) Off the Airplane – how do I get there?
There are a number of international airports in Morocco, all offering various airlines and relative prices. Casablanca’s Mohammad V airport is the busiest of the country and lies 1.5 hours from Rabat. There is a train from the airport to Rabat Centre Ville station where you will be met by our staff. Alternatively, you may find yourself flying into Marrakesh as this is usually the cheapest port of entry with many European budget airlines hosting flights. This city lies 4 to 5 hours from Rabat by train.Rabat has an airport as well, and has a lot of cheap airlines flying to it . Yet it is the closest and takes only 20 minutes by taxi. If you are flying into the area (Casablanca or Rabat) then MCAS can arrange to meet you at the airport and arrange for your transportation. However, if you are coming to Rabat from a greater distance, we will be in touch over the phone upon landing to ensure everything goes smoothly and will meet you at the train station when you arrive to Rabat.
6) What do I need for a class?
We advise the students to bring their own textbooks. The school has various copies of the books that can be purchased although they are substantially more expensive in Morocco. In addition to the textbooks, students ought to bring a notebook and a pen or pencil in order to take notes.
7) What is Rabat and Morocco like?
The Rabat Medina is a place rich in history and crawling in culture. Surrounded by beautiful adobe walls erected around the 12th century, the interior is awash with activity. Much urban planning went into the construction of the Medina, as is characterized by the uniquely straight streets not found in other regional cities. It serves as the daily center of shopping and contains various sections including a grand leather and shoe market covered by a glorious red awning as well as an artisans section where one can observe master-craftsmen plying their impressive trade on such trades as carpentry and rug weaving. Just beyond the Medina lies the oldest neighborhood of Rabat, the Oudayas Kasba which originally served as a small neighborhood and fort to protect the city and its inhabitants. Today this neighborhood is flourishing with culture. Not only does it contain the oldest Mosque in the city but beautiful gardens, houses, art galleries, museums, cafes and views adorn every corner as the walls overlook the beach below, and across the local river, the neighboring city of Sale.
Rabat is a beautiful city of unique neighborhoods and strong communities. Strewn with royal mausoleums, a grand palace, countless mosques, ancient walls and fortresses, beautiful beaches and stunning gardens, its elevation by the UN has come as no surprise. The physical beauty is complemented by the cosmopolitan nature of the local population. I believe this innate quality is reinforced by the language(s), which are so prevalent and diverse.
Exiting the Medina in another direction, one finds themselves at the foot of Rabat’s most impressive monument, an unfinished Mosque of gargantuan proportions, the Hassan Tower provides a veritable location and sense of serenity in the midst of a bustling urban environment. A site of supreme cultural importance, within its impressive marble mausoleum lie the remains of King Muhammad V.
Bordering the neighborhood inland lays the Muhammad V Avenue, studded with grand cafes, hotels and government buildings. At the foot of this avenue lies the royal palace, surrounded by picturesque gardens and a museum housing the fruits of various archaeological expeditions of the Roman ruins Volibulus and Lixus. Both these archaeological sites are ancient Roman cities, lying within the interior of the country.
Year round, one can find cultural events ongoing in the city. The summer time is given over to music festivals from May through to June; following takes place an international film festival followed by more autumn music shows. Rabat is truly the capital of Morocco as witnessed by a very progressive culture incased in the beautiful history of its location.