Morocco is home to dense deserts, many miles of coast line, and the highest mountain peak in North Africa. Just like its geography, the history and culture of Morocco is equally diverse. Cities dating back to ancient times are still lively today, where old architecture lines the streets in vibrant colors, places of worship dating back to the twelfth century are open for visiting, and market places created hundreds of years ago are still just as lively as ever. Inside of the rich living history, you will find modern metropolitan areas filled with cafes, theme parks, and international chains. While at your home away from home, you will be engaging with UAlbany faculty to discuss the history of Moroccan and African identity.
Marrakesh is home to impressive and historic examples of Islamic architecture, including the oldest Mosque in Morocco, buildings coated in intricate tile work and paintings, and the winding pink streets of the Medina. In Fez, you will step back in time to witness first-hand ancient tradition and culture. The city is home to the largest urban car-free zone in the world, Fes al Bali, a UNESCO world heritage site. Fez also has a deep, scholarly roots. It is here that you can find the oldest university in the world and a lively exchange of academic thought. The calm and quiet city of Rabat is known for its access to beaches and palm trees. With a small town vibe, you have opportunity to experience a quieter version of Moroccan life. The shopping districts here are much less touristy than what can be found in larger cities, and historical monuments still find their way into daily life. As the capital of Morocco, you can also witness the political and economic sides of the country. Finally, known for its increasingly modern infrastructure and business potential, Casablanca is the business epicenter of Morocco. Explore the old and new areas of the city to gain insight into into both the history and future of the country.
Witnessing Contemporary Morocco is an intensive, interdisciplinary course designed to give you exposure to Morocco. Course activities and assignments include on-site visits to villages, towns and cities throughout the country, to museums, places of business, and meetings with local politicians, journalists, lecturers, and business-owners. Moroccan academics, university students, and Berber families will act as local hosts, sharing their work, interests, and life-ways.
Course Objectives include:
Study the idea and history of "Moroccan" and "African" identity
Identify how contemporary social issues such as changing gender roles, migration, and urbanization impact modern Morocco
Analyze ways in which globalization, technology, and various social problems, such as poverty, interact with expressions of Moroccan identity
Interrogate how Morocco's location in northern Africa impacts its Islamic population
General Education Information for UAlbany students
Credits earned on this program can satisfy several UAlbany degree requirements, including the International Perspectives General Education requirement.
Major/Minor Information for UAlbany students
Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the academic department.
All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript.
Schedule and Excursions
Program Schedule, Summer 2018
May 21: Depart the U.S.
May 22: Arrive in Marrakesh (Mandatory Orientation)
May 23 - 26: Marrakesh
May 27 - 28: Rabat
May 29 - 30: Fez
May 31 - June 4: Casablanca
June 5: Depart for the U.S.
A detailed, tentative program schedule for 2018 is available soon.
*Schedule is tentative and subject to change
Experiential learning plays a critical role in your program experience. Both the overall program and individual courses include a number of cultural and historical excursions* to important and influential sites, so you will have the opportunity to experience the country and culture of Morocco to its fullest.
Excursions and activities included:
Visits to the Hassan II Mosque and the Notre Dame de Lourdes church
NGO and corporate site-visits to organizations such as L'Uzine, Transparency International Morocco, and Enshallah Factory
Visit the Jewish Museum, Sidi Momen, the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture, andthe Mohamed V Mausoleum
Excursions to Old Medina Fez, Medina, Jamaa el Fna, Medersa, el Bahia, Dar Si Said, and Bazar
Experience a self-sustainable village
Sample local Moroccan cuisine, such as couscous and tea
*Excursions are a mandatory part of the program and specific destinations vary by program and availability.
This course is taught by Professor Michelle Harris. Dr. Harris is a Professor in Africana Studies and Director of the Institute for Global Indigeneity at the University at Albany. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan. Her research areas include immigrant mental health, social determinants of health, perceived discrimination, indigenous identity, and global indigeneity.
External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.
More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.