With a population of about 34 million people, Morocco is known to be the crossroads between Africa and Europe. Here, visitors will see the lingering influences of the surrounding areas, which contribute to the diversity of cultural attractions that Morocco has to offer. Whether it is the medieval city of Fez, the sandy shores of Agadir, the bustling cosmopolitan of Casablanca, or the historical monuments of the capital Rabat, students will be overwhelmed by the richesse of Moroccan culture.
Morocco is the perfect place for the multi-linguist. While Morocco’s official language is Moroccan Arabic, most Moroccans will understand Standard Arabic. Furthermore, more than half of the population speaks French, while about 3 million people, especially, in the rural areas of Morocco speak Tamazight, a dialect of Berber. Due to its close proximity to Spain, travelers will also find that some Moroccans speak Spanish.
Located in Rabat, the Center for Cross Cultural Learning is a private cultural institute housed in a 19th century building, CCCL offers courses in Standard Arabic and Moroccan Dialect, which are taught by professionals trained specifically to teach Arabic as a second language. The aim of the programs is to provide participants with opportunities to learn from the rich cultural diversity of Morocco, and to better understand and appreciate the country’s cultural heritage.
Ideally located in the heart of Tetouan (Morocco’s only open port on the Mediterranean Sea, a few miles south of the Strait of Gibraltar, and about 40 miles from Tangier), Dar Loughat Cross-Cultural Language Center offers a wide range of Arabic language and cultural immersion programs. As a member of the Forum on Education Abroad, Dar Loughat prides itself on delivering high quality educational services. At Dar Loughat, students benefit from small class sizes between three and eight students. Language courses are given by enthusiastic, multilingual, qualified and experienced teachers, exclusively dedicated to teaching Arabic to non-native speakers. Through various immersion and language exchange activities, Dar Loughat provides its students with unique opportunities to get fully immersed in the Moroccan culture and Muslim life.
DMG Arabophon, which has schools in Fez, Casablanca, Tangiers, Rabat, and Meknes, teaches the Moroccan dialect as a natural approach to the more complex Standard Arabic. The school has developed its own study materials for Moroccan Arabic, and offers a practical “Explorer Course,” which ranges from two to 20 sessions of 90 minutes each. The school’s philosophy is that language is for real communication with real people, so students learn about non-verbal Arabic and experience a Moroccan meal to learn about etiquette and table manners.
With a rich and prestigious scholarly heritage, Fez is a special place for studying the Arabic language. Located here is the Subul Assalam Centre for the Arabic Language (SACAL). It was founded in 2006 with the intention of continuing the heritage and making the Arabic language accessible to people of all cultures and backgrounds. In addition to the Arabic language, SACAL also provides courses on various aspects of Moroccan culture as well as the Islamic tradition, delivered by qualified individuals in their respective fields.