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  • Locations: Rabat, Morocco
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: SIT/World Learning 
  • Restrictions: Goucher applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 09/29/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Semester GPA minimum: 2.5
Class Standing: 2.Sophomore, 3.Junior, 4.Senior
Program Description:


Rabat, Morocco

Program Overview

This program examines the factors driving internal and international migration in Morocco and elsewhere in North and sub-Saharan Africa. You will consider how human mobility is shaped by religion, security, youth culture, desertification, poverty, and other pressing issues and how mobility engenders transnational art and multilayered identities. You will contextualize the social and psychological impact of migration through discussions with Moroccan residents in the Netherlands.

Major topics of study include:
  • The experiences of sub-Saharan African asylum seekers and Syrian refugees and related issues of human rights
  • The impact of remittances on rural communities in the High Atlas and Rif Mountains
  • Culture and the Mediterranean space
  • Moroccan immigrants in Europe
  • Gender and migration


  • Attend a Study Abroad 101 and 102 Session
  • Have the required GPA and prerequisite courses for the program. The minimum cumulative GPA for this program is 2.5.
  • Students must have completed three semesters of college before studying abroad. Goucher cannot guarantee that any sophomore will be accepted by the host institution.
  • Declare a major in order to study abroad for a semester
  • Students cannot be on academic or disciplinary probation at the time of application
  • There is a limit of five spaces available on SIT programs per semester.   Please meet with the OIS advisor to determine eligibility.


Students must complete the advising portion of the application by September 16 after attending an Abroad 101 and Abroad 102 session. When prompted by the OIS advisor students must next complete the online Goucher study abroad application by the published deadline.  See the Events and Deadlines Calendar for the most up-to-date information.

Students must be approved by Goucher OIS before applying to SIT.  Final acceptance is granted by SIT.   

General Program Dates

Fall Semester: Late August to Mid December
Spring Semester: Early February to Mid May

Do not purchase airline tickets until you receive confirmation of acceptance from the program and verification of arrival and departure details.


The Migration and Transnational Identity course examines the historical, economic, political, and cultural underpinnings of migration. The approach is informed by the reality that migration is more dynamic than static push-pull models or simplified economic or demographic interpretations can reflect. Rather, the course challenges the student to approach migration from a multidisciplinary perspective in which migration is only one constituent part of more complex economic, development, demographic, and cultural processes. The Research Methods and Ethics course addresses culturally appropriate, ethical field methodology in the context of migration issues, in preparation for the Independent Study Project (ISP). Study of Arabic opens windows into the culture and the program’s theme.

Credit and Grade Translations

Goucher will transfer grades and credits as reported on the SIT transcript.  Grades will be recorded on the Goucher transcript and factor into the GPA.

Academic Policies

  • Grades count toward a Goucher GPA

  • Study abroad courses may not be taken on a pass/fail basis

  • Students must take a minimum of 12 credits and maximum of 18 credits

  • All students must participate in a 1 credit Study Abroad Immersion Course while studying abroad. Details will be provided at predeparture orientation.

  • Students on Goucher programs will receive Goucher grades and credits for all approved courses taken while abroad

Language Skills and Language of Instruction

Arabic language course; all other courses are offered in English.

Program Costs

Budget Sheet

Since Goucher students are fully enrolled at Goucher and receive Goucher credit while abroad, they pay regular Goucher tuition for any Goucher semester abroad program. This payment is regardless of the cost advertised and is charged by the program itself. Students pay the non-academic costs (i.e. room and board) in part or in full to Goucher or directly to the study abroad organization or overseas institution depending on the program. Estimated additional costs that a student may incur in attending these programs are listed on the Budget Expense Worksheet for each program. You can utilize institutional and federal aid for a Goucher semester program.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Any awarded financial aid may be used as payment for semester programs sponsored by Goucher College; however; you are allowed to transport your Goucher institutional aid for only one semester, unless you participate in the Goucher Oxford University yearlong program.  In addition, all students are eligible to apply for Goucher OIS scholarships and can apply during the program application process. For information on OIS and outside scholarships please visit the OIS scholarship/financial aid section.

To apply for an OIS scholarship please submit your application by the study abroad application deadline for this program through the following application:

OIS Scholarships



A $500 deposit is due upon application. Study abroad program costs are billed through your Goucher student account and are due at the same time as regular semester fees.  Please refer to the Budget Expense Worksheet for details for this program.

Students must pay the SIT application fee when applying to SIT.


The $500 deposit paid upon application is applied to the student’s account and becomes non-refundable when accepted by Goucher College and the host program. If you are not accepted into a program, your deposit will be refunded.

If for any reason, a student withdraws from a Goucher semester after the deposit deadline, he or she will not be entitled to a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. If, due to any unforeseen circumstances or other circumstances beyond the control of the college, a semester Goucher program is cancelled, either prior to departure or during the course of the program, the student will not be guaranteed a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, program fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. In most cases, the college forwards program fees to vendors in foreign countries, making it very difficult to recover such fees due to a program cancellation. In such cases, the college will make a good-faith effort to recover such fees and to return any portion of fees that it may recover that may be attributable to a student’s participation in the program. However, the college makes no guarantees regarding the recovery of fees and is not liable for any fees that it is unable to recover.


Living with a host family is an integral component of the Morocco: Migration and Transnational Identity program. Homestays provide you with a unique window into the daily life, values, and perspectives of Moroccan families and with an opportunity to practice language skills, particularly darija (Moroccan Arabic), and in some cases also French. The program contains two homestay experiences in very different environments, illustrating the enormous differences between life in urban and rural Moroccan communities. 

You will live with middle- and working-class families in Rabat for eight weeks. Homestay families are located in the city's seventeenth-century medina, a captivating and historic area of Rabat with an original and independent architectural style. The homestay in Rabat is coordinated by the program's host institution, the Center for Cross Cultural Learning (CCCL), which has been collaborating with homestay families for more than a decade.

With your host families, you will experience Moroccan daily life, accompanying family members on regular activities such as shopping in the souk, going on café outings, and taking bread to the neighborhood faran(local bakery). You will also have the opportunity to visit the hammam (Moroccan public bath). Homestays provide you with an opportunity to participate in family cultural events, which could include family weddings or newborn naming ceremonies. You may also be invited by your host brother or sister to a weekly soccer match.

The four-day rural village stay in Faqih Ben Saleh, in the province of Beni-Mellal, offers you a different perspective on the host culture in contrast to the homestay in urban Rabat. Many customs and features of Moroccan culture derive from rural or agrarian traditions; the experience of living in rural homes sheds new light on Morocco’s cultural norms.

The village stay is also an opportunity for you to learn about the realities of Moroccan ethnic groups and marginal rural communities distinct from the mainstream urban culture. This offers you important insights on the historical formation of national identity and ways in which local ethnic or political power is maintained.

Other accommodations during the program include hostels, guest houses, or small hotels.

Will I have a meal plan?

Meals are provided by host families or by SIT and included in the program cost.


 The largest excursion on the program will allow you to trace the path of Moroccans emigrating from northeast Morocco to the Netherlands. In this cross-border excursion, you will be able to examine the complex impact of migration on both the sending and host countries.

The vast majority of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands (around 75%) are from the northeast of Morocco. Consequently, the program travels to Al Hoceima, Nador, and Berkane in Morocco’s northeast to enable you to situate migration in its cultural, historic, and economic contexts.

In Berkane, you will learn about return migrants from the Netherlands and their family stories. Through the program’s partner, the Dutch-Moroccan foundation for return migrants, you will learn about forced female return migration from the Netherlands, families left behind, and stories of transnational families in Morocco and northern Europe.

In the city of Al Hoceima you will meet with civil society activists involved in issues of migration, gender, memory and history of the region, and local development. You will also learn about identity-based movements with political and cultural claims that distinguish this region from the rest of the country.

In both the border town of Nador and the island of Badis, you will learn about Moroccan-Spanish border dynamics. Through site visits to Nador, you will observe and talk to human rights activists about immigrants’ attempts to challenge fortress Europe fences and militarized borders. In the island of Badis, you will observe the arbitrariness of borders where Spain and Morocco are separated by a Spanish outpost on Moroccan soil.

During the program’s excursion to Amsterdam, you will consider the growing presence of Moroccans in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands. You will typically have the chance to do the following:
  • Have discussions with Moroccans living in the Netherlands.
  • Engage in a roundtable discussion with Dutch students at the University of Amsterdam.
  • Meet and attend a lecture by the Dutch-Moroccan novelist and 2013 Goncourt Prize winner Fouad Laroui.
  • Engage with Dutch politicians and learn about the rise of anti-immigration politics.
  • Examine Dutch patterns of integration and transnational activism between northern Morocco and the Netherlands.
  • Visit Dutch-Moroccan labor migration associations.
  • Learn about Dutch-Moroccan women’s activism in the Netherlands.
  • Hear lectures on the history of Moroccan migration to the Netherlands.
  • Learn about Dutch politics and migration policies, including the rise of right-wing politics and Islamophobia through a guided tour of Dutch Parliament.
  • Go on site visits to Moroccan immigrant neighborhoods in Amsterdam and the Hague.

You will also be immersed in many of the central debates surrounding the growing Muslim presence in Europe, including the varied reactions of Dutch politics and the rise of anti-immigrant/anti-Muslim parties, “success stories” of Muslim migrants and issues surrounding “integration,” and ideological constructions of Muslim identity.

The program may also spend some time in Leiden and The Hague. During the eight-day excursion, you will stay in guest houses and hotels.

The program’s third excursion is a village stay in Fqih Ben Saleh, where you will explore the many different causes of migration while considering its impact on the cultures and societies of several rural areas within Morocco.

Fqih Ben Saleh is a small town in Beni Mellal Province in the Tadla-Azilal plains, whose recent socioeconomic growth has been largely determined by remittances from Moroccan emigrants. You will meet with the staff and volunteers of local migrant associations and discuss the dynamic relationship between development and migration. You will also meet with local youth to compare perspectives on migration and disenfranchisement and of Europe and the US.

This village stay gives you the opportunity to gain firsthand experience of the impact migration has had on a local economy and culture. You will also have a chance to engage in a roundtable discussion with people from local communities on the issues of migration and development.

During the four- to five-day excursion, you will live in Fqih Ben Saleh in the homes of local families. Most of the families have relatives living abroad, which allows you to experience the dynamics of migration from the perspectives of families who have remained in Morocco.


A successful semester abroad is dependent upon adequate preparation.   Students will participate in online orientation material prior to the mandatory group orientation prior to leaving Goucher for the semester prior to studying abroad.  Dates will be provided upon study abroad acceptance.

Additional Information and Links

Passport, Embassy, Consulate, and Visa Resources

Students are required to have passports for all Goucher programs.  Failure to have a passport will prohibit participation in the program.  Passports take time to process and need to be valid for six months after your return to the U.S.  Check your expiration date and renew if necessary. Please see the U S State Department section on passports

Health and Safety

You will be required to submit health forms signed by a health care provider prior to studying abroad.  Forms will be supplied when you are accepted. Please read the Health and Safety section of the Goucher OIS website for information regarding Health and Safety, Disability Support, Diversity Abroad, Safety and Security, and Insurance: 

Study Abroad Insurance

All students participating on Semester, Year or ICA Goucher programs will be automatically enrolled in a health insurance plan tailored to meet the needs of study abroad students. Students participating in Goucher semester programs will be billed $300. The insurance carrier is ACE American Insurance Company.
Prior to the start of the program abroad, OIS staff will register students for the insurance program. Students will receive information about how to use the health insurance policy from the Office of International Studies prior to departure for study abroad.

Students with Disabilities

Goucher encourages all students who meet our eligibility requirements to consider studying abroad.  OIS will work with you regarding any special needs you may have.  However, we cannot guarantee that any or all of our program sites can accommodate all of your needs or interests.  More information can be found on the OIS Disabilities Support section of the website. 

Student Identity

Research the fact sheet for your location of interest on the U.S. State Department website for information on LGBTI rights, women travelers, safety and security, religious, and accessibility/mobility laws and information.

On the CIA World Factbook website, look for your host country’s page and research the “People and Society” section, where you can find the breakdown by ethnic group, religion, and race.

Refer to Goucher OIS section on Student Identity for additional resources for student identity. 


SIT Study AbroadSIT Study Abroad About SIT SIT Programs Scholarships and Financial Aid Apply to SIT

SIT Study Abroad Morocco: Migration and Transnational Identity

Major Topics of StudyMorocco

  • The experiences of sub-Saharan African asylum seekers and Syrian refugees and related issues of human rights
  • The impact of remittances on rural communities in the High Atlas and Rif Mountains
  • Culture and the Mediterranean space
  • Moroccan immigrants in Europe
  • Gender and migration

Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website for details on the program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.

Program Structure

There is no "typical day"on an SIT program. Activities may take place on any day of the week and at any time of day to be in accordance with according to local norms and to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities. Thus, the schedule and structure of the program are likely very different from what students are used to on their home campuses. The semester progresses in phases:

  • The program begins with a thorough orientation.
  • During the first two and a half months of the program, students are engaged in foundational coursework, including:
    • thematic seminars, including education excursions,
    • language instruction focused on improving practical communication skills, and
    • a field research methods and ethics course that prepares students to conduct independent research.
  • For the last month of the program, students conduct an Independent Study Project (ISP) on an approved topic of their choosing. 
  • Finally, students present their project, participate in program evaluations, and prepare to return home.

What Makes SIT Unique

  • SIT Study Abroad offers a field-based, experiential approach to learning.
  • Each program has a small group of students (typically 10–35). 
  • On an SIT program, students gain high levels of access to many different stakeholders and experts relevant to the issues the program is examining. 
  • While some learning will be conducted at the SIT program center, extensive learning is done outside the classroom — in host communities, field stations, NGO headquarters, ecological sites, health clinics, and art studios.
  • Many students go on to use their Independent Study Projects as a basis for senior theses on their home campuses. Others use their undergraduate research and overall study abroad experience to successfully apply for fellowships such as Fulbrights and Watsons.