Programs by Country: Morocco + Dialogue of Civilizations

FRANCE and MOROCCO: Colonial Past, Cultural Change, and Economic Development “CLOSED”

Dialogue of Civilizations | marrakesh, Morocco

Faculty Leader: Prof. Peter Fraunholtz (

Study Abroad Coordinator: Daisy Biddle (

Information Sessions:

  • 11/5, 6-7:15 PM in 267 Ryder
  • 11/6, 1:35 - 3:00 PM in 296 Ryder Hall

Term: Summer I


  • INTL 3565: Morocco: History, Culture, and Economic Development
  • INTL 4944: Ethnicity, Religious Diversity, and Gender in Morocco (Regional Middle East)


As part of Africa and the Arab Middle East, with ties to an ancient and adaptive Amazigh culture, firmly integrated into the Islamic world, and linked to the French colonial past as well as the EU, Morocco offers a unique set of opportunities and experiences for history and international affairs students in general, and those interested in Islam, Multicultural Societies, Imperialism, and Post-Colonial Development in Africa and the Middle East in particular. The Morocco Dialogue Program engages students with the culture, civilization, and people of Morocco, and Moroccan immigrants living and working in France. The main themes of this year's program will focus on issues of economic development as shaped by the colonial past as well as post-colonial/Cold War and post-Cold War (globalization) dynamics.

Morocco was under French rule from 1912 to 1956, but French economic and cultural influence in the region goes well back to the mid-19<sup>th</sup> century and is still very much a factor today.  We will begin in Paris where we will examine issue of North African/Moroccan immigration as well as the challenges facing the French Republic concerning the prospects for and limits on integration of the growing Muslim population.  Site visits include the Grand Mosque of Paris, the Institute du Monde Arab, and the National Museum of the History of Immigration as well as various immigrant/North African neighborhoods.

We will spend most of our time in Marrakesh, the “Red City.”  The old Southern capital of Morocco, Marrakesh was and still is the cross roads for Arab, Berber, and Sub-Saharan African, and Jewish peoples and cultures that continue to shape Moroccan society today.  It was a key outpost in the French effort to rule the southern regions and that influence is still seen and felt in Marrakesh today.

The Marrakshi are a warm and very hospitable people and our students will get to see this first hand by living (in pairs) with Moroccan families during our stay in the city.   Among other things, our host institution, The Center for Language and Culture, teaches English to Moroccans and our homestay families are from among those in the CLC community who want to open their homes to native English-speakers.   Marrakshi families are known for their warmth and their amazing home cooking.

While in Marrakesh, students will become well acquainted through site visits and tours with the New (French) city and as well as the ancient medina and famous main square, Jma al-Fnaa.  They will participate in 8 hours of survival Arabic, lectures by the Faculty leader as well as guest lectures on Moroccan economic development in the context of French imperialism, post-colonial challenges in the shadow of the EU, and in the struggles to manage the pressures of globalization.  Lectures and others activities also focus intently on issues of gender and women’s evolving roles in Moroccan society.

While in Morocco we will also engage in a two day Intercultural Dialogue with a group of English-speaking Moroccan students, a four day visit to a Berber (Amazigh) village in the High Atlas Mountains, and a four day stay in Fez, the religious and cultural capital of Morocco and itself shaped markedly by waves of immigration from Spain from the 12<sup>th</sup> to 16<sup>th</sup> centuries.

Spain and Morocco: Spanish Culture and Language – CLOSED

Dialogue of Civilizations | Seville, Spain

Faculty leader: Tania Muino Loureiro (

Study Abroad Coordinator: Katie Rabbitt Burke (

Information Session:

Wednesday, November 6th 6-7 p.m. in 121FR 

Term: Summer I


  • CLTR4944 Cultural Engagement Abroad
  • SPNS 2301/2302/3301/3302 Spanish Language Immersion and Directed Study


This program is designed to help you improve your language skills and immerse yourself in Spanish culture, also to better your understanding and appreciation of all things Spanish. During the program we will stay in Spain (Seville, Granada and Madrid) and Morroco (Marrakech and Ouazazate).

We will spend most of our time in Seville. Seville is the capital of the southern region of Andalucia and the third largest city in Spain. It is an easy city to get around and all the major historical and culture sites, as well as the student accommodation and the school are within walking distance. The program will be based here and it will give you the opportunity to feel more like a local instead of a tourist. Sevillanos (The people of Seville) are known as being friendly and good humored. The climate is warm and sunny and the pace of life very relaxed. Seville is a city that keeps alive the spirit of its traditions, an explosion of colors and sensations, a city where contrasts between the modern and the tradition are everywhere. Here you will be able to experience Flamenco dancing and music, horse shows, bullfighting, tapas and the traditional fiestas.

While in Seville, students will be taking language classes (grammar and conversation) in small groups (8-10 students per class) Monday to Friday 9:15am until 1pm. Classes will take place at Clic International House Sevilla. After classes you will get to experience the tradition of “siestas”. Spaniards like to relax and enjoy time with their families during lunchtime (1- 4pm), with a nap when possible, during the warmest part of the day and while most shops and establishments are closed. The culture classes and service learning (community service) will be taking place in the afternoon. Service learning will take 3-4 hours per week and the culture course and cultural visits another 3-4 hours per week. There will be different cultural events and activities organized like cooking lessons and Flamenco workshops.

The Spanish Culture course will deal with history, politics, social factors, cultural life and pop culture in Spain from 1936 until present. It will cover the civil war (1936-1939) and the process of transition to democracy that followed Franco's death in 1975. It will also examine the new freedom from censorship after Franco died, the new cinema and the radical changes and modernization in values, family, sex and religion that occurred after the restoration of democracy.

While in Spain we will also visit Madrid and Granada. Madrid is the capital of Spain and one of the biggest and most cosmopolitan cities in Europe. In Granada, you will experience life in a beautiful city full of history and culture. Granada was the last part of Spain to be under Moorish rule and you will still be able to see the strong impact this has had and still does. We will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful La Alhambra palace, a World Heritage site and the inspiration for Washington Irving’s Tales of La Alhambra.

Towards the end of the program we will visit Morocco where we will spend five days. We will be staying in Marrakech where you will have the opportunity to engage in community service as part of the service learning component of the culture course. From Marrakech we will travel to to Ouazazate, also known as “The door of the dessert” a town inhabited by Berbers and a noted film-making location (Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones, Gladiator, Babel…)

Medieval Iberia (modern-day Spain) was under Islamic rule from 711 until The Reconquista by Isabella and Ferdinand in 1492. This had an enormous impact on all parts of Spanish life; the language, architecture, customs, science, music, food and so much more. The visit to Morocco will give us the opportunity to learn and experience how the Islamic rule of Spain and Moorish culture have influenced Spanish culture and language.

Spain 2014 Itinerary