Arabic Immersion in Morocco

Students exploring the desert

Arabic Immersion in Morocco

8 Days

Morocco

Marrakesh (5), Desert Camp (1), Marrakesh (1)

Overview

Experience an incredible opportunity to put your Arabic skills to the test and immerse yourself in a completely different culture. Receive instruction in the local Moroccan dialect, Darija, to help you interact with locals, and Modern Standard Arabic, which you’ll hear on TV and read in newspapers. Wander through the UNESCO-acclaimed thousand-year-old markets of Marrakech. Engage in scavenger hunts, bargain in the souks, savor delicious authentic cuisine, dive into Moroccan culture and history, and have the time of your life — all while fine-tuning your Arabic skills! Morocco offers an ideal setting for international study with its rich, colorful, and fascinating history.

Highlights

  • Improve your Arabic skills and learn the local Moroccan dialect, Darija
  • Practice speaking Arabic with local vendors and your guides
  • Wander the thousand-year-old markets of Marrakech
  • Learn to cook traditional Moroccan food in a hands-on cooking class
  • Enjoy a sunset camel ride in the stunning desert landscape
  • Experience an incredible overnight stay at a desert camp  
  • Visit the Majorelle Gardens, YSL Museum, Bahia Palace, and Secret Garden
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and traditions of Morocco

Itinerary

Arrive at Marrakech Menara Airport and meet your Tour Director who will accompany you throughout the program. Join the group for an orientation discussion about the week ahead, expectations for your adventure, and an introduction to the local culture. Enjoy a wonderful welcome dinner of tagine in the city’s famous main square Jamaâ El-Fna, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wander the ancient market, watching snake charmers, and vendors hawking their wares. See everything from whale vertebrae and acrobats to ostrich eggs and orange juice stands! Then settle into your hotel or homestay for a good night’s rest.

Overnight: Marrakech

Sabah al-khair! Rise and shine for your first day of Arabic lessons. Take engaging, conversation-focused classes in small groups with other students at a similar proficiency level. Partner with a local Arabic-speaking partner and start learning the local dialect, Darija, or focus on Modern Standard Arabic. The content of your lessons will align with activities in the city, allowing you to practice your newly acquired language skills each day.

For the next several days, spend your mornings in Arabic classes. In the afternoons, head to the medina to explore some of Marrakech’s vibrant souqs, or marketplaces, and experience the rich culture and history on which modern-day Marrakech is built. Your afternoons will include:

• Participating in a souq scavenger hunt, putting your new Arabic skills to the test as you search for sites, find objects, and engage locals in conversation.
• Learning to cook traditional Moroccan food.
• Taking part in a traditional Arabic calligraphy workshop.
• Hanging out with Moroccan peers to compare life experiences.

Each day will conclude with a review of your activities and a discussion of what you learned about the language, culture, and people of Marrakech.

Overnight: Hotel or Homestay, Marrakech

Say goodbye to the city and head into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains for a morning of stunning views and exercise. Then head to your desert camp for an overnight stay in the sparse, rocky landscape under a stunning tapestry of stars. Today will include a sunset camel ride — always a highlight of the trip! — and an evening enjoying the rhythmic beats of desert musicians around a campfire.

Overnight: Agafay Desert Camp

Return to Marrakech for your final day in Morocco. Pick up last-minute souvenirs at the souks, and visit the Majorelle Gardens, YSL Museum, or the Bahia Palace and Secret Garden.

In the evening, enjoy a traditional celebratory meal, including a live concert of Gnawa music and Henna tattoos. A traditional Moroccan farewell!

At the end of the program, students reflect on their experiences and discuss how to apply this new understanding to their own lives.

Overnight: Marrakech

Return to the Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK), where your Tour Director will help you get checked in for your flight home. We hope your time in Morocco has helped to develop your Arabic skills and provided many meaningful experiences and beautiful memories! Come back soon!

This Trip Includes

  • Round-trip airfare
  • All accommodations on program
  • All transportation in-country
  • All meals on the program
  • All activities as outlined in the itinerary
  • A Tour Director available 24 hours a day from when you arrive until you depart
  • Sightseeing tours and excursions led by local guides as specified
  • Airport transfers and transportation between destination cities
  • Travel insurance for all participants
  • 24-hour worldwide emergency assistance
  • Support from GEC representatives abroad