Arabic Language and North African Studies
Binghamton University is pleased to sponsor the summer
Arabic Language and North African Studies program, which
takes place at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI),
Morocco. Morocco is a country of dramatic contrasts
in landscape and culture. There are extraordinary places
to explore, from Roman ruins, ancient cities and elegant
Islamic monuments to white sand beaches, the High Atlas
mountains and the Sahara. The cultural diversity of
contemporary Morocco is represented by the ancestry
of its inhabitants: Arabs from across North Africa,
Spaniards, French and the indigenous inhabitants whose
languages and cultures reach back several thousand years.
The Arabic and North African Studies program is designed to immerse students in Moroccan culture. Students choose either to concentrate on intensive study of the Arabic Language or to focus on the study of North African cultures.
AUI is modern university, opened in 1996, with programs in business, computer science and engineering and the liberal arts. Regular summer session courses coincide with the Arabic and North African Studies program so Moroccan students are in residence, sharing in the facilities and campus activities with participants on this program.
Al Akhawayn University is located in the Middle Atlas mountains in the charming resort town of Ifrane. At an altitude of 1,600 meters or about 5,000 feet above sea level, the area enjoys a mild, dry summer. Oak and cedar forests, springs, streams and lakes near Ifrane make the area enjoyable for students to explore. The town is just 60 kms. away from Meknes, 80 kms. from the Moulay Idriss Zerhoun and the Roman ruins of Volubilis, 63 kms. from Fez and 200 kms. from Rabat. Ifrane is ideally situated for travel to the larger cities. The ancient Imperial City of Fez, the spiritual capital of Morocco, with two great mosques and one of the oldest universities in the world (al-Qarawayin, founded in 859 AD), is only 20 minutes away by grand taxi. The walled Imperial City of Meknes is about 40 minutes away. From either Fez or Meknes one can reach lively Casablanca or Rabat in 5 or 6 hours by means of Morocco's state run bus or train lines. Magnificent Marrakesh and the High Atlas Mountains are likewise approximately 6 hours away.
The four-week intensive Arabic Language program typically has two options: the month of June or the month of July. The eight-week program runs from early June to the end of July. The North African Studies Program follows the regular summer session calendar and takes place from early June to mid-Juily. Participants should plan to arrive three days prior to the start dates of the program.