Critical Language Scholarship Program | Meknes, Morocco

Meknes, Morocco

Program Dates:

May 31 - August 01, 2018

Hosting Institution:

Arab American Language Institute in Morocco

Program Overview

The CLS Arabic Program in Meknes provides an intensive 8-week language learning environment designed to cover the equivalent of one academic year of university-level Arabic study. Students receive a minimum of 20 hours per week of formal classroom instruction by trained and experienced teachers. Sixteen hours per week are spent learning Modern Standard Arabic, while four hours each week are spent on the local Maghrebi Arabic dialect, known as Darija. The CLS program in Meknes employs a communicative, interactive teaching style that promotes proficiency, with classes focusing on improving students’ skills in all areas. In addition, students will have regular one-on-one meetings with local Moroccan university students and community members to practice their conversation skills and learn more about Moroccan society.

The CLS Arabic Program in Meknes is administered in partnership with the Arab American Language Institute in Morocco (AALIM). AALIM is accredited by the Moroccan Ministry of Education and offers all levels of Arabic study throughout the year as well as cultural tourism and special programs for adult learners. Visit the AALIM website for more information on their year-round language and culture programs.

Outside of formal classes, the CLS Meknes Program offers a variety of cultural enrichment activities designed to expand students’ understanding of Moroccan life and culture. In the past, these activities have included learning to cook traditional Moroccan tagine as well as a weekend trip to the Sahara Desert to learn more about the Berber and nomadic cultures of southern Morocco. Moreover, CLS encourages students in the Meknes program to explore the historic city in their spare time, getting to know both the traditional markets near the famous Bab Mansour as well as the contemporary cafes and bakeries in the modern Ville Nouvelle.

CLS Meknes students will live with local host families, who give them an opportunity to experience life in a Moroccan family and practice Arabic outside of class. In Meknes, students will eat breakfast and dinner with their families almost every day, which allows students to gain insight into Moroccan culture and develop close bonds with their families. Many CLS Meknes students have said that living with host families was one of the most enriching parts of their CLS experience overall.

“I am very proud of the relationship I was able to build between myself and my host family (….) I think the moment that stands out the most was when my host family (by my host mother's request) planned a surprise birthday party for me and invited the entire CLS program. I felt very loved and knew that regardless of all my language errors, I had a place in the family.”
- CLS Meknes student (2016)