YES Alumni lead the 10th anniversary with worldwide events throughout the year. read more >
YES Alumni lead the 10th anniversary with worldwide events throughout the year. read more >
If you are a secondary school student in Morocco interested in applying for the YES Program, please click here for more information.
Age Range: 15-17 years of age at program commencement.
Grade Level: Gap year is not recommended.
Host Communities: Students are typically hosted in Rabat.
Language: The language of instruction is French. French language skills are required.
Study in RABAT, MOROCCO with YES Abroad
Set in Africa’s northwest corner, Morocco is a bridge between Europe, Africa and the Arab east. Just nine miles separate Tangier, Morocco from the Spanish coast. The only monarchy in Arab North Africa, Morocco’s culture is a blending of Amazigh (Berber), Arab, African and European influences. Geographically Morocco is divided into 4 regions: the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastal areas; the flatlands of the coastal plains; the Atlas and Rif Mountains; and the pre-Sahara desert area in the south with its oases. The cities are Morocco’s greatest attraction, Fez and Marrakesh in particular are unique and bursting with tradition; there you can still watch life as it was in the Middle Ages.
Rabat, the city where students will reside during their YES Abroad experience, has been the capital of Morocco since independence in 1956 and also during the French protectorate beginning in 1912. It is an elegant city that follows the usual structure of Moroccan cities with the original town, which is called medina, and a new modern part which was initially built by the French on their arrival. The old city in Rabat is a compact area bordered by the sea and the river on two sides, and on the other two by the Almohad and Andalusian walls, dating back to the 12th and the 17th centuries respectively. Rabat offers some of the most surprising monuments in Morocco such as the Royal Palace surrounded by the Andalusian Gardens, the Hassan Mosque that, with its tower, symbolizes the city and the interesting ruins of Chellah that resemble another medina but has actually been abandoned since the 15th century.
Your Host Family
You will live with a host family in Rabat, giving you a chance to form personal relationships with Moroccans and participate in Moroccan family life. Your host families will be carefully screened by AMIDEAST staff and chosen from a cross section of society. Nearly 99% of Moroccans are Muslim, so it is almost certain that you will be living with a Muslim family. All educated Moroccans speak French in addition to Moroccan Arabic, and it is likely that someone in your host family will speak some English. Most of AMIDEAST’s host families have welcomed other American students to their homes and thus are hospitable toward and accustomed to interacting with them. AMIDEAST also makes sure host family residences are in a safe neighborhood within close proximity to AMIDEAST offices and with easy access to transportation. In addition, AMIDEAST checks in regularly with the student and their host family to ensure that both are comfortable with the living situation.
Your High School
Schools where students take classes are in very safe neighborhoods and within a 10 to 15 minute drive from the host family residences. The size of the schools is quite small (the total number of students does not exceed 1,000). The language of instruction is French (though students will be required to take Arabic while on program). Examples of classes that students will be enrolled in include: History, Geography, Mathematics, Economics, Spanish (as a foreign language), French, Physical Education, Physics, and Biology.
You will have the opportunity to take part in various activities while in Rabat. Examples of activities that last year’s students participated in were:
The Political & Security Environment
Morocco is a stable country that provides a safe environment for exchange students. There have been weekly peaceful protests in Morocco for years that have not compromised the safety or stability of the country. Following the events during “the Arab Spring” in Egypt and Tunisia protests and strikes in Morocco intensified and grew in size, however they remained peaceful with few incidents. Late in the spring of 2011 King Mohamed VI appointed a commission to propose a new constitution with greater power in the hands of parliament. The new constitution was overwhelmingly approved in a referendum at the beginning of July 2011, and elections for a new parliament are now scheduled for early November 2011. There was one terrorist incident in Marrakesh (3-4 hours away from Rabat and a major tourist center) in April 2011. It was widely condemned by virtually all Moroccans and the perpetrators (a small group acting on their own) were quickly apprehended. While Morocco faces serious economic and social issues and some Moroccans may be dissatisfied with the pace of change, the vast majority of the people support the King and his approach to dealing with political, social and economic reform. Through AMIDEAST’s intelligence provider iJET, students will receive regular updates about the security situation. AMIDEAST maintains a close relationship with the Regional Security Officer at the Embassy and taps its own sources of information to keep students informed about what is happening in Morocco.
Health & Safety
With AMIDEAST’s 60-year presence in the Middle East and North Africa, we are able to draw on strong local connections, and deep understanding of the intercultural, health, safety, and security issues inherent to study in the Arab world. YES Abroad Students are covered by medical as well as Political and Security Evacuation Insurance. Students will also have access to a 24-hour emergency number and our staff members are thoroughly trained to deal with incidents ranging from minor theft to a full-scale evacuation.
Basic Eligibility Requirements:
A limited number of applicants who are high school graduates at the start of the program will be considered for placement in the following countries: Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, South Africa, Oman, Thailand and Turkey
For the following countries, prior French skills are required: Mali, Morocco, Tunisia
Additional Eligibility Information:
The Youth Programs Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) seeks to make youth exchange programs funded by ECA available to a wide and diverse American audience. Also, ECA wants to prevent conflict of interest issues from arising with regard to Department employees who are involved in particular scholarships and exchange programs. Therefore, in addition to the specific requirements for each program, an applicant for ECA-funded youth exchange programs must meet the following eligibility criteria:
Click here for more information about applying to the YES Abroad program.
Studying abroad in high school can benefit your child in a multitude of ways. The decision to allow your child to participate can be difficult. There are numerous factors to consider when deciding whether or not YES Abroad is the right choice for your child. We compiled the information below to help answer some of the questions you may have. For further information, e-mail the YES Abroad Advisor or call us at (800) 237-4636 x2151.
Who will support my child while abroad?
YES Abroad participants are supported in the host country by established and reputable organizations that have competitively been awarded grants by the U.S. State Department to implement the program. While organizational structures vary, field staff and/or trained volunteers in the host country and here in the U.S. support participants, host families, and natural parents. While on the program, your child will have regular contact with a trained coordinator in their community who will provide support, assistance, and guidance, and will be in regular contact with a staff member here in the United States. All YES Abroad students are provided a local cell phone for emergency use after arrival in-country.
As a parent, how can I help promote the well-being of my child?
One of the ways you can help YES Abroad plan for your child’s successful participation in the program is by providing all relevant information regarding your child’s personal health and family history in the forms provided in the application. This information will not be evaluated as part of the selection process, but is considered in making country and host family assignments. Relevant information includes, but is not limited to, a diagnosis of or treatment for an illness, a physical disability, a learning disability, a behavioral or emotional disorder, a dietary restriction, or drastic changes in weight. Recent traumatic experiences or significant changes in the student’s natural family, including serious illness, death, divorce, incarceration, or custodial changes, can also influence a student’s participation. Living and studying abroad can be a stressful and challenging experience for people of any age. These stresses can be compounded by any existing physical or mental health issues or concerns at home that arise prior to the start of the program. In order to help YES Abroad staff make appropriate decisions about your child’s experience, please inform us of relevant situations as quickly as possible throughout the application process and program.
What is the involvement of the U.S. Department of State and embassies abroad?
YES Abroad is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Communities where YES Abroad students will be hosted are selected in cooperation with the U.S. Embassies and Consulates in the host countries. The Department of State and implementing organizations continuously monitor current events in each of the YES Abroad countries. All YES Abroad students are registered with the Office of Citizen Services at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the host country. Students will only be placed in countries that have been approved by the U.S. Department of State.
Where will my child be living?
All YES Abroad students live with host families who have been carefully screened and selected. Host families receive formal orientation and training to introduce them to cultural differences and to prepare them for the hosting experience. These families may or may not speak English. Local coordinators, who are proficient in English, provide support to participants and host families throughout the program. Students attend a school in their community alongside local peers.
What happens in the case of an emergency?
YES Abroad implementing organizations are prepared to respond to emergencies in the host countries. Each organization provides 24-hour assistance in the event of an emergency and facilitates appropriate medical treatment, including evacuation, if necessary. YES Abroad consults with the U.S. Department of State and external risk management organizations to monitor the safety of U.S. citizens in the host countries.
Will my child have medical coverage while abroad?
YES Abroad participants are provided with secondary medical coverage to ensure that, in the case of an emergency, students will be treated as soon as possible in the host country.
What costs are covered?
The YES Abroad scholarship covers costs related to: room and board for the In-Person Selection Event (for semi-finalists); round-trip airfare, room and board for the Pre-Departure Orientation (for finalists); round-trip airfare between the participant’s home region and community abroad (for finalists); in-country support; cultural activities; school tuition (where applicable); room and board with a host family; secondary medical benefits; and visa fees.
What costs are not covered by the scholarship?
Some costs that you can expect to incur from your child’s participation in the program include: costs associated with obtaining a U.S. passport; required medical examinations and immunizations; and extra pocket money while on program.
How will YES Abroad help my child prepare to go abroad?
YES Abroad provides a wide variety of support mechanisms for students preparing to go abroad. Preparation for the YES Abroad experience begins shortly after the finalists are selected, with activities that may include online resources, handbooks, conference calls, opportunities to speak with YES Abroad and YES alumni, and local events with other exchange students. Participants are also encouraged to be proactive in engaging in their own research on the host country and its culture. Prior to departure, students attend a national orientation in Washington, D.C. that addresses how to stay healthy and safe while living in the host country.