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If you have questions about this program, email the program leader listed below.

Youth in Development in Morocco

The arrangements for the travel, housing, meals, excursions and course content of this program have been made by the leader. Questions about this program can only be answered by the program leader listed below.

Program Type Departmental
Program Location Rabat, Lala Takerkoust, Errachidia, Fes, and Asilah, Morocco
Course # SA 10217
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
Summer 2022 05/19/22 to 06/08/22

Program Leader

Name Natasha Watkins

Due to COVID-19, programs may be altered or adapted with little notice

Program Description


Description of itinerary and program

The program itinerary, developed in careful conversation between Purdue leaders and the staff of our host organization Morocco Exchange, is designed to help you meet young people and experience Moroccan ways of life in very different communities while also providing unstructured time so that you can complete course assignments, explore your environment, and get the rest, relaxation, and reflection time you need to balance out all the stimulation.

Each place we stay has something unique to offer, and the program builds from one experience to the next. We will arrive in Casablana, which is known as the economic and business center of Morocco. After a day or recovery, we will travel and get to know Morocco’s capital, Rabat. Located on the Atlantic and with a population of 1.2 million in the greater urban area, Rabat offers many historic sites, a medina (traditional walled city) that is safe and easy to get around in, and a university where the Moroccan students who will join our group study. We will spend approximately 5 days in Rabat working with a youth association from one of the low-income neighborhoods, visiting historic sites, learning together with the Moroccan students, and experiencing life -- including the festivities at the end of Ramadan -- with a Moroccan host family.

Although we will only stay there for a day and 2 nights, our next stop in Marrakech will give you a chance to observe the more touristy side of Morocco. Each medina is unique, and we’ll take a group tour of Marrakech’s medina plus you’ll have time to explore the city then return to the comfort of a hotel. Since several of the Moroccan students will travel with us, you’ll have support with language and cultural norms.

The following 2 days in the semi-rural lake region of Lala Takerkoust are designed to help the group transition from very urban to very rural settings. We’ll stay in a guest house, which is like a small hotel where guests may be served meals all at the same time, and you will have opportunities for outdoor activities such as lake swimming and a visit to a camel/horse farm. The beautiful natural setting will also give us space to focus on preparing for what may be the most challenging and exciting part of the trip -- a stay in very rural communities.

After a day of transition from the lake region, we’ll spend one night in a hotel in the small town of Kellat M’Gouna, located in the Valley of the Roses. The following morning, the group will break up into several smaller groups and take local vans to the tiny Tamizight (Berber) villages and communities where Peace Corps Volunteers currently live and work. Each Purdue group will include at least one Moroccan student, Morocco Exchange leader or Purdue leader.

How your time will be structured for the next 3.5 days in these very rural settings will depend on community needs, the availability of Peace Corps Volunteers, and local projects. You may find yourself helping to teach English or joining in a youth club sport. But you may find that the only activities available appear to be visiting fields, observing meal preparation, entertaining small children in the home where you stay, or spending hours with your journal. Coming from a task-oriented and highly-scheduled US college setting, the seeming lack of structure coupled with your inability to speak the local Tamizight language may pose challenges. You will experience in a microcosm what Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco experience -- the opportunity to shift away from clock-centered time and constantly-measured productivity toward a daily life structured by interpersonal relationships, weather, and unspoken understandings of how people relate and spend their time. The homes in which you stay will also be simple, and you’re likely to have less personal space and fewer amenities than you’re used to. This segment of the program is central to your personal growth and to our partnership with the Moroccan students, who even as they serve as interpreters may also feel challenged by the new setting and cultural practices. The program activities leading up to this time such as team-building with the Moroccan students and directed discussion and reflection are designed to prepare you for this deep cultural experience. Being challenged doesn’t mean that you won’t thrive.

After 3.5 days in rural communities, the group will reconvene in Kellat M’Gouna then travel together to Errachidia, a larger city that offers us a layover in a guest house on our way to our next destination of Fes, where we can decompress a bit as we move back toward measured time and more scheduled activities. Fes hosts the world’s oldest university, and its medina is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our afternoon and evening there will give you a taste of this city before our night in a hotel.

The final stop on the program will be at the beach town of Asilah where we will spend 2 days processing all our experiences, celebrating new friendships, actively preparing for our return to the US, and hanging out on the beach if we feel like it. We will then return to Rabat or Casablanca to fly out.

Program Video

Daily Schedule (Some changes may be made)

Day 1 – May 19/20:

Arrival in Rabat (Delta/AirFrance flight from Paris) or Casablanca (on Royal Air Maroc/American Airlines – will eliminate transfer in EU)

Afternoon: Check into hotel, lunch, time to rest, group check in, orientation and host family prep

Evening: Medina walk and dinner

Day 2 – May 21: Rabat

Visit to youth association, ‘Amal Salé’, which focuses on continued education and skills training for impoverished shantytown youth. Tour of association to learn about their work of growing hope, skills and opportunities in their low-income neighbourhood

Arabic survival session

Informal conversation with Moroccan students about Morocco today (e.g. women’s issues, education system)

Visit to Roman ruins of Chellah

Explore Rabat’s Kasbah (old fort), street life and the medina market in small groups with Moroccan students who are volunteering their free time to share their culture with you

Dinner and free time with homestay family

Day 3 – May 22: Rabat

Morning activities could include visit to migrant association, prep work for sessions, free morning to decompress, beach time, soccer with peers, etc.

Meet with Moroccan peers and dinner with host families

Day 4 – May 23: Rabat

Interactive sessions with Moroccan peers

Group meeting and conversation with a Peace Corps Volunteer and/or a Fulbright scholar about living and volunteering in Morocco

Meals with homestay families

Reflection Tasks

Day 5 – May 24: Rabat

Morning activities with Moroccan peers

Visit the Mausoleum of King Mohammed V

Continued afternoon activities with Moroccan peers

Regroup, optional Hammam visit (public baths)

Dinner, self-directed time

Day 6 – May 25: Rabat

Project with members of Amal Salé

Reflection on day’s activities

Dinner with families

Day 7 – May 26: Rabat – Marrakech

Final peer activities and reflection

Group farewell lunch (Yamal Acham, Syrian)

Depart to Marrakech (4 hours)

Explore Jemaa El Fna as a group; Dinner in the square

Day 8 – May 27: Marrakech

Guided tour of old Medina

Self-directed time

Group check in


Day 9 – May 28: Marrakech – Lala Takerkoust Region

Breakfast, free morning

Depart for the semi-rural region of Lala Takerkoust

Check into guest house

Transition activities

Day 10 – May 29: Lala Takerkoust Region

Transition activities

Activities: Hiking, swimming in the lake, visit semi-rural communities, visit local camel/horse farm

Orientation for rural communities and public transportation

Day 11 – May 30: Lala Takerkoust Region – Kellat M’Gouna and rural communities

Bus to Kellat M’Gouna (6-8 hours)

Lunch on the road

Arrive to Kellat M’Gouna

Free time; reflection; explore town

Dinner with local Peace Corps connections: current volunteers, association members, language and culture facilitators (LCFs)

Group check in

Day 12-14 – May 31-June 3: Kellat M’Gouna – rural communities

Local tranzits (small vans – program will rent one without passengers for student experience) to rural communities. 

Activities in communities – TBD based on community needs/ PCV availability & current projects 

Day 15 – June 4: Travel Day (Kellat M’Gouna – Errachedia)

Tranzit to Kellat M’Gouna

Lunch in town

Bus to Errachidia (4 hours)


Day 16 – June 5: Travel Day (Errachedia – Fes)

Early departure; Grand Taxis or private bus to Fes via Midelt (5.5 hours)

Lunch in the medina

Free time; optional guided tour

Dinner, group check in and reflection

Day 17 – June 6: Fes – Asilah

Departure via private van to Asilah (4 hours)

Check into guest house

Free afternoon: Beach and reflection activities

Day 18 – June 7: Asilah – Rabat or Tangier

Reflection Day

Farewell lunch

Students depart for either Tangier or Rabat depending on plans

Day 19 – June 8:



Academic Credit

3 credits; HDFS 398

**This program also meets BOTH the Immersion and one intercultural course requirements for the Peace Corps Prep Certificate.


This program is open to all undergraduates at Purdue. It is particularly relevant for majors in Human Development and Family Studies and for Peace Corps Prep students. Note that a negative PCR test, proof of vaccination, and masking are required for travel to Morocco.

Program Cost

Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss.

$4150, flights NOT included

Flights: $850-1000

U.S. and some other citizens are not required to obtain visas for entry into Spain or Morocco. Students carrying passports that do require visas are responsible for obtaining and paying for visas. The necessary documents for these visas will be supplied by the educational provider who is making all our travel arrangements.

Additional possible expenses:

  • Passport and passport photos $175
  • Visa (for non-US students) $105 
  • Snacks, personal items, souvenirs, etc. $50-??

Application Deadline

December 12, 2022 for application

Financial Aid

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

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