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Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA: 3.0 Housing Options: Dormitory without Meal Plan
Language of Study: Arabic, English Program Type: Direct Enrollment, Exchange
Student Type: Open to all Qualified Applicants Flight Arrangements: Self-Arranged Flight
Program Advisor: Amber Jennings:
Program Description:

Al Akhawayn University Exchange Program


Academic Features
Student Life
Estimate of Costs
More Information


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 Desert. 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 language and culture stretches back several thousand years.The Binghamton University exchange program at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) offers Arabic language (beginning through advanced), courses about North Africa and Islamic culture, and courses in the university's professional and arts and sciences schools. All instruction at the university is in English (except for the Arabic language program). Participants live on campus and are fully integrated with the Moroccan students. The program takes place fall or spring semester or the academic year. 

Ifrane is a university town in the Middle Atlas region of Morocco, east of Casablanca and Rabat, south of Fez. In the midst of beautiful cedar and oak forests, the area was developed by the French in the 1930s for summer mountain retreats. The architecture of Al Akhawayn University (AUI) as well as that of the surrounding homes is distinctive of the region. It is characterized by stone houses adorned with shutters and tile roofs. The village center of Ifrane has cafes, hotels, a bank, small convenience shops and fast-food establishments, a souq, and taxi plazas. The Mischliffen ski area is close by. 

Locally, one can visit stands of enormous cedars in the forests and drive through areas with spectacular views of the distant mountains, the high plains and agricultural lands. 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. Tangier is to the northwest and is a point of departure for travel to Gibraltar, Spain and Portugal.


Spring semester begins in early January and ends in mid May. Spring 2019 orientation and registration takes place January 9-13, with classes beginning on January 14. Classes end April 30, with finals occurring May 2-9. Click the 2018-2019 Academic Calendar.pdf for a full calendar of events.

Fall semester starts at the beginning of September and lasts until the third week in December. Fall 2018 registration and orientation for new and international students begins August 29th, with classes beginning on September 3. Classes end December 12, with final exams taking place from December 14-21. Click the 2018-2019 Academic Calendar.pdf for a full calendar of events.


Academic Features

Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane is a newer university which seeks to blend the Arab and Mediterranean humanistic tradition with current scientific and technical knowledge and research. It is organized into the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Science and Engineering, and the School of Business Administration. To prepare Moroccans for leadership in an international environment, all instruction is in English. The recently constructed campus is modern and accommodates students easily. AUI is modeled on the American university system in its administrative, pedagogical and academic organization. Special attention is also given to the teaching of Arabic language at all levels.

Arabic Language Program: Under the auspices of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, AUI offers in-depth Arabic language and culture courses. The Arabic courses focus on spoken and written Modern Standard Arabic at all levels, from beginning through advanced. There is also a track for fluent speakers. Immersion is the teaching approach adopted by the faculty. Instruction in Moroccan Colloquial Arabic is integrated into the curriculum. All participants are advised to take one course in standard Arabic, such as:

Beginning Arabic I and II
Intermediate Arabic I and II
Advanced Arabic I and II
Arabic for Academic Purposes
Arabic for Communication Purposes

University Courses: Participants may select from courses in the humanities and social sciences in the following fields: economics, geography, history, humanities, political science, and sociology. Many of the core courses are related to Morocco, the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the greater Arab and Islamic world. For a fuller description of sample course offerings, students are encouraged to consult AUI's
2017-2019 Course Catalog.pdf.

Examples of courses related to Morocco, the Mediterranean and North Africa are:

Contemporary Moroccan History
History of the Arab World
Comparative Political Systems
Women and Economic Development

Students earn from 12 to 18 Binghamton University credits per semester. Credit towards the requirements of a major or a minor normally is evaluated by the relevant department. Students are urged to discuss their intention to participate in the Morocco program with all appropriate academic advisors and to seek pre-approvals and an understanding of study abroad credit policies on their home campus. Most courses are at the undergraduate level; graduate courses are available in some areas.

To see a list of courses students have previously taken at Al Akhawayn University and how these classes were shown on Binghamton transcripts, check out our Education Abroad Course Equivalencies page. 

Student Life

 Students live in residence halls on campus with Moroccan students in single or double rooms. A shuttle bus provides transportation through campus for roughly 2dh per ride. The university dining facilities is an attractive cafeteria. The campus is home to three self-service restaurants- a Moroccan and International Restaurant, grill, and pizzeria- open seven days a week and two restaurants open six days a week. 

Students can join one of dozens of students athletic, cultural, or academic clubs, including the arabesque club and the brain boosters club. You can find more information on housing and other aspects of life as an exchange student at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane in the 2017-2018 International Student Handbook.pdfMore detailed information about university clubs and more can be found in the AUI Student Handbook 2017-2018.pdf. The 2018-2019 guides have not been released.

Estimate of Costs

The program fee covers housing and program administration. Additional costs may include, but are not limited to, passport, local transportation, textbooks, travel during breaks, and personal expenses.To learn about the program costs and related expenses, see the cost sheets linked below.

Estimate of Costs Fall 2018.pdf

In order to understand the actual difference in cost of your semester abroad, you should compare the Estimate of Costs sheet for this program that is linked above to what you would pay normally for a semester at Binghamton. ***Cost Comparison: Binghamton University estimates the average cost for a full time student one semester on campus to be $12,993.50 in-state and $20,633.50 out-of-state. 

Federal and New York State financial aid is generally applicable to study abroad programs. The Binghamton Office of Financial Aid Services is able to consider only the applications of students matriculated at Binghamton for degree study. Other SUNY and non-SUNY students should contact the financial aid office on the home campus for information about eligibility for all aid programs.

Withdrawal Policy: When a student commits to an education abroad program in their Terra Dotta online program application, the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives (IEGI) mirrors the Binghamton University Student Accounts refund policy for tuition, tuition differentials, and all program fees.

Students applying for this program are highly encouraged to apply for campus and national scholarships. Please visit the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives or go to our scholarships page for more information.

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The Al Akhawayn University exchange program welcomes applications from SUNY as well as non-SUNY students in all majors, undergraduate or graduate. An overall grade point average of B is normally required. Prior study of Arabic language is desirable but not required.

The program is most appropriate for students who have the maturity and self-reliance to adjust to a predominant culture in Morocco that is very different from the predominant culture in the United States. 

The application deadline is September 15 for admission in the spring semester and February 15 for admission in the fall semester or the academic year.  Late applications will be considered on a program-available basis. 


Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 09/15/2018 ** Rolling Admission 01/07/2019 05/09/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.