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Ifrane, Morocco

program description


The City

From the Sahara desert oasis of Marrakesh to the teeming metropolis of Casablanca and the elegant royal cities of Rabat and Fez, Morocco has long been a major political, commercial and cultural crossroads in the history of North Africa and the Mediterranean region. A truly diverse society, Morocco is a point of convergence for African, Arab, and Mediterranean cultures. Today, this rich and diverse history is evident in the peaceful mingling of different ethnicities, faiths, dialects, and cuisines.

Situated in the heart of a region known for its beautiful forests, mountains, lakes, and waterfalls, Ifrane is a small town located in the Atlas Mountains just 40 miles from the historically rich imperial city of Fez, one of the most prestigious cities of the Muslim world and the capital of the first Arab dynasty of Morocco.

The University

Al Akhawayn University is a young, modern institution, inaugurated by His Majesty King Hassan II of Morocco in 1995. Currently, the university has about 1,500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. Morocco’s first English language university, Al Akhawayn takes an innovative approach to education, combining the humanistic tradition of Arab and Mediterranean cultures with the structure of the American university system. The university also offers intense faculty–student interaction, with small classes and a curriculum characterized by an interdisciplinary spirit.

Academic facilities at Al Akhawayn include the largest computer network in all of North Africa, one of the finest libraries in Morocco, several research centers, and a state-of-the-art language laboratory. Student services facilities are just as modern and well appointed, with pleasant student housing in 16 residence halls, a student center, health services center, counseling and career services, and an excellent sports center. Student life is interesting and dynamic, with international students comprising nearly 10% of the student body and increasing each year.

The Program

The English language curriculum at Al Akhawayn offers students a unique opportunity to be fully immersed in a North African university setting while still having a wide array of courses available to them. Al Akhawayn offers course work in history and social science, management, communications, engineering, mathematics and computer science, natural and physical sciences, and Islamic civilization. The program offers courses in modern standard Arabic, as well as colloquial Arabic. 

Orientation/Academic support

Al Akhawayn provides BC students with a comprehensive orientation program and an assigned academic advisor from the faculty.


BC students are housed in dormitories.


BC students participate in a variety of cultural and social events that integrate them into Moroccan culture and life. Students make day trips to the imperial cities of Fez and Meknes, and the Souks (weekly markets) of neighboring towns. They can also profit from the yearly activities organized all over Morocco that attract visitors from around the world: The Marrakesh National Festival for Popular Arts; The Erfound Festival of Palm-Dates, with celebrations in the nearby enchanting Merzouga Dunes; and The Fez Festival of Sacred Music, when Fez harbors a gathering for dialogue and knowledge of world cultures. Volunteer opportunities through the Azrou Center for Community Development are available to BC students.