Morocco: Al Akhawayn University
Program Type: Full Exchange
Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) opened its doors to students in January 1995. Based on the principles of diversity and an international outlook, the university’s mission is driven by values of human solidarity and tolerance. AUI has modeled its administrative, pedagogical, and academic organization on the American university system, and English is the language of instruction.
The 40-hectare campus is located in the oak forest on the north side of the resort town of Ifrane. Facilities include 16 student residence buildings. There is a gymnasium, an indoor regulation Olympic swimming pool next to the soccer field and track, and three regulation tennis courts. All classroom buildings are situated next to each other, and faculty offices are distributed throughout the campus.
A beautiful and popular tourist destination, the town of Ifrane has a regular population of 12,000 that expands to nearly 100,000 on weekends, holidays, and summers. With an elevation of 1600 meters (5250 feet), Ifrane is nestled in the Middle Atlas Mountains. The province of Ifrane is home to the largest cedar forest in North Africa, and is the most biologically diverse area in Morocco. There are many exciting places to visit outside of Ifrane; most of them can be reached within 1 day. The ski slopes of Michlifin and Hebri are about 25 minutes from campus, and the imperial cities of Meknes and Fez are an hour (65 kilometers) from Ifrane. The capital city of Rabat on the Atlantic coast is about 2 hours away, and the Sahara desert is just a 6-hour drive to the south.
Al Akhawayn has multiple exchange programs with partner institutions worldwide. AUI is home to excellent research facilities, particularly for North African and Middle Eastern Studies.
Course Load and Grading System
Grading at AUI is similar to the American School system based on a scale of 4.0. The average class load is 5 classes (12-17 credit hours) per semester. There is also a drop/add period at the beginning of each semester when students are able to switch their classes, should they so desire.
Housing and Board
Al Akhawayn University is a Full Exchange program with Washington College, meaning that all fees are paid to Washington College. Exchange students will be housed in single or double occupancy rooms. Rooms are furnished with a wardrobe, desk, chair, twin size bed, mattress pad, sheets, pillow, blanket, and an ensuite bathroom equipped with a shower. Visitation rights in Morocco are strict and no visitation of the opposite sex is allowed at anytime in the residences. Students may house members of their family after requesting permission from Housing.
Al Akhawayn welcomes its international members, and strives to make the transition from home to AUI as smooth as possible. The Office of International Programs understands the rigors of preparing to live abroad. Student life at AUI includes the programs and events that complement learning and provide diverse opportunities for students to grow academically, professionally, and personally. The Office of Student Activities caters to over 40 student-run clubs, varying in entertainment, cultural and recreational activities. There are also nine official athletic teams that represent the University outside and on-campus.