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*Please thoroughly review special notes section below before registering.*
Challenge your stereotypes about North Africa and the Muslim world by living with a Moroccan family in the gorgeous foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Discover the incredible hospitality and warmth of Morocco’s indigenous people, the Amazigh (formerly known as Berber), and gain an understanding of how Islam is practiced in Morocco. Upon arrival in Marrakech, take part in a dynamic discussion with university students that will serve as an introduction into Moroccan culture. Then travel one more hour to a village for a 3-night homestay. Learn how to communicate without language, make Moroccan tea, and cook with your host mother. The group will hike in the area for beautiful views of the Atlas Mountains. Experience a traditional Moroccan bath, known as a Hammam; these “Turkish” baths are an exhilarating, exfoliating experience. Celebrate new relationships with a traditional Moroccan party featuring music, henna, and dance. On the final day, say goodbye to host families and take a 10-minute camel ride, gazing upon the Atlas Mountains in the distance. This trip wraps up with lunch and shopping time in Marrakech’s Jema el-Fnaa Square and the surrounding markets.
“SO WORTH IT! Best way to round out my SAS in country experience. The homestay was amazing-incredibly eye opening and hospitable from all aspects.” – Spring 2019 Student Voyager
“I enjoyed the interaction with the families and people in the community. I like that we stayed with the same family for a few nights and got to know them. I also like that there was an interpreter present to help us communicate more effectively with the family.” – Spring 2018 Staff Voyager
- Travel to Marrakech (~5hrs)
- Facilitated discussion with young Moroccans and introduction to Moroccan culture over tea
- Travel to the homestay community (Host family orientation on bus) (~1.5hrs)
- Arrive to the homestay community for dinner and spend the evening with host families
- Overnight with host families
- Walking exploration of the village
- Facilitated discussion with local youth about their life and the village
- Lunch with host families
- Local crafts (straw woven shoes, argan, and pottery)
- Cooking dinner with host mothers
- Dinner and overnight with host families
- Breakfast with host families
- Hike (~2.5hrs)
- Lunch with families
- Hammam traditional Moroccan bath (optional)
- Dinner with families
- Traditional (local) music celebration with tea, pastries, and henna with host families
- Overnight with host families
- Breakfast and host family good-byes
- Depart the homestay community (~1.5hrs)
- Camel ride and reflection with tea
- Drive to Marrakech (~1hr)
- Lunch and explore markets of Jema el-Fnaa Square
- Depart Marrakech to return to Casablanca (~4.5hrs)
***Times and activities are tentative and subject to change. Please be flexible.***
Day 1: tea, dinner
Day 2: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4: breakfast, lunch
- Please note that homestay accommodations are basic. Families have only cold water and for those who do not participate in the hammam, they may take a bucket shower with cold water. (The hammam is very warm.)
- Beds are Moroccan couches, which are dense mattresses that are thinner in width than a twin bed. Voyagers will be placed with families in groups of 3 or more.
- The group will hike 2-3 hours; please bring appropriate shoes for this activity.
- All participants will be required to sign a liability waiver. The tour provider will collect copies of student passports in advance of the program.
- Participants must give 12 hour advanced notice to local guides before signing out of this program to ensure appropriate continuing transportation and to inform host families in an respectful way.
- This program has a strict dress code: participants should wear long, loose clothing that covers them from the collarbone to the elbows and past the knee. Tops should drape past the rear end and hips. It is not appropriate to wear leggings (unless with a long, loose dress) or see-through clothing. It is not appropriate to show the skin of the chest, back, or stomach.
- The hammam (bath) is gender separated – underwear and bikini tops are acceptable but not required
- Participants who smoke cigarettes are not allowed to smoke in public in the village. Cigarette smokers should communicate their needs to their program leaders, who will inform them of when and where they can smoke discretely.
- Alcohol and drug use is expressly prohibited.
- Vegetarians can be accommodated. Vegans are requested to eat vegetarian during the homestay.