AUCP Marseille students have just returned from their week-long study tour in Fez, Morocco, an integral part of the general curriculum focusing on secular France, immigrant identities, and a clear understanding of Islam and the twelve institutions of all Arab-Muslim cities. Students benefitted from a Moroccan homestay in the home of a carefully selected Moroccan student correspondent, attended conferences by local experts on women’s evolving rights and the economic prospects of Fez and Morocco, and explored the labyrinth of old Medina to encounter local artisans.
This year, students were scheduled to arrive in Morocco just two days following the terrorist attacks in Paris. Our Resident Director in Marseille, Sylvie Requemora, shares:
To go or not to go? This semester, our trip to Morocco was particularly affected by the attacks in Paris on Friday, November 13th. With our departure scheduled for the 15th, I called each student individually to know if their curiosity and their desire to learn and understand could conquer fear. All of the students, in a truly beautiful consensus, responded, « This trip is even more important today that it was before! » I am so proud of this exceptional group of students and their intelligent reaction. They were able to take advantage of this intercultural eye-opening experience, thanks to our Moroccan professors and host families. Even our excursion into the desert took place in serenity and in meditation. We went, we didn’t give in.
Once in Fez, students were immersed in traditional Moroccan life with their language correspondents and their host families, giving them an opportunity to question their own personal conception of what is culturally acceptable within a Moroccan context, and learn about themselves and their responses to cultural difference. The week of intensive immersion ended with an excursion to the Erfoud area of the Sahara Desert in the company of nomads! Complete with a camel trek, a traditional meal and a night spent in the desert with the nomad tribe, Marseille students experienced the splendor of the desert and Moroccan culture, tout en français (et arabe) !
Click on the photos to enlarge, and see a slideshow of our students’ week in Morocco!
More on Morocco, soon!
To learn more about the AUCP program in Marseille and its focus on International Relations, Islam culture and Arabic, visit our website.