Traveling by camel-back and wafting the pungent smells of herbs and spices are just a few of the activities that students can enjoy while studying abroad in Morocco. Made famous by Hollywood, Morocco is now a fusion of Mediterranean, African, European, Arabic and Islamic influences that have all left their mark on the country and its customs. Morocco is considered a part of the Maghreb region in North Africa, and its locality makes it easily accessible by ferry from Spain. The landscape of Morocco includes the Atlas and Rif Mountains, perfect for weekend excursions and hiking, as well as the Sahara Desert to the east.
Each city in Morocco is known for either its political influence, culture or economic trade centrality. Although the capital is Rabat, the majority of visitors and students visit Marrakech, Fes or Casablanca. North Africa was primarily controlled by France from the 17th century, and Morocco gained its independence on March 2, 1956. The country became a constitutional monarchy in 1961 and has remained as such for over five decades. The country also celebrates its exceptional religious freedom as a sign of modernism and progression.
While the desert climate can be arid, Morocco generally experiences four seasons, the milder being spring and fall. Depending on the severity of the colder months, the mountains may even receive snow at their peaks. Morocco is segregated by these mountains, and most of Moroccan culture is on the Western half of the country, apart from the Sahara.
The timelessness of Morocco has been preserved and is still able to be seen by the ruins from the expansion of the Roman Empire and the exotic beauty of the architectural wonders of local kasbahs and mosques. Art and architecture would be one of the many fitting courses to study in Morocco as the Berbers, the indigenous population of Morocco, celebrated an artistic renaissance of its own during prior to French colonization. The introduction to the majestic architecture and colorful culture of Morocco during this colonization contributed to the over-glamorized idealization of the Arab culture in Europe, which may be a topic in an abroad course on the history of Morocco, cultural studies or anthropology.