Is travelling only for tourists? Or does something different happen on study abroad? Spain/Morocco: Trans-National Connections and Arab Spring   draft-camel-picOn the Spain & Morocco Global Seminar, students will travel overland from Granada in Moorish Spain, to Meknes in Morocco. Students will be following a trans-national journey across borders, which is also taken by the characters in Laila Lalami's story, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits. While in Granada, students will live in homestays near the Alhambra and will visit this Islamic palace and explore the city of Granada--from flamenco to tapas!

But, during this time, we read the story of illegal immigrants from Morocco, who are living in Spain. So, we view  the country from more than one angle, and we study the history of the Golden Age of Islam in Spain.There will be several historical tours, and, of course, the camel ride. Other sites visited:  Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, Madersa (18th century Quranic school), a synagogue in Meknes, Fes market, artisian factories, and the ancient Roman ruins in Volubilis. (See info site)

For our service learning component in this program, students will work at a rural school outside of Meknes.morocco camel

Here is one student's experience:

"I originally decided to go on the Morocco/Spain Study Abroad Program because people told me I would regret it if I never studied abroad during college. I chose Morocco/Spain specifically because I was fascinated and excited by the chance to hone my travel writing skills.  Looking back almost a year later, I’m so incredibly happy I had the opportunity to go, but it means so much more to me than just a chance to practice my writing skills and travel the world.  In traveling to Spain and Morocco, my whole world was cracked wide open.  Not only did I get to experience the beauty of two ridiculously gorgeous countries, I also got to learn about transnationalism, the importance of shared history, and the real effects of hundreds of years of oppression.

Perhaps most importantly though, I was able to experience and share in the real lives of people my government and Western media has taught me to fear and hate."                         "In Spain,123

I saw churches that used to be synagogues built by Muslim architects, speaking to the coexistence of religious groups and a shared history.  I also saw Bavarian ham hanging in shops, a tradition used by Spanish Catholics to keep Muslims and Jews out, speaking to the hatred and oppression experienced by minorities under the Catholic rule of Isabella.  I saw the magnificent architecture of the Alhambra, a patchwork collection of Moorish and Gothic architecture, a reminder that Spain and Morocco are perpetually bound to one another."

In Morocco,

"I talked to Muslim students horrified by the events of 9/11, who were interested in having conversations about everything from pop culture to college to what Americans thought of Muslims.  Not only that, these students and their families welcomed us into their homes and fed us.  They led us through winding streets and bustling markets, showing us the beautiful reality of a place people have often deemed dangerous.  It was there, with these beautiful people, that I learned the true meaning of hospitality."IMG_0059

For more information,

please visit the Spain/Morocco Study Abroad Information page,

and to see what students have experienced visit the Spain/Morocco Blog.Berber musicians



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