Morocco

Field Studies in Journalism and New Media

Train as a reporter with award-winning correspondents. Gain in-depth knowledge of regional issues including politics and human rights. Produce a feature for publication in professional news outlets. Work on the staff of an online magazine.

At a Glance

Credits

16

Prerequisites

Relevant previous coursework

Language of Study

French, Arabic

Courses taught in

English

Dates

Jan 26 ‎– May 9

Program Countries

Morocco

Program Base

Rabat

Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

Identity & Human Resilience Icon

Overview

Why study journalism in Morocco?

Explore the rich culture, history, and contemporary life of Morocco through a reporter’s lens. From the modern capital, Rabat, and other locations across the country, collaborate on stories with Moroccan students and learn from professionals reporting for top-tier media outlets such as the Associated Press and The New York Times. Publish stories on Reporting Morocco, our powerful student-run journalism site, and partner with an English-speaking Moroccan journalism student to develop a full-length feature in print, video, audio, photography, and/or multimedia on a topic affecting Morocco. Past students have placed stories with Newsweek, Al Jazeera, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Reuters, and many other major news outlets. After a rural homestay in the scenic Rif Mountains, you’ll visit the ancient city of Chefchaouen, known for its blue-washed buildings, and walk from Africa to Europe via the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. An excursion in the south includes culturally rich Marrakesh and the breathtaking Atlantic coast towns of Agadir and Essaouira.

Highlights

  • Learn how to gather news in another culture, find sources, and conduct interviews.
  • Produce an original feature story for possible placement in a professional media outlet.
  • Publish on our powerful student-run journalism site, Reporting Morocco.
  • Gain new competencies in Arabic or French.
  • Explore Morocco during six-day excursions to the north and south.

Prerequisites

Previous college-level coursework in writing, journalism, communications, and/or media studies, or other related fields. Strong writing skills and an interest in journalism are essential. A writing sample may be required as part of the admissions process.

Excursions

Hit the Road South

Heading south for six days, you will visit Marrakesh, Agadir, and Essaouira on the Atlantic Coast, made famous by ’60s rockers Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, and Frank Zappa. This remarkable journey encompasses beaches, mountains, and ancient walled cities. You will visit NGOs and learn about development challenges faced by people in the outer regions. The excursion will be fun and educational and will help you identify potential stories for the Independent Study Project in Journalism.

Rural Life in the North

You’ll spend a week with a family in a rural village to learn about their challenges and discover potential stories as you immerse yourself in issues of critical importance to them: the importance of water and infrastructure needs; health and hospitals; and dreams of migration. After the homestay, you will visit the ancient blue-washed city of Chefchaouen and the autonomous Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

Academics

Coursework

Access virtual library guide.

The Contextual Studies in Journalism course provides an intense introduction to vital aspects of Morocco and covers a wide range of topics via lectures from prominent academics and subject-area experts. Students are expected to plumb these lectures for story ideas especially for the full-length feature that will be generated during the Independent Study.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Key Topics

  • Identifying original stories, determining newsworthiness for a global audience
  • Finding sources and gaining their trust in an unfamiliar country and culture
  • Understanding dominant issues in Moroccan society and across North Africa
  • Practicing journalistic and narrative skills

Contextual Studies in Journalism: Morocco and North Africa

Contextual Studies in Journalism: Morocco and North Africa – syllabus
(JOUR 3000 / 4 credits)

This interdisciplinary course places journalistic practice in the context of Morocco and North Africa, covering key issues of Moroccan society. Leading Moroccan academics, analysts, civil society actors, and artists give lectures on political mobilization and participation, religion, women’s issues, economy and migration, education and literacy, human rights, and culture. Through excursions, the course covers the history of journalism in the region since Morocco’s independence (in 1956), the role that journalism and broadcast media play in the development of individual and public liberties and a democratic mode of governance, and the role of social media during and after the Arab Spring. Students produce an online magazine, Reporting Morocco, with opportunities to write articles, engage in social media, post news of the day, and work as photo editors.

Field Ethics of Journalism in Morocco

Field Ethics of Journalism in Morocco – syllabus 
(JOUR 3500 / 3 credits)

This four-part course 1) introduces students to the challenge and particularities of doing journalism in Morocco through lectures with professional local and international journalists; 2) teaches students interviewing and story-telling skills; 3) covers the ethics of conducting a journalistic assignment in a regional environment; and 4) prepares students for an Independent Study Project in Journalism (ISPJ) or internship at a local media organization. Throughout the course, students learn techniques for accessing local resources, which will aid in gathering information for news and feature stories.

Course Options

Independent Study Project in Journalism
Independent Study Project in Journalism – syllabus 

(ISPJ 3000 / 6 credits)

Students propose, research, and execute a full-length feature (in the media format of their choosing), which will be considered for publication or broadcast in a media outlet. Students have the rare opportunity to work alongside journalists whose bylined pieces regularly appear in media outlets around the world. Professionals provide hands-on advice and mentoring at every stage of story development, sharing expertise gathered from years in challenging global reporting situations. Story topics are assessed based on originality, richness, and appeal to a broad global audience. Students learn what it means to organize a story, select sources, question deeply, work toward balance, be alert to bias (and clichés), respond to an editor’s feedback, check facts, rework and rewrite, strive for clarity, and achieve accessible, flowing prose along with, in many cases, images and sound.

Sample Independent Study Project in Journalism topics:

  • Women’s fight for inheritance rights
  • The desert marathon
  • The difficulty of sustaining traditional crafts in Morocco
  • Surfers and the economic and cultural impact of the surfing business
  • Sexual harassment and legal efforts to combat it
  • Alternative energies and sustainable development
  • Urban development and mega-projects
  • Music festivals as political statements
  • The attempts to save endangered species in Morocco
  • Access to healthcare for migrants in Morocco

Browse this program’s Independent Study Projects / undergraduate research.

OR

Internship and Seminar
Internship and Seminar – syllabus

(ITRN3000 / 6 credits / 180 hours)

This seminar consists of a five-week, 180-hour internship with a local community organization, research organization, media outlet, cultural institution, or nongovernmental organization. The aim of the internship is to enable students to gain valuable experience and enhance their skills in journalism, media, and/or communications. SIT will use its extensive network to facilitate an internship placement for students. The organization and the student’s internship activities, including the Internship Learning Agreement, must be approved by the program’s academic director. Weekly two-hour reflection and assessment classes are held with the academic director to review the progress of the internship, including learning associated with the internship experience, and to draw out broader issues related to program themes, positionality, culture, and ethics in the context of the internship.

Sample internships

  • Documenting an active agenda of cultural events and guest speakers and covering youth and education issues in the region at The Connect Institute (Agadir), an alternative higher education institution
  • Assisting the publishing of original investigative reporting as well as a blog on literary/publishing/cultural news at En Toutes Lettres (Casablanca), an independent publishing house
  • Supporting digital community radio programs at E-Jussour (Rabat/Tangiers/Ouarzazate), a media platform for NGOs
  • Producing and posting articles at Morocco World News, an English-language news site
  • Helping Racines, a cultural NGO, set up a site to report on cultural news around Morocco

French or Arabic

Students may choose between Modern Standard Arabic for beginning or intermediate levels or, alternatively, French or Arabic for intermediate high or advanced levels.

Arabic

Beginning Modern Standard Arabic
Beginning Modern Standard Arabic – syllabus 
(ARAB 1003–1503 / 3 credits)

Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic
Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic – syllabus
(ARAB 2003–2503 / 3 credits)

Advanced Modern Standard Arabic
Advanced Modern Standard Arabic – syllabus 
(ARAB 3003–3503 / 3 credits)

The Arabic courses are designed to prepare students to engage in everyday communication. They integrate reading, writing, listening, grammar, vocabulary, and conversation. Students with prior study in Arabic will notice the use of Modern Standard Arabic throughout the media. Homestays, field excursions, and everyday interactions assist in language acquisition.

OR

French for Media and Communications: Intermediate High
French for Media and Communications: Intermediate High – syllabus
(FREN 2503 / 3 credits)

French for Media and Communications: Advanced
French for Media and Communications: Advanced – syllabus
(FREN 3003–3503 / 3 credits)

These courses aim to enhance students’ skills in French, with emphasis on written and spoken competency. The courses combine communicative exercises, comprehension, presentations, and debates with grammar learning, translation, and composition. The focus is on the French lexicon used in the fields of journalism, media, and communications.

Homestays

Rabat

The family is the center of life in Morocco and you will live and share meals with a Moroccan family in the capital, Rabat. You’ll break bread with your host family twice a day, as mealtimes are an integral part of  the rhythm of life here.Host families live in and near Rabat’s historic medina in Andalusian-style homes characterized by secluded interior courtyards, arched doorways, and blue-and white-painted outer walls. Most residents know everyone in this tightly knit community, and you’ll quickly become part of neighborhood life.

Spending time with your host family, you’ll become familiar with the sounds and gestures of Arabic as it is spoken in Morocco. You will also experience Moroccan multilingualism since it is common for locals to speak two or more languages.

You will live with a family for seven weeks. You may choose to stay with your homestay family for a further five weeks during the ISPJ period or receive a stipend to arrange your own accommodation.

Rural Homestay

You’ll also experience what it’s like to live in a Moroccan village during a five-day homestay with a traditional, modest-income Moroccan family in Beni Koulla, a village near Ouazzane with Sufi roots at the southwestern edge of the Rif Mountains. You will meet with rural youth and discuss issues such as education, employment, and prospects for the future. You will understand many of the development challenges in facing rural communities as well as a sense of gender dynamics.

Career Paths

A diversity of students representing different colleges, universities, and majors study abroad on this program. Many of them have gone on to do amazing things that connect back to their experience abroad with SIT. Recent positions held by alumni of this program include:

  • Journalists in the United States

  • Foreign correspondents abroad

  • An Overseas Press Club Fellow in India

  • Interns at major media outlets such as National Geographic and National Public Radio

  • Fulbright scholars

Faculty & Staff

Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media

Daniel Lynx Bernard, MPA
Academic Director
Abdessamad Ait Dada (Samad), MA
Program Assistant
Abdelhay Moudden, PhD
Senior Advisor
Aida Alami, MS
Senior Journalism Advisor
Bouchra Sahimda
Language Director
Doha Lmachichi
Homestay Director
Mary Stucky
Journalism Advisor
Mosa'ab Elshamy
Photo/video Journalism Advisor

Discover the Possibilities

  • COST & SCHOLARSHIPS

    SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.

    See Full Breakdown
  • ACCESSIBILITY

    Prepare for an accessible educational experience with SIT Study Aborad! In-country conditions and resources vary by site. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact disabilityservices@sit.edu for more information.

    Accessibility Overview
  • Reporting Morocco

    Reporting Morocco is produced by students from this program and strives to be a reliable resource for news and information.

    Learn More
  • Host families enrich the study abroad experience

    University of Pittsburgh student Anna Bongardino writes about the homestay experience in The Pitt News.

    Learn More
  • Can Muslim Feminism Find a Third Way?

    Former Academic Director Ursula Lindsey writes about Muslim feminism for The New York Times.

    Learn More
  • Video Contest

    Winners of the 2017 #SITVideoContest Announced

    Learn More

PUBLISHED STUDENT WORK

Reporting Morocco: Powerful student-run journalism

https://reportingmorocco.sit.edu

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