Europe & North Africa gap semester
Spain & Morocco
Spain & Morocco
How will you Carpe Diem?
Immerse yourself in the magic and mystery of Spain & Morocco on a three-month Carpe Diem gap semester. Ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar into Southern Spain, considering the ongoing struggles that migrants oftentimes face in new cultures. Make friends with a camel and ride out into the Saharan dunes. Discover the cultural diversity that Morocco exhibits by staying in an Amizgah community.
Round out this journey with your own migration, spending several days walking the Camino del Santiago in Spain. You’ll take this time for meditative walks through pastoral landscapes and conversations with “pilgrims” from various regions of the world, while reflecting upon your experiences as an individual, as a group, and as an integral part of the greater human collective.
Absorb the arabic language and practice your conversational skills while exploring the labyrinthine Moroccan marketplace.
Experience the rich culture and strong identity of the Andalusia region through homestays, Spanish language study, and cultural immersion in Malaga, Spain.
Engage with Moroccan NGOs focusing on women’s rights, youth empowerment, and human rights for migrant populations and climate refugees.
Accepting Applications For:
Seize Your Journey
- The first three days of your semester will be spent in a comfy backpacker retreat where you’ll learn more about the program, your traveling companions, as well as strategies for staying safe and healthy while traveling. You’ll also set intentions for the semester ahead as a cohesive cohort.
- Strengthen your language skills by immersing yourself in three weeks of language study. You will be studying the local dialect of Arabic (Moroccan Arabic), which is a primary language for millions of North African peoples. A homestay placement provides an incredible opportunity to deepen and hone your language skills.
STUDENT DIRECTED TRAVEL
- This is the time for you to choose your own adventure! You will be asked, in collaboration with your group, to take ownership of the direction, processes, and budgeting of your travels and activities utilizing the skills you’ve gained in the previous weeks.
Choose from a plethora of unique travel destinations in Morocco; from rugged mountains to picturesque white sand beaches to the endless dunes of the Sahara. The only requirement is to make your way to Northern Morocco by a prescribed date—and get ready to make the Strait of Gibraltar crossing into Spain!
COMMUNITY BASED SERVICE LEARNING
- Your group will engage in a multitude of service and volunteering initiatives throughout this program. Work with NGOs that focus on women’s rights and empowerment, early childhood education, and human rights as they relate to migration and the concept of “citizenship.” Prepare to work alongside NGOs that are helping to build infrastructure for more remote areas of Morocco, or are helping to promote concepts of sustainability through organic farming, permaculture, and/or other environmentally progressive practices.
Spend a week living with a host family in a village south of Marrakech. Practice your newly-developed language skills while joining the family for meals, cultural events, and outings.
Other village homestays include living with the Amazigh community and staying with families in Tetouan, a World Heritage site. Get a greater sense of village life by working alongside your host families and villagers on a local project (to be determined in accordance with current village needs). Options may include working with local schools, building playgrounds/sports fields, organizing trash clean-ups, and participating in agricultural chores.
Enjoy a four-day trek in the high Atlas mountains, reveling in the sparse beauty of this legendary range. Be inspired by your guide, who happens to be one of Morocco’s first certified female mountain guides. Ride your newfound friend (a camel) onto the dunes of the Sahara Desert on a separate trek, surrounded by the vastness of this inhospitable, yet undeniably breathtaking, place. Share stories as you sit by the fire at night, gazing at the stars and reflecting on your experiences.
- Our reflection “retreat” embodies the spirit of human migration and movement, as well as the spiritual concept of “pilgrimage.” The group will spend five days walking the Camino del Santiago, a historic route for pilgrims since the medieval ages. There will be much to reflect upon as the finale of this amazing semester comes to a close!
The Student Experience
Explore the following links to learn about the Carpe Diem Spain & Morocco student experience.