Al Akhawayn University


image of al akhawayn university
Part of the ISEP network, Al Akhawayn University is Morocco's premiere liberal arts university, offering a wide range of courses in English and nestled in the mountain resort town of Ifrane in the Middle Atlas Mountains
Location: Ifrane, Morocco
Language of Instruction: EnglishArabic
Program Type: Semester or Academic Year

  • Study humanities and social sciences in Ifrane, Morocco, close to the imperial cities of Fez and Meknes
  • Ideal for students of Arabic and Middle Eastern studies, with a wide range of language and cultural opportunities offered every semester
  • Complement your coursework by volunteering with local NGOs in the fields of human rights, development, and health

The resort town of Ifrane, nestled in the Middle Atlas Mountains at 1600 meters (5000 feet), has a regular population of 12,000 that expands to nearly 100,000 on weekends, holidays and in summer because of its beauty in all four seasons. The Province of Ifrane is home to the largest cedar forest in North Africa and is the most biologically diverse area in Morocco. Two ski slopes are about 25 minutes from campus. The imperial cities of Meknes and Fez are an hour (65 kilometers) from Ifrane. The capital city of Rabat on the Atlantic coast is 2 hours from Ifrane; the Sahara desert is 6 hours away.

Morocco, known in Arabic as al-Mumlakah al-Maghreb or “the Western Kingdom,” is a country in northwest Africa with a long coastline along the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. Morocco, the fourth most populous country in the region, has a predominantly Muslim population that is mostly Arab and Berber. The official language is modern standard Arabic but many speak Moroccan Arabic, French or Berber.

The resort community of Ifrane is nestled in the Middle Atlas Mountains. The region is known for its beautiful forests, mountains, lakes and waterfalls. Located just 60 kilometers from the historically rich imperial cities of Fez and Meknes, Ifrane is easily accessible by automobile, bus and taxi.

Students can also use Past Semester Course Catalogs to look for possible courses.

Al Akhawayn University offers seven undergraduate degrees from among three schools, science and engineering, business administration, and humanities and social sciences. Fourteen graduate degrees are offered in addition to executive education and special programs for continuing education. All courses are delivered in English. Language classes are offered in French, Arabic, Spanish and Berber. 

Of special interest are courses in history and political science that focus on North Africa and the Middle East. Arabic language courses are also offered in Modern Standard Arabic. Arabic is not offered at all levels each semester and students should refer to the course catalog for level selection.

Modern Standard Arabic is offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year and semester for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Beginner I is offered in both the fall and spring semesters. There are three contact hours per course. Moroccan Arabic is available for students who have had a semester of Arabic or who are familiar with Arabic script. Beginning French and Spanish as foreign languages are offered each semester. Intermediate French is offered as well, but intermediate Spanish is dependent on demand.

Beginning French and Spanish as foreign languages are offered each semester. Intermediate French is offered as well, but intermediate Spanish is dependent on demand.

Students are housed in double rooms in one of the residence halls located on campus. Single rooms are NOT available. Married student housing is NOT available. Students receive a cash stipend that will cover 21 meals per week at the university’s dining hall. Students may add funds to the cash wallet account to cover incidental expenses on campus. Students are not able to make purchases on campus with cash or debit cards. Purchases are made with the cash wallet.

Orientation program focuses on cultural aspects of life in Morocco and will provide exchange students with practical information as well as assisting with enrollment, course registration and life on campus.

Arrival Details

Airport pick up will be provided from Fez to Ifrane for a fee. Students must provide final arrival information to host coordinator at least one week in advance.

A fully residential campus, there are over 40 students clubs and associations.

All students are eligible to play in the intramural teams of basketball, volleyball, soccer (football), rugby and others depending on student interest. Al Achaean plays in the university leagues and there are official men’s and women’s teams in football (soccer), basketball, volleyball, handball, tennis, cross country, and chess.

Community Engagement(Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)

The Community Service Office has a wide range of activities suitable for international students with limited language abilities in Arabic. They maintain a database of organizations all over Morocco. All Al Akhawayn students are required to do a 60-hour community service project before graduation. Service Learning is being introduced in some classes.

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

To apply, students will meet with the ISEP Coordinator, Charlie Ambrose, and begin an application through the ISEP system. Call 785-864-3742 to schedule an appointment.

Contact Charlie Ambrose at chambrose@ku.edu for more information.

Further information on programs can be found on the ISEP Website