The University of Iowa

Tagged with "Arabic"


On Moroccan Pedagogy

Back in August, I was told that Al Akhawayn University was designed on the American system, differing from most universities of the world in that it involves a “liberal arts” education. Students don’t just study within their specialization, but a wide range of subjects in a way that is meant to broaden one’s worldview and train in critical thinking. But I’m discovering that while you can take the professor out of the Moroccan university, it’s harder to take the Moroccan university out of the professor. Even though the university is “American” in style, that doesn’t change the way individual professors conduct their classes. As a result, I’ve been learning the hard way what it’s like to attend an actual Moroccan university from my two language professors with whom I have a love/hate relationship.

The Reality of Homesickness

Homesickness hit me hard this past week, which marks a little less than two months since leaving home. When I was getting ready to leave, back in August, I knew I would miss some things while I was in Morocco, like my family, friends, dog, et cetera. But these aren't the things that bothered me the most– it's not hard to make a Skype call home. The real difficulty lies in a few things I never knew I would miss, little things that even though they wouldn't matter by themselves add up to make a big difference.

Adventure in Meknès

I've studied Arabic for three years. I can write papers, discuss ideas, give presentations, and I can't even ask a taxi driver what the fare is in Morocco. Or I couldn't yesterday morning, when my fellow international student and I took a taxi with four other people (two in the front seat, four squeezed in the back) to the city of Meknès, about an hour away from campus, for the day. We were lucky– there happened to be someone else in the taxi who spoke English.

The Zaouia

Yesterday morning, bright and far too early, I and about forty other students and staff set out for Zaouia Sidi Abd es-Salaam, a nine-kilometer hike through the forest from Al Akhawayn University's campus. Organized by the Interfaith Alliance, the goal of our hike was to see the zaouia, a shrine built over the mausoleum of a famous Moroccan holy man Sidi Abd es-Salaam, and see the limestone caves for which the city of Ifrane was named (in the local Berber dialect).
Claire Jacobsen

Bucket list

In preparation for studying abroad, I was able to cross an item off of my bucket list: I got an international driving permit. It doesn’t matter as much if I actually use it, although that would be great, too. (After two days in the country, though, I’m already more than a little hesitant to get behind the wheel.) It’s just the fact that I could legally drive in Morocco if I really wanted to that is exciting.

Writing Program brings Russian, Arabic writers to IC

Iowa City has been welcoming people from all across the globe for years. Various cultures are orchestrated beautifully in this city and enrich its cultural heritage. This summer, the International Writing Program is bringing younger writers, between the ages of 16 and 19, from Russia and Arabic-speaking countries to the University of Iowa for their Between the Lines (BTL). Students participating in BTL will study creative writing and will be able to experience American culture during a two week stay at the university.