Morocco Winter Break


“Walking through the old Medina (walled city) and experiencing the sights and sounds and aromas of daily life in Morocco is an education onto itself.”

- Sherif Barsoum, Director, International Student and Scholar Services, Vanderbilt University

Morocco is an ethnically, culturally, and geographically diverse nation with a rich political and social history.  Located on North Africa’s western coast, Morocco’s culture contains a unique infusion of Arab, Berber, European, and other African influences. The Winter Break Service Experience in Morocco aims to provide a dynamic opportunity for Vanderbilt students to immerse themselves in Moroccan culture and society while participating in meaningful service in a local community. Priority will be given to first-year students, although all student applications will be considered. Students who participate in  the 10 day Winter Break Service in Morocco will return to campus with both a valuable international perspective and an introduction to service-learning at Vanderbilt University.


Proposed Itinerary

In the fall semester, students selected into the program’s cohort will participate in two seminars designed to introduce them to Moroccan culture and mindful service-learning.  Once on-site in December, the group will reside in Rabat, traveling to Essaouira, Marrakech and other locations for educational and service programs. In coordination with the Center for Cross Cultural Learning in Rabat, students will attend lectures and workshops on topics including: “Gender Dynamics in Morocco”, “Civil Society and Volunteerism in Morocco”, “Religion and Politics in Morocco”, and “Moroccan Society and Human Rights”.  Service and educational opportunities will also be provided through the Amal Sale Association, Orient-Oxidant Foundation, National Council on Human Rights, and Amnesty International of Rabat.

While in Morocco, students will also have the opportunity to develop an understanding and appreciation of Moroccan history, landscape, architecture, and daily life.  In addition to lectures, group discussions, and service opportunities, students will have a chance to explore Rabat, learn about local customs and traditions, tour museums, mosques, cathedrals, monuments, and other historic sites, and sample traditional Moroccan cuisine.


Learning Outcomes

Student participants will:

  • Learn about the Office of Active Citizenship and Service and Service-Learning at Vanderbilt University
  • Develop an international perspective and appreciation for diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and cultures
  • Be encouraged to think critically about issues of social responsibility, public policy, and citizenship in a global society
  • Critically reflect on their experience and challenge their preconceptions and assumptions
  • Develop interpersonal skills in conflict resolution and group decision-making


Dates & Costs

Information Session:

September 12th, 2013 | OACS Lounge, Rand 305 | 5:30pm

Application Due

October 14th, 2013

2013 Morocco Winter Break Program Dates:

December 13th-23rd, 2013

2013 Program Fee:

$1,400 + Flight



Application Requirements:

Morocco 2014 Financial Aid Form



For questions regarding the OACS Global Service Project to Morocco contact Christine Drasba: