Spring Semester

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in Morocco

Spring 2022: 7 February - 3 June

During the semester Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in Morocco, with its programmes Arabic and Moroccan Languages and Culture, students have the opportunity to receive extensive training on Moroccan Languages and culture. This semester can serve as a study abroad semester for various Dutch academic or hbo programmes during the second or third year. Students of Arabic follow a solid Arabic programme with various Modern Standard Arabic courses. Students from other disciplines, such as Modern Middle Eastern Studies and International Studies do research in addition to developing their language skills. Furthermore, all students learn about Moroccan society through excursions and guest lectures.


Students of Arabic follow an intensive programme of Modern Standard Arabic courses (15 EC in total) which develops and sharpens their reading, writing, and listening skills. Depending on whether students are beginners or have prior knowledge of Moroccan Arabic, they will either learn the basics of this spoken language or improve their speaking skills.

The courses of the Arabic programme:

  • Modern Standard Arabic Fiction: 5 EC
  • Modern Standard Arabic Non-Fiction: 5 EC
  • Modern Standard Arabic Writing: 5 EC
  • Moroccan Arabic: 5 EC
  • Moroccan Culture and Society: 5 EC
  • Excursions: 5 EC

Please see the following link for the course descriptions:


Moroccan Languages and Culture

Other students, who do not specialise in Arabic, take an intensive course Moroccan Arabic (10 EC) which focuses on speaking skills. They learn or develop language skills in Modern Standard Arabic (5 EC). The course Ethnographic Research (5 EC) teaches students how to conduct qualitative research. Students from International Studies do more research (10 EC) and less (Moroccan) Arabic. Instead of Arabic students may opt for French.

The courses of the programme Moroccan Languages and Culture:

  • Moroccan Arabic: 10 EC
  • Modern Standard Arabic: 5 EC
  • Ethnographic Research: 5 EC
  • Moroccan Culture and Society: 5 EC
  • Excursions: 5 EC

The courses of the programme Moroccan Languages and Culture, for students International Studies:

  • Arabic or French (at fourth semester level): 5 + 5 EC
  • Ethnographic Research (counts as a Thematic Seminar): 10 EC
  • Moroccan Culture and Society: 5 EC
  • Excursions: 5 EC

Please see the following link for the course descriptions:


Students International Studies, please read the information at the bottom of this page!

Moroccan Society

All students learn about Moroccan society through guest lectures, weekly excursions, a five-day excursion to the rural south, and the Berber week, an intensive week of lectures on Amazigh languages and culture. This all takes place within the framework of the courses Moroccan Culture and Society (5 EC) and Excursions (5 EC). All students take these courses together, regardless of the programme they follow.

Living in Rabat

Rabat has a comfortable environment with cultural influences from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Rabat is the capital of Morocco but is has an ‘easy going vibe’ compared to the more touristic cities like Fes or Marrakech. With both the old city centre and Kasba des Oudayas one can get the experience of living in a typical Moroccan city. This in combination with the more luxurious shopping districts, like Agdal and Hay Riad, makes Rabat a perfect place to study. At the same time, given its central geographical location, Rabat is also an ideal place from where to discover the rest of Morocco.

If students would like to, NIMAR can arrange housing for students. This can be a host family or an apartment or studio. It is also possible to stay with a host family temporarily and then move to an apartment or studio.

More information and how to apply

For more information and to apply for the programme, send an e-mail to k.laaraj@hum.leidenuniv.nl


Important information for students International Studies

Set package of Elective Credits in second semester spent at NIMAR

This new option for students to spend the second semester of the second year at the NIMAR, Humanities institute of Leiden University at Rabat, is meant for International Studies students specialised in Africa or the Middle East and/or with a language specialisation of Arabic or French to deepen their knowledge of the language and local culture. This would mean that part of the obligatory courses of the fourth semester (15 ec) will be taught in Rabat and they will follow a set of other courses as part of their Elective Credits (15 ec). The requirement is that they have successfully completed their second level language course. Taking this option has some consequence for the sequence in which they will take their courses in the entire programme, as detailed below:

Courses Second Semester at NIMAR:

-          5 ec Language courses (same as in International Studies programme)

-          10 ec Thematic Seminar (ethnographic course involving local research, accredited by the faculty)

-          15 ec Elective credits (consisting of recognised second year courses in Middle Eastern Studies: https://studiegids.leidenuniv.nl/studies/show/5281/midden-oostenstudies_moderne_midden-oostenstudies#tab2 )

  • Moroccan Arabic or French: 5 EC
  • Excursions Morocco: 5 EC
  • Moroccan culture and society: 5 EC

Consequence for taking courses in the third year:

Fifth semester would be:

-          15 ec Thesis

-          15 ec Elective Credits

Sixth semester would be:

-          10 ec PRINS (Practising International Studies)

-          5 ec International Relations

-          5 ec Global Political Economy

-          5 ec Philosophy of Science

-          5 ec Language in Practice

To complete the package for their Elective Credits it is suggested to complement the 15 ec obtained in Rabat with the first half of the Minor Islam: Religion and Society: https://studiegids.leidenuniv.nl/studies/show/6835/Islam-Religion-and-Society

Permission from the Exam Board is necessary for any other way of completing the 30 Elective Credits.

More information can be found on the Dutch website