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  • Locations: Casablanca, Morocco; Fes, Morocco; Marrakech, Morocco; Rabat, Morocco
  • Program Terms: Summer I
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Class Standing: 1 - Freshman, 2 - Sophomore, 3 - Junior, 4 - Senior, 5 - Graduate Program Type: ODU Faculty Led Program
Maximum Credits Earned: 3 Minimum GPA: 2
Language of Instruction: English Area(s) of Study: Geography
Faculty Leader: Drake, C.
Program Description:
Summer Break in

May 8-23, 2018
Geography: Casablanca to Marrakech via the Sahara
GEOG 495/595
, MIDE 495/595

Morocco is a treasure-trove of diversity: beautiful high mountains, rolling sand dunes, picturesque oases, intriguing Atlantic coastlines, and a fascinating mix of Arab, Berber, European, and African influences. This course provides an opportunity for students to learn about and experience some of Morocco’s exciting physical and historical geography and its rich cultural and economic diversity.

We arrive in Casablanca, that great legendary city, and then visit Morocco’s capital, Rabat. We explore the archaeological site of a huge Roman settlement, Volubilis, and the center of Morocco’s first Arab dynasty at Moulay Idris. Meknès and Fès are two of Morocco’s great Arab imperial cities; we examine Fès’ historic medinas and mosques. Then we cross the Middle and High Atlas Mountains on our way to the Sahara desert. Here in Marzouga we ride camels, and spend a night under the stars in Berber tents, waking up early to watch the sun rise over the dunes.

Next we enjoy time in the impressive Dades gorge, before driving to Ouarzazate and the famous classic mud-built kasbah of Aït Benhaddou. Then on to Marrakech, where we visit some of the architectural and cultural highlights of that city, including mosques and palaces. We spend a day with a Berber family, sharing their life.  On our way back to Casablanca, we stop at the early Phoenician walled coastal city of Essaouira and the Portuguese town of El Jadida on the Atlantic coast.

The class will meet three times on campus prior to traveling to Morocco.  Students will keep a detailed analytical journal, write a short paper on one of the sites we visit and present their research to the group.

Students must register and pay for summer term 2018 credit in order to participate in this program.


Legendary Casablanca

Rabat City Tour

Volubilis Roman Ruins

Moulay Idriss and Meknès

Medina, mosques of Fès

Camel Ride in Sahara

Dadès Gorge

Day in the Life of a Berber

Aït Benhaddou Kasbah


Walled City of Essaouira

El Jadida

Camel in Sahara
Hassan Mosque
  *Subject to change. The Office of Study Abroad reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Prof. Drake is a geographer who has led student and teacher groups to many places around the world.  Her interests range widely from cultural and political geography to world resource use and management to development issues in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.  Winner of distinguished teaching awards, she earned her B.A. degree at Oxford before coming to the US, where she earned her Ph.D. at Rutgers University.  She is currently a faculty emerita, but has been on the ODU faculty since 1979.  Prof. Drake has previously led ODU study abroad programs to Morocco, Peru, and Turkey.



Program Cost with Dean's Award: $3,550

Cost Includes:
Roundtrip airfare from/to Norfolk, airport transfers in Morocco, accommodations,  some meals, all transportation related to instruction, entrance fees to activities on the itinerary, study abroad and instructional fee, and travel and health insurance.

Not Included:
ODU tuition for 3 credits (participants are required to register for credit), meals other than those indicated above, drinks (including bottled water), snacks,  expenses of a personal nature.

Financial Aid:

For some students, regular student financial aid support may be increased due to the additional cost of studying abroad. Students seeking financial aid should obtain a program budget from the Office of Study Abroad.

*ODU Scholarships:
Dean’s Education Abroad Awards are available for the first 7 qualified students accepted for this program.  Eligibility: Full-time, degree-seeking, ODU student, 2.5 GPA or higher, approval of participation by the Office of Study Abroad and the program’s faculty leader. Completion of online application, advising and deposit payment holds your space for scholarship consideration; no additional scholarship application necessary.

If eligible, scholarship award will be credited to your student account sometime in late summer. The Office of Study Abroad handles these arrangements and will notify you via email. 

Estimated cost without scholarship:

Payment Schedule:
$300 deposit upon application; half of remaining total due on February 16, 2018 and the other half on March 16, 2018

Prof. Christine Drake
Department of Political Science & Geography
7015 Batten Arts & Letters
Office of Study Abroad
2006 Dragas Hall
49th St. and Hampton Blvd.


This program is currently not accepting applications.