By Wafi Abouss and Sofia Moha
By Wafi Abouss and Sofia Moha
Ifrane – Al Akhawayn University, founded in 1993 by Royal Dahir and inaugurated in 1995, has since become one of Morocco’s leading universities and the only university in the country using an American system of education.
It’s a community of hard working people from all backgrounds who achieve high standards academically and non-academically.
Al Akhawayn University is the home to students coming from many different countries such as Syria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, United States, Untied Kingdom, Australia, France, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Slovenia, Spain, and Portugal among others.
Approximately 10 to 15 percent of the university’s two-thousand students are made of exchange and international student. This makes the university a sort of a “melting-pot” in which the different nationalities can co-exist and learn from one another. Students don’t have to travel to the U.S. to learn how down to earth the Americans are, or got to Egypt to see how educated and polite the Egyptians are, or move to Japan to taste how delicious the Japanese cuisine is—all this can be experienced at the university.
The university is home to three schools: The School of Humanities & Social Sciences (SHSS), The School of Business and Administration (SBA) and The School of Science and Engineering (SSE). All three schools provide rich and well-prepared courses that will help students excel in what they decide to study.
While education is important, so are non-academic activities. The university policy requires that students need to complete at least 60 hours of community service. Sounds bad? Think again!
Spending that 60 hours, or even parts of that 60 hours as a member of a club or any other student organization is the best blessing one can have. My experiences as well as other students’ confirms that joining a club helps build an independent personality, you learn to face hardships, and of course, it can also count as a free course in fighting with your colleagues (with time these same colleagues become your second family).
I will be lying if I said that joining a club won’t bring troubles, frustration, anger, fights and heated arguments, but all that is only part of the experience. The real gratification comes from painting a smile on a child’s face, providing money for a sick family, or learning how to act and feel like a responsible adult and behave in a manner fit to a university student.
Aside from all of that, Al Akhawayn University is home to great talents and ambitious individuals, from Adel Abaab the singer of “Ana Weld El Akhawayn” to Youssra Chenaai, the producer of “Happy Al Akhawayn.”
Many students are also members of highly active student organizations such as “Hand In Hand,” “Rotaract,” “Horse Riding Club,” Explorers AUI,” “French & Spanish Clubs” and the “Drama & Comedy club.” I should point out that all these student organizations and clubs, along with so many others, play a very important role in shaping Al Akhawayn University as a place of diversity.
There are some people who hold the view that Al Akhawayn is only for the wealthy. Although there are some very rich people at the university, more than 30 percent of the university students are using financial aid or studying through scholarships.
“Rich people do exist, but they are definitely in the minority,” said Sofia Moha, a student at Al Akhawayn. “What I found was a thriving community of students from diverse backgrounds, with different stories but with the same dedication.”
As a student at Al Akhawayn and a member of the “Ana Wald Al Akhawayn Network,” it is my duty to reach out to the world and make it known that we are a university of colors, love, beauty, diversity, believers and non-believers, and of Moroccans and non-Moroccans.
As a final phrase, we would like to invite you to watch a video called “Al Akhawayn University: This Is Us,” which we believe will show you the diversity and colorfulness of our community.
Edited by Saba Naseem
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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