Egypt is the second most popular destination in the region for American students.
Morocco is the most popular destination in North Africa for American students, welcoming 1,749 students during the 2018-2019 academic year.
The number of American students coming to Morocco for study increased by 24% between 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.
The Institute of International Education, an American NGO, announced the figures in its annual “Open Doors” report, published on Monday in collaboration with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
According to the report, Morocco is “by far” the most popular study abroad destination in the region for US scholars, followed by Egypt.
“American students have long seen Morocco as an excellent destination for study because of the hospitality of the Moroccan people, the richness and diversity of Moroccan culture, and the strong ties of friendship between the US and Morocco, built over 200 years,” commented US Ambassador to Morocco David Fischer.
Meanwhile, the number of Moroccan students who traveled to the US for study also increased by 2.6% in the 2019-2020 academic year, rising from 1,461 to 1,499.
Among North African countries, only Egypt sent more students to the US in 2019, with 3,859 students.
“Moroccans see that the US higher education system offers the best educational opportunities in a range of critical disciplines, from engineering to medicine to English language study,” Fischer said.
The 2020 Open Doors report analyzes the changes that occurred to international educational exchange between the US and the rest of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a large number of American students to leave Morocco, especially those participating in short-term educational exchange programs such as AMIDEAST and the School for International Training (SIT).
The US Ambassador to Morocco, however, expressed his optimism that the figures appearing in this year’s report will further increase in the future.
“As our two countries work together to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, we are sure that the educational exchange between our two countries will resume and even surpass the numbers we see in the 2020 Open Doors report,” Fischer said.