Profile of registered students

PEASS students are nationals or bi-nationals of more than 25 countries.

Their academic profile, study year, level in Arabic, age, or the way they will use Arabic for their academic and professional project, vary according to the specific PEASS program they apply for.

Check out below the profile of PEASS students according to the type of program chosen.

Students registered for the PEASS long programs (Sept. to May) and the mid-length programs (Sept. to Dec.) present a specific academic and language profile.

Academic profile

– Students from social science study programs

Students registering for the long and mid-length programs are mostly from social science higher education study programs (sociology, political science, anthropology, history, economics). They sometimes come from more general study programs in international relations, political science, public affairs, or from specialised Arabic language and Arab culture and civilization programs.

-3rd year, Master’s and doctoral students

3rd year undergraduate students can register for the long and mid-length programs (this will count as their year abroad), Master’s students can also register by taking a gap year between their 1st and 2nd year, while doctoral students in their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year are equally eligible.*

Students not registered in full-time education in their country of origin when they apply for a place on the PEASS program or when they actually take the program, will still be considered.

It is notably the case with students who have already obtained a Master’s or Doctorate degree and wish to take an intensive course in Arabic in Morocco, without any formal higher education registration.

* Long and short programs are not open to high school graduates or 1st year university students. When they join the PEASS program, all students must have validated at least two years of university study.

-Specific interest in social science

Students registered for the long and mid-length PEASS programs are aware of the importance given to social science training in the PEASS, regardless of which academic discipline they are registered in at their home university.

PEASS is not simply a language study program, but an academic and language program specifically designed to:

  • initiate students to a specific Arabic language register, used to address political, economic, and social issues (rather than the poetic or literary register);
  • familiarise students to ways of thinking, themes and issues, and data collection methodology which are the hallmark of the main social science disciplines.

All applicants to the long and mid-length PEASS programs have to write, as part of their application file, a short research project of 1 or 2 pages in English or French, in which they present the social science topic or issue they wish to research once in Morocco. This short project must revolve around an issue related to Morocco in the contemporary era.

Please note: for this short research project, applicants are not evaluated for their precision or academic rigour (according to the criteria generally used in social science), but rather for their ability to anticipate and come up with a fieldwork research project they find pertinent in the Moroccan context.

Language profile

 -Intermediate level in standard Arabic as minimum requirement

Students in long and mid-length PEASS programs must demonstrate an Intermediate level in standard Arabic, before joining the program.

This level is equivalent to level B1 or B1+ in the Common European framework of Reference for Languages (CLEFL), or to Beginner 3/ Intermediate 1 on the ACTFL evaluation grid. The Intermediate level is usually reached after 150 to 200 hours of formal standard Arabic tuition:

either in two years spent in higher education, with 4 to 6 class hours per week

or in a standard Arabic language program (intensive summer sessions, language classes in independent language centres, etc…)

-Mastery of grammar fundamentals

In all cases, students in the long and mid-length PEASS programs must master the fundamentals of Arabic grammar: construction of nominal and verb sentences, independent pronouns and affixes, construction of nominal groups –attributes and epithets-, regular and irregular plurals, inanimate subject and verb agreement, theoretical mastery of the 10 verb forms in the past/ present/ masdar/ ism al fâ’il/ ism al maf’ûl, subjunctive, etc..

-No specific requirement regarding expression skills and vocabulary

While the theoretical mastery of grammar fundamentals is a must for all PEASS applicants, they are not required to demonstrate advanced expression skills, whether in writing or orally, as part of their application. Furthermore, applicants for the long and mid-length programs are not required to demonstrate very extensive lexical knowledge in standard Arabic as part of their application.

PEASS is indeed designed to help students significantly improve their expression skills and lexical knowledge, through intensive exposure to written, audio, and video material, and through daily vocabulary acquisition exercises.

-Placement in groups by level

Once they demonstrate Intermediate level in standard Arabic, successful applicants for the PEASS long and mid-length programs sit for a written and oral placement test, after which they are placed in the appropriate group, ranging from B1 to C1+ in the CEFRL (equivalent to Intermediate 1 to Advanced 3 on the ACTFL evaluation grid).

Students from all academic disciplines, including hard sciences, may apply for the short PEASS study programs offered in June and July, even if they are not in full-time education when they apply.

No special requirement regarding level in Arabic applies.*

However, ‘Complete beginner’ groups depend on the number of registrations.

‘Complete beginner’ groups for English-speaking students will be run with a minimum of 10 students.

‘Complete beginner’ groups for French-speaking students will be run with a minimum of 10 students.

After sitting for a written and oral placement test at the start of the program, students are then placed in the appropriate group, with groups ranging from Complete beginner to Advanced 3 (note that this does not apply to complete beginners).

Please note that PEASS short program applicants must be aware of the very intensive nature of these standard Arabic programs.

Students, especially complete beginners, take daily classes requiring a high level of concentration and involvement: theoretical grammar classes, practical exercise classes, pronunciation and expression tutorials, opening-up workshops, etc…

All students are evaluated on a daily basis, to gauge their vocabulary acquisition (listening activities, dictation, language use in context), and to make sure they are able to use standard Arabic in communication situations (speaking in debates, simulations and role play, etc…).

Students not fully aware of how demanding these programs are, and not used to an intensive learning pace, may find that the program is of little benefit to their academic project.