International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

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Culture Corner

Currency

Issued by Bank al-Maghrib (Bank of Morocco), the Moroccan Dirham (abbreviated MAD or Dh) is the official currency of Morocco. 100 centimes constitute one dirham. The denominations for bills are 200, 100, 50 and 20 dirhams. Denominations for coins are 5 and 10 dirhams, as well as 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centimes.

Conversion Rates

Please visit http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter for up-to-date exchange rates. While traveling, it may be helpful to carry a portable currency converter (found at travel stores). Sometimes in the form of a keychain, this is a handy gadget (like a calculator) into which you enter the exchange rate (depending on the exchange rate at the time and the country in which you are located), and then simply enter prices and the device converts the amounts into dollars

Changing money on the street is illegal. You should only change money in an official bureaux de change, which can be identified by a golden sign. There is no commission charge in a bureaux de change, which issues a receipt which visitors must keep in order to exchange dirhams upon departure from Morocco. Dirhams are only available for conversion within Morocco. Prior to departure, you must exchange your dirhams as Moroccan law prohibits export of the currency. Avoid waiting to change your money at the airport upon departure, as the bureaux de change in the airports may run out of US dollars.

Banks & Credit Cards

Some credit cards are accepted (e.g. Visa and MasterCard), yet surcharges will likely apply. Consult your credit card company to determine the fees they charge. Bear in mind that far fewer establishments accept credit cards in Morocco than in the United States. Banking hours are generally Monday-Thursday 8:15AM-12:15PM, and 2:15PM-5:15PM; Friday 8:15AM-11:15AM, and 2:30PM-5:30PM; and Saturday 9AM-1PM.

Cost of Living

Former students have given us some idea of what you should expect to spend per week while in Morocco. Due to the change in exchange rates and vast differences in individual spending habits, we can only give you estimated figures. However, most students seem to spend around $100 per week. This figure does not include extra traveling, heavy shopping, or frequent restaurant dining. Please keep in mind that some students spend less and others spend more.

When budgeting, keep in mind that it is always better to overestimate than to underestimate. To give you an idea of common approximate expenses and commodities a typical student will to incur, please see the brief list below.

  • Snack: 20 dirhams
  • Dinner at basic restaurant: 60 dirhams
  • Dinner at good restaurant: 200 dirhams
  • Dinner at luxury restaurant: 600 dirhams
  • Softdrinks: 10 dirhams
  • Coffee: 5 dirhams
  • Tea: 5 dirhams
  • Postcard: 10 dirhams
  • Postcard stamp to US: 9 dirhams
  • Basic bus ride between major cities: 50 dirhams
  • Luxary bus ride between major cities: 75 dirhams
  • Local bus (in city): 3 dirhams
  • Batteries: 20 dirhams
  • CD: 30-150 dirhams
  • Museum or landmark: 15 dirhams
  • Cinema: 30 dirhams
  • Soccer match: 50 dirhams

Additional Estimated Expenses

The ISA program cost includes items such as tuition and fees, housing, insurance, and more. To view what is included in your program price, please visit the "What's Included" section of the ISA Meknes program page. The "Additional Estimated Expenses" sheet in the "Accepted Students" section of the ISA website has the following estimated expenses listed:

  • Airfare
  • Passport (new/renewal)

ISIC Card

The ISIC card is an internationally recognized student ID card that gives students thousands of discounts worldwide from travel to cinema, meals and more. ISA students who purchase a flight through STA are eligible to receive an ISIC card.