Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - A Fruitful and Successful Field Trip for the Honors Seminar

A Fruitful and Successful Field Trip for the Honors Seminar

This past Sunday, the Honors Program visited permaculture project close to Sidi Bettache as part of the interdisciplinary Honors Seminar. The theme of the Seminar this year is “Life spaces” and this trip was the culmination of two modules in Smart Eco Spaces/Farm and Reimagining Homes. Students from the Honors Program, Honors faculty Dr. Yousra Chtouki and Dr. Naeem Sheikh, as well as Samir Ouzir from the EcoVillage and Presidential Intern Carmen Bulac attended the trip.   

On this trip, students were able to receive first-hand experience taking part in a project that takes into consideration the environment, local resources, and the climate to create more sustainable living conditions. Some of the topics that students were able to learn about on this field trip include:  

    • the challenges and benefits of building an eco-friendly household and an eco-farm from scratch on a not-so-friendly plot of soil;  
    • multipurpose spaces and the interrelation between areas in a farm;  
    • how to design harmonic landscapes and farms in such a way that different types of soil and various species of animals and plants can flourish and have symbiotic relationships with each other; and   
    • the importance of looking at matters and issues from an interdisciplinary perspective - in this case, building a farm and a household requires knowledge of biology, geography, engineering, as well as knowledge about how all these impact the local community.  

Students had the opportunity to see in practice the theory related to permaculture, sustainability, and strategies to combat climate change that they have been learning about in their Honors Seminar course. In addition, everyone had lunch on site with products from the farm.  

The Honors Program also organizes other events and activities to expand students’ academic and extracurricular experiences. On Monday, the 25th of October, the Honors Program held a café event with snacks and tea for high-achieving students. The Program also regularly hosts Student Brown Bag sessions - a semi-formal platform that allows students to share their academic and creative work in progress. Coming up soon, the Program will also host an Honors dinner reception where Honors students, faculty, and unit heads will have the opportunity to interact and discuss themes (such as national and global matters) for future Honors seminars relevant to students. The Program will also have their bi-annual Honors trip to Casablanca, a semi-academic trip accompanied by Faculty, as well as a day trip to Volubilis.  

To stay up to date with the Honors Program, follow them on Instagram @aui_honors