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Students at UNE’s Tangier, Morocco Campus attend global sustainability summit

Morocco students at Millennium Campus Conference
L-R: Thor Arnell, Marissa Laramie, Kayla Burdick, Amanda Johnson, Emily Machado, Selma Alani, Patrick O'Brien.

December 05, 2017

Studying abroad in Morocco at UNE’s Tangier Campus is an experience students often describe as “transformative.” Although leaving the familiarity of Biddeford for Tangier can bring challenges, students are also afforded incredible opportunities for exploration and personal growth, asking themselves, “How do I fit into this huge world outside of Maine?” 

This question was central to the Millennium Development Conference 2017, held internationally for the first time in Morocco's capital, Rabat, from November 16-19. It was organized by the Millennium Campus Network, a non-profit committed to rethinking the paradigms that perpetuate inequality, promoting a human-centric approach to global development and transforming dialogue into action. With these goals at the forefront, the conference encouraged students to define themselves in relation to global objectives. 

Seven UNE students attended the event, meeting with top international leaders, their peers, and Moroccan hosts on ways to enact sustainable development goals. Through workshops on climate change, cultural diversity, migration, food security, entrepreneurship and amplifying the voices of youth leaders, students exchanged ideas and plans toward crafting a more peaceful, equitable world. 

Amanda Johnson (Medical Biology, ‘20), Emily Machado (Health, Wellness & Occupational Studies, ’20), and Marissa Laramie (Public Health, ’19) left the conference inspired to translate their passion for health justice into a tangible extracurricular. Currently, they are in the process of founding a Doctors Without Borders chapter at UNE. Similarly, Thor Arnell (Sustainability and Business, ‘19), plans to start a Millennium Campus Network chapter at UNE to provide an opportunity for other students to engage with international development issues. On the drive back to Tangier, sophomore Patrick O’Brien (Marine Entrepreneurship) noted, “I now feel better prepared to take action to influence change.”

Anouar Majid, Ph.D., UNE vice president for Global Affairs, said that the students seemed genuinely energized by this high-level endeavor. "One of our students who came to see me after the conference could barely repress his enthusiasm and excitement about UNE being part of this initiative," he said. "This is yet another example of how our Morocco Campus is enhancing the educational and cultural opportunities of our students quite significantly."


To learn more about UNE Morocco, visit

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