I’m Going to Morocco!

by STEVE BLOOM

Hassan II Mosque, Casblanca, Morroco

It’s still crazy for me to think about it, but in just a little over a week, I’ll be on a plane flying to Morocco where I’ll be living for the next two months. To be specific, I’ll be in Casablanca where I’ll be teaching at an American high school. It’s part of a program I registered for while earning my graduate degree.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, some of this information will be old news. But I haven’t really shared all the details. So I want to get some of that information out. It’s been quite an interesting experience so far, and I haven’t even arrived there yet.

We’re Off On the Road to Morocco

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might know that I’m in graduate school right now. I’m getting a degree in education so I can teach high school English.

Right now I’m at the final stretch of my program – student teaching. So I’m working full time right now shadowing another teacher.

A few semesters ago, I was looking at information about the student teaching experience. I happened to see an interesting option available to teach half of it abroad.

For someone who loves traveling as much as I do, it was an opportunity too good to resist.

I had a mountain of forms to fill out and plenty of emails and phone calls to make to get this position. I even had to create and design my own website as part of the application process.

Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kid

The program I work with sends people to locations all over the world so I got to list out my “top three” location choices to them. It was a difficult list to make.

Where in the world would I want to stay for a long period of time?

Think about that for a minute. If you could choose any one place to stay for two months, where would it be? For me, that’s not an easy choice. So I designed a short list of criteria for my locations:

1. It had to be a place I wouldn’t get tired of in two months
2. I’d like it to be somewhere with a lot of nearby travel options
3. I didn’t want Asia (I’ve traveled there too much already)
4. I preferred somewhere outside Europe

Slowly I narrowed down the countries. Most of Central and South America are out. I’ve done a lot of traveling around that region. Asia is out because I’ve traveled there a lot already. Australia is also out; it’s way too expensive.

Africa would be a good choice, but where? South Africa was a possibility. Ethiopia and Tanzania were too and, of course, Morocco. Despite my preference about staying outside of Europe, I couldn’t ignore the fact that are a lot of great places there.

So I finally made my three choices (in no particular order) and sent them to the placement company.

1. Rome, Italy
2. Rabat, Morocco
3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The placement company called me to talk about the list. They wanted to talk about the locations and figure out how flexible I would be on my choices.

The first thing they told me was about Rome. Apparently, Rome would be extremely difficult because if (and it was a big if) they found me a place to stay it would be very expensive. So I told them to skip Rome and work on the other locations.

She mentioned to me about a possible connection they have with a school in Casablanca. The way she worded It seemed as if she was testing my reaction to going there. After the call, I felt pretty sure I would get placed there.

Sure enough, a couple months later I got a call from the company who told me I had a placement setup in Casablanca, Morocco.

My Plans and Site Update

So I’ll be hanging out in Morocco for the last two months of this year. My wife and parents will be visiting towards the end of it, but for the most part I’ll be there alone working at the American school.

Here’s an interesting side note: I’m breaking ground. I’m the first person ever to teach abroad in Morocco from my school.

Just to be clear, I still plan on publishing blog posts on Do Something Cool while I’m away. Lately I’ve been extremely busy, but thankfully I have still been able to post something on a regular basis. It’s my goal to not miss putting out something once a week through the rest of my experience so we’ll have to see what happens.

Thank you, the readers, for all of your support throughout my transition. You are what make this site so great!
photo credit: dwrawlinson

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Comments

  1. A great choice – plenty of history and culture to explore. Enjoy the journey.

  2. Awesome news. Now i have to make a trip out there. I have another friend who’s house sitting in Morroco for a couple of months this year too. I hope we can meet up.

    How great that you are finishing school and get to do part of your program by teaching abroad.

    Let us all know when you go. :)

    • So now you know two people who are staying in Morocco for a few months. That’s pretty cool. You definitely should make a trip out here. If you make your trip around when I’m here, we’ll have to meet up for a mint tea and talk travel.

      I won’t be house sitting, but my school is setting me up with housing. They just sent me an email today about it too. I might end up rooming with other people, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see what happens.

  3. Wonderful! That’s so exciting! I hope you have a great time and learn so much!

    • Thanks Jessica, it is very exciting. I’ve traveled for this length of time before, but not for this reason. It will definitely be a great learning experience.

  4. I traveled to Morocco in March and LOVED it. I fell in love with the people and the culture. So did my friend who is there now teaching for a month as a volunteer. Morocco has a way of stealing your heart. It is a fantastic choice!

    • I’m glad to hear you say that it’s a great choice. I’ve heard so many good things about the culture and the people lately. In just the past few days a lot of people have messaged me telling me how much they enjoyed their time there and about all the great things there is to see and do there.

  5. Have a great time Steve – I’m sure you will. Morocco is SO rich in culture and history you will probably find two months is not enough! Take a few sweaters though, it won’t be boiling hot all the time, especially at night. Good luck!

    • The rich culture and history is a big reason I wanted to go to Morocco. I think you’re right that two months might not be long enough. I’ve been doing planning of all the places I want to see and I have had to cut down some places just to fit everything in.

      That’s a good point about the sweaters. It can get cold especially if you’re in the mountains or at a higher elevation. Although it seems to be hotter than normal for this time of the year.

  6. Steve,

    Wow! You are living the dream I never went for. I didn’t even know opportunities like this existed until the Internet became popular. Now I have too many obligations as a mother to head abroad but I can surely read about your tales.

    Congrats on the post, I look forward to reading more!

    ~Allie

    • Allie,

      Yeah, I didn’t know about this opportunity when I first started grad school. It took some asking around and paying attention to come across it, but I’m glad I did that.

      Steve

  7. Hello guys my name is mounir from morocco i’m moroccan citizen i live in small city
    if anyone needs help please don’t desitate to contact me on mounir_souma@hotmail.fr

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