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