Research in Rabat #6: Final Reflections

On my last few days in Morocco, I was overwhelmingly sad. The idea of leaving a country and a community that I felt I was just growing into… I decided in these last days that I was absolutely coming back to Morocco in some capacity, I just couldn’t imagine not doing so.

My experience wasn’t entirely positives. By the end of my stay, I missed the autonomy I had living in the United States. I could walk around by myself in Rabat, but often this would come with unwanted attention. I also couldn’t sit in a café and do work, since coffee shops in Morocco are reserved for socialization. A little thing, maybe, but one I sorely missed.

My job wasn’t perfect either. I was given a lot of freedom in my schedule, which was sometimes appreciated, but I also on occasion could have used more structure and guidance, especially since the workplace environment was so unfamiliar to me. It was sometimes overwhelming to be assigned a task in rapid-fire French, and left to sort it out by myself after.

All this being said, I had a very positive overall experience in Rabat. My internship, although lacking structure at times, focused on areas of research (human rights) that are extremely interesting to me on a personal level, and I also gained so much real world research experience that will be applicable in many positions moving on from here. I was treated like a member of the staff, and now have a good idea of what it would be like to work in a think tank abroad—a career I’ve often considered for myself.

More personally, I also learned that I want to live abroad as an adult, at least for a period of my life. This was something I always sort of planned on, but it was impossible to know if I would actually enjoy living abroad until I tried it out. Over the two months I lived in Morocco, I discovered that I would absolutely be able to live internationally. It definitely comes with challenges, but these challenges are worth it for the amazing lived experience.

I already miss my time in Morocco so much, but know that I’m absolutely going to return in the future. I’m so grateful for the connections and resources at this university that have made this possible with me, and am looking forward to the next adventure!

One thought on “Research in Rabat #6: Final Reflections

  • September 4, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Meghann,

    Thank you so much for sharing this summer! It was great to learn from you about the culture, the work, and the people of Morocco. Specifically, your post about gender dynamics was especially though provoking.

    Regarding the work, it sounds like your tasks ranged from the mundane (contacts database) to the challenging (Youth, Marginalities, and Violence research design). I suppose that is to be expected in most internships. Although you will probably encounter some mundane work in your professional life as well.

    I am glad to have read that you encountered so many great people during your stay. I hope that you can keep those relationships throughout your life. Next time you visit, you are sure to have many people to visit!

    Overall, from what I have read, you definitely found your experience positive. That is fantastic. I am happy that the internship helped you formulate your career plans, both domestic and abroad. Take care and thanks again for sharing. – Jake


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