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!