Morocco Summer

Sow the seeds of cross-cultural understanding in the Arab world

Departure: Mid-June 2018

Application Deadline: April 15, 2018

Volunteer Commitment: $4,990

Our Summer Program in Morocco

8 Weeks (June – August) |
Host Family
Teach English and Life Skills

You will have the opportunity to be immersed in the Arab world, experiencing first-hand the traditions and warmth that remain mysterious to the West. In partnership with Neighborhoods Association Idmaj, you will spend your summer working with Moroccan youth in community centers, teaching English and life skills. Your first week in Morocco is spent in the country’s largest city, Casablanca, during which your days are filled with orientation training sessions and group excursions, and where you will explore the history and culture of Morocco. With guest lecturers and sessions led by a local Moroccan who serves as your Summer Program Coordinator, you will participate in Arabic lessons each day, as well as information sessions to help you transition into teaching and integrate into local culture.

Note: It’s possible each year that the program runs during the month of Ramadan in this Muslim country, although you need not observe the fast, and host families make arrangements for your noon meal.

Country Overview

Morocco is a country, as the late King Hassan II said, “like a tree whose roots lie in Africa but whose leaves breathe in Europe”. Its climate, geography and history are more Mediterranean than African, the northern part of the continent in which it is nestled. In the north, dramatic ocean beaches, lush highland valleys, and evocative old cities reinforce this impression. Yet, as you move south and east, into and over the starkly beautiful ranges of the Atlases, Morocco’s Mediterranean character melts away like a mirage. This spectacular country provides dramatic cultural context for exploring its old medinas, mosques and souks.

Morocco’s history began with the Berbers, the aboriginal people who have lived here for over two thousand years. The mixture of the original Berber people along with the Arab and African makes Morocco a diverse Muslim country. Today, the country is ruled by King Mohammed VI, leading Morocco toward both long-term stability and a greater degree of economic prosperity.

Your Role

You will serve in urban settings in Morocco, either along the coast or inland. You will be teaching in community centers that are in the poorer parts of the city or with NGO’s that work with disadvantaged youth. Most of the sites are with high school-aged students or young adults who need critical help with English and other skills to get jobs. Besides teaching English, many of our sites are also requesting that you teach different life skills to their students on topics like personal finance, health, or job readiness.

You will also participate in extra activities organized by the various community centers. The program welcomes you to suggest and run activities of your own with permission from the program’s director. Depending on the year, the students will be fasting for Ramadan, so if your service falls within the observation of this holiday, you will want to factor that into your plans for student activities. Our most successful WorldTeach Morocco volunteers are mindful of the convergence of westernized culture with traditional Islamic customs. Being a conscientious observer, mindful of cultural differences and curiosity to understand your surroundings will enhance your experience.

Because French is by far the most widely spoken second language here after Arabic, it is highly recommended that you know basic functional French to participate in this program.

 

Placement & Housing

Living with a local host family, you will have a chance to experience daily life in Morocco. The family provides you a furnished room, meals, and the opportunity to join in their typical activities. Many families have children who want to practice their English with you, just as you might want to practice your Arabic (and maybe your Berber as well!) with them.

It’s possible that a portion of the program this summer falls during the month of Ramadan. During this holy month, adherents, the majority of the population, neither eat nor drink from sunrise to sundown. Host families provide you with food during the day, however, and food is available at local stores. At sundown, fasting breaks with community celebrations where food is shared and passed from one neighbor to another; from one neighborhood to another. This is a unique opportunity to participate in one of the five pillars of Islam.

 

Explore Morocco

You will have the opportunity to see much of this African country. You can wander through old medinas of the inland cities of Fes and Marrakech, bargain for wares in traditional bazaars, eat delectable Moroccan dishes by hand, and watch lively exchanges between locals. Moving from inland towards the picturesque coastal cities like Rabat and Tangier, you can experience both the ancient traditions and modern integrations.

Finances

Your contribution to the Morocco Summer program of $4,990 goes towards:

 

  • Housing
  • Comprehensive orientation, mid-service, and end of service training conferences
  • Planned excursions during program
  • 24-hour in-country field staff support
  • Pre-departure preparation and visa assistance if necessary
  • Supplemental overseas travel medical insurance
  • Alumni services and networking

Participants are able to successfully fundraise all or a significant portion of their program expenses. Please refer to our fundraising page for more information about fundraising possibilities.

Requirements

Volunteers in the Morocco Summer program must:
  • Be a native-level English speaker
  • Basic knowledge of French is encouraged
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 74
  • Be flexible, open-minded, and patient
  • Have a genuine interest in teaching and Arab culture