Hello my name is Othmane I am 23 years old and I remotely work for Microsoft Canada. I am a cultural peer at CIEE Rabat. April marks the 15th month since my experience with CIEE started. That experience started when a friend of mine was attending one of the programs, and she told me about the cultural peers and what they do around CIEE. As a Cultural peer I had a lot of great memories and made a lot of great friendships and connections that if I had to talk about each one off them I’d fit a book and there would still be more books to write.
After meeting the staff, my expectations were exceeded, because before I was excited to see how the environment around the office was and how’s it like be around foreign students. I had a lot of questions going in my mind, after my first day, I realized how great that place and how amazing the people are because how much they respect each other. After a few cultural activities, between tea parties to discussing and hitting on subjects such cultural differences, cultural shock, comparing cultures and having an all-around experience about what’s going on in Morocco, scavenger hunts around the city of Rabat, Friday morning soccer games to Iftar parties during Ramadan.
Throughout the last year or so, I got to learn a lot of valuable lessons with the help of everyone around the office and was also able to gain skills because of the many excursions I went to with the students all over Morocco.Those skills and load of information was through experiential learning, I whether it be helping a student with their homework, having a conversation in Arabic with them, showing them around Rabat or just hanging out at a local coffee shop, it’s always great to get another perspective on life.
CIEE Rabat Provides for a great and positive to submerge yourself in community that encourages exchanging ideas, communication, cultural competency because I have learned a lot about other cultures, nut the surprising thing is I have learned a lot more info on my own culture. What makes Rabat the perfect fit for CIEE because of the variety of cultures and societies that exist here, from modest neighborhoods to the Old City of Rabat and the many aesthetically pleasing sightseeing spots.
I won’t forget to mention the great week we spent during the Worldwide Meeting CIEE Rabat hosted back in April 2019 where we got to meet and be around CIEE directors from all over the globe which made me realize that I am part of something bigger than I thought. The experience consisted of being close at all times, either helping with logistics, giving an insight on Morocco and the Moroccan culture, or simply just sharing good conversations with the attendees.
Last but not least these last 15 months of my life with CIEE Rabat were blessed with many memories all thanks to the staff that have made the environment great and made me feel recognized and valued and the same goes for every single cultural peer.