On students' final day of the program, they spent time reflecting on what moments stood out most to them from their time in Morocco. These are their responses.
What was the highlight of your time here in Morocco?
From Student, Daya:
The highlight of my trip in Morocco was definitely our short trip to Marrakech! On Saturday of that weekend we toured the beautiful Bahia Palace. There were many patterns, colors, tiles, and our tour guide was hilarious, too. She taught us about ‘les portes de deux saisons’ or ‘two season doors,’ which can open differently based on the season. This was just one piece of the rich history in the palace. After exploring the palace gardens, we navigated through the busy artisan section of the market, and then were free to explore the Jem El Fnaa square. I had a really fun time bargaining with vendors and buying gifts for my family and friends. Honestly, just being surrounded by the chaos of the square and exploring a new place with new friends truly made my day. After getting lunch, we returned to the hotel, swam, and got dressed up in fancy clothes for a nice dinner. Dinner not only was so delicious (I got this scrumptious chicken tajine), but everyone decided to dance to the traditional live music there on the rooftop of the restaurant. We even got to go out to the square again late on a Saturday night!! The day was great, I got to spend time with friends, and I truly felt culturally immersed.
From Student, Miigis:
My highlight of my Mohammedia trip abroad has been the relationships I've built. I was nervous at first thinking about living with a random family for a month. The beginning week was awkward and stressful, I didn't know what I should do in order to be as respectful as possible. This is an important time in order to create meaningful bonds, first starting to live with someone takes time to be comfortable. But I really loved creating strong relationships to the homestay, as well as other Moroccan youth. The family and friends I've made here this month are why I'm really happy to have come to Mohammedia. I'm already trying to think of plans to come back to Mohammedia, either with my family or by myself.
From Student, Hala:
On one of my favorite days, we drove to Rabat in the morning to either make pottery or mosiacs. I chose pottery, and I am so very glad I did. I got to use the spin pottery machine myself and mold the clay however I liked. While waiting my turn, I made little flowers and decorated different pots that were set out of us. I then sculpted a face, one that we all agreed looked very much like our supervisor (we were definitely exaggerating). After finishing off our pots, we were led around the building to see how the pottery was made, one of my favorite parts. We had lunch on the road, and in the afternoon, jumped into our Active Service as soon as we got back to our base in Mohammedia. Active Service consisted of making plaster hands with a bunch of younger girls, and cleaning up the big mess that was left behind. Luckily, we were saved by the Rabat Global Navigator groups after they decided to pay us a visit. They helped us clean up, and the rest of our time was spent playing volleyball, painting with watercolors, and swinging in the playground, before going back to my wonderful host family. We sat with our host siblings as we worked on final projects, laughed with them about stupid panoramas we took, showed them our beautiful pottery, and danced the salsa and merengue with them in the center of the room. We had a very late dinner and a very needed rest before the next day came along.
From Student, Kayden:
My highlight of the trip in Morocco was definitely meeting the people and the food. Everyone is so welcoming and kind! The host family allowed for a very genuine experience, while providing the opportunity to eat lots of delicious local cuisine. The people and food here inspire me to seek other cultures and learn about people’s stories. I can’t wait for others to experience what I did on this trip. One of my favorite foods from this trip is rfissa. This is bread with a sauce on top with lentils and onions.
From Student, Josue:
The best experience of the trip was hiking through the absolutely beautiful Atlas Mountains, to get to the Amazigh village deep in the mountains. I have never seen such a natural beauty as good as this one and I highly recommend it to anyone who comes to Morocco. The most important thing that I learned about myself is my newfound ability to be able to quickly become friends with the Moroccan youth. Most of the time it takes a while for me to get confortable with people but I realized now that I can easily talk to anyone. For those who decide to come to Mohammedia, talk to the people here. They are some of the most open and welcoming people I have ever met, and if you’re able to get a home stay from a program, you will be able to experience the Moroccan culture from the source, which becomes very eye opening to you. This has been such an enjoyable experience and I wish I could do something like this again.