Hi there! My name is Elizabeth Mann. I am 23 and lived in Maryland before moving, here, to Morocco last September.
I graduated from college in 2016 with a B.A. in Sociology with minors in Psychology and Urban & Community Studies. I took the summer off to celebrate graduation and spend time with family, but as summer came to a close, I quickly found myself working in Finance at a Publisher. I worked there for 3 months before I decided that I would most likely never be happy there. So, I started looking for other opportunities. I looked in Alumni Relations, Marketing, Communications, and quite honestly anywhere that looked a little bit more enjoyable than where I currently was. Nothing. Interviews, but nothing landed me the last swipe at the time clock that I had been hoping for. Long story short, I ended up working for the Publisher for an entire year before I ended up leaving a few weeks before departing to Morocco.
How Did You Find Yourself Going to Teach English in Morocco?
The story goes like this....I met a friend for some post-Christmas productive job-searching at Starbucks over two piping hot lattes. I knew I loved traveling and an acquaintance from college (that I pretty much only knew through Instagram) was teaching English in Thailand and, from reading her blog, seemed like she was really enjoying herself and it seemed like something I could really enjoy doing myself. I had studied abroad during college in Budapest, Hungary and done some research in the Peruvian Amazon...so living abroad wasn't a concern.
So, I set out in search of ways to live abroad and still be able to pay my student loans. I found CIEE through a good ole' Google search and, after a little research, started my application right then and there. I started talking to past professors, my parents, and friends immediately to see if this crazy idea I had to move to Morocco and teach English was realistic AND within reach. I lined up letters of recommendation and made sure my application was the best it could be and hit "SUBMIT". It was nerve-wracking, but everything took off from there. I was accepted about a week later, and was scheduled to have in interview with the Director of the school that I was vying for a job with.Well, as you know, it went well and I was hired a few weeks later and promptly began my TEFL certification online and preparing for the job I knew so little about. I am currently writing to you from my traditional Moroccan style salon with faint noises of road traffic and the occasional donkey-cart in the background.
Morocco had recently been added towards the top of my Bucket List so when I found out it was an option through CIEE I made sure to put it at the top of my list! Now that I am here I can see just how much clout the boom in tourism has had on Moroccan economics and culture in the past few years. And, quite honestly, the application, departure, and start times worked with other commitments in my life, ie: weddings, birthdays, graduations, etc.
What Is Morocco Like?
Morocco is everything and nothing I thought it would be. It's beautiful and unique and intricate, but contradictory, concerning, and thought-provoking. More on that to come, though.
Before coming to Morocco I received a slew of questions from co-workers, bankers, friends, and family about what my "new life and job" were going to be like. Common ones included:
"What language do they speak there?"
"What is the housing like?"
"What is their money like?"
..and even ones like:
"How are you going to live in Africa?"
"Wow! How did you get so brave to move there?"
Concerning then, but even more concerning now that I have met the people and gotten to know the land. How can you sum up an entire CONTINENT with one stereotype?! I've learned since then and think I have a better response if I am ever asked again.
Until next time,