Frequently Asked Questions about Teaching in Morocco

Application Process

Is TEFL certification required to teach in Morocco?

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Yes. Our partner employers in Morocco are aiming to hire candidates who have been trained to teach, so CIEE’s online TEFL certification (or equivalent) is part of their candidate profile and is included as a built-in feature of our Teach in Morocco program. In some cases, degrees in Education or TESOL might let you opt-out of this requirement - check with the program coordinator.

Our TEFL course takes 3-4 months to complete, and sessions start every two weeks. As long as you start the course by mid-May, you’ll be on track. There’s no need to start a separate application for TEFL, since it’s built right in.

Is experience required? Is the program competitive?

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Morocco is one of our more competitive program locations, but it still has a fairly high rate of acceptance and placement. Employers strongly prefer candidates who have some formal or informal teaching experience. It’s not a strict requirement, however, and we do review applications holistically to see the complete picture of how prepared someone is. If we think we can arrange an interview and a job for you, we’ll accept your application and help you move forward! If not, we’ll discuss your options and offer to transfer your work to a second-choice program so you don’t have to start over.

I haven’t graduated yet, can I still apply?

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Yes, as long as you will receive your bachelor’s degree by the time you depart for the program. In the Education Documents task, please upload a letter from your advisor or registrar’s office, confirming your expected date of graduation. You can also have your school email the graduation confirmation letter to TEACH@ciee.org and we will be happy to upload it for you.

When is the program fee due?

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Teach in Morocco has a program fee of $2,400, which includes our 150 hour online TEFL course.

A $50 application fee is due at the time of application submission, to let us devote our effort and attention to serious applicants. Once CIEE accepts your application, a $1000 commitment deposit is due within 10 calendar days. The remaining $1,400 balance of the program fee is due once you receive and accept a job offer from a Moroccan employer (usually one to three months after you make the deposit). Payment plans are available for the final “balance” payment - to request one, contact your coordinator after receiving your placement.

Are there scholarships available?

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CIEE does offer scholarships for our Study Abroad and High School Abroad programs, but because our Teach Abroad participants receive compensation while on program, we’re not able to offer scholarships for our Teach Abroad program fees.

Job Placement

How does the hiring process work?

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After you are accepted and make a deposit, CIEE will gather your location preferences and send your application for review by the center director in your top-choice location. When a school asks to interview you, we will help coordinate a time and help you get ready with tips and instructions. If the interview is successful, you’ll get a job offer! If not, we’ll forward your application to the next available location on your list.

What happens to my deposit if I’m not offered a job?

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After your online application is reviewed and accepted by CIEE, you must pay a $1,000 commitment deposit. This signals that you are ready and able to go forward with the program and travel to Morocco if offered a job. It also lets you start the online TEFL course at a time of your choosing.

Once you start the TEFL course, the deposit becomes nonrefundable. You get to decide when to start TEFL, however, so if you wait to start the course and don’t receive any job offers, the deposit could be refunded or used on a different program in that case.

Can friends or couples teach in Morocco together?

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It’s possible, but not very common. Because individual employers in Morocco are pretty selective, there’s a fair chance that a school might only want to hire one of you. This is especially true later in the season as positions fill up and schools might not have space for two additional teachers. If it’s really important for you both to be at the same school, Morocco might not be the best program for you. In Thailand and China, it’s easy to be placed at the same school, so those options might work better. Spain and Chile would also let you work at different schools in the same city, close enough that you can have housing together.

Can I renew my contract after my first year?

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Yes! As long as your performance is satisfactory, employers are usually very open to re-hiring you for a second year after your first contract is finished. This is something that you would arrange directly with your employer near the end of your first term. There’s no additional CIEE fee in this case - you would already have received the full benefit of our preparation and advice, so we’re happy to see people return for additional years on their own.

Can I bring a pet to Morocco?

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Unfortunately, the answer is no. The supply of apartments is relatively limited, and landlords will rarely agree to host a pet. On top of that, procedures and rules for vaccination, quarantine, and import into Morocco represent a huge obstacle, and then you’ll have to go through the process to re-import the animal into your home country. The best thing to do is to find a friend or family member back home who can care for your pet while you are teaching abroad.

Living and Working

Is housing included?

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When you arrive, you will be part of our program orientation, organized by CIEE Morocco-based staff. During orientation, you will stay with a local host family for a few nights, to help with your introduction to the local culture and give you temporary housing before you travel to your teaching site.

Our partner employers in Morocco include a housing stipend of approximately 1,000 Moroccan Dirhams on top of your base salary. Roughly speaking, this stipend is enough to cover about 40-50% of rent for a two-bedroom apartment, or 25-35% of rent for a one-bedroom apartment (not counting utilities, a modest cost which is the teacher’s responsibility).

Our employers also do a great job of helping to match people up with apartments, so you won’t be doing a housing search totally on your own. In most cases, they will arrange an apartment for you, or show you a few options to pick from. Most teachers share an apartment with at least one other teacher of the same gender since it is more cost effective.

Is the compensation enough to live on?

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Depending on which center you work at, and your own credentials and experience, you’ll receive a salary of 5,500 to 7,000 Moroccan Dirhams, plus approximately 1,000 as a housing stipend. Considering that the cost of living in Morocco is very low, that’s enough to live a comfortable expat lifestyle, and have some extra left over for savings or for modest trips around Morocco.

On the other hand, if you’re hoping to earn enough to pay off student loans or finance extensive international travel, you might be better off looking into China or South Korea, where salaries are a lot higher.

How do I set up a bank account in Morocco? Can I use my bank or credit card from home?

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Your employer will help you set up a local bank account, and once it’s open your salary will be paid into it electronically. This is linked to your work permit process and usually takes 2-3 months, which means your first few paychecks will come in the form of cash. It’s not possible to arrange direct deposit to a bank back home.

As for ATM and credit cards from your home country, most cards can easily be used abroad, but you will need to contact your financial institution to discuss fees, travel alerts, and security.

What will my role be?

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CIEE teachers in Morocco will work as full-time English language instructors. Your school will provide textbooks and instructions about learning objectives for your different classes, along with access to computers and printers. Day-to-day lesson planning will be up to you.

Most of your students will be teenagers, and you might have a few classes with adults or with younger kids. All of them have signed up to get extra training and practice with English language beyond what they receive at their regular, full-time school or job.

Each teacher will also run 1-3 hours of extracurricular activities per week. Past teachers have organized a wide variety of extracurriculars, including theater productions, music clubs and performances, sports, public speaking events, debate teams, and cultural presentations. It’s a chance for you to draw on your own strengths and experiences!

What kind of schedule will I have?

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This is a full-time position and you will spend 35-40 hours at school each week, with about half of that spent in the classroom and the rest taken up with meetings, extracurriculars, special events, and prep time. You can expect to work with classes of different ages: some adults and some as young as kindergarten age.

Because many of the language center’s classes are offered outside of regular school hours, expect a schedule with lots of free time in the mornings and classes most evenings and weekends. To achieve full coverage on all days, schedules vary from teacher to teacher. One example of a possible schedule would be: classes 5-8pm Mon-Tues, full days Wed-Sat, and Sun off.

What is the dress code for teaching in Morocco?

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Generally speaking, Morocco is a conservative country when it comes to attire. Men rarely wear shorts except at the gym or the beach, and foreign women are advised not to wear tight-fitting clothes, skirts or dresses above mid calf, or tops that show shoulders or cleavage. Following these guidelines is a good way to make sure that the Moroccans you encounter, especially older people or residents of more traditional areas, feel comfortable around you. It’s an easy way to communicate respect for their culture and traditions.

In the workplace, the dress code will vary a bit between schools, but the advice above is the best place to start. Some centers allow teachers to wear dressy blue jeans, but others do not. Be sure you have a few outfits that are smart/business casual - think slacks and button up shirts or blouses instead of jeans and a tee shirt.

Travel and Arrival

Are flights and visa costs covered by the program?

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Your employer will cover any major fees related to your work permit application, which takes place after you arrive in Morocco. Flights and background check fees are not included in the program fee, so they will be the responsibility of the applicant. We’ll give you detailed instructions about those after you are hired.

Do I need a visa to teach in Morocco?

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These days, it is prohibitively difficult to arrange a Moroccan work visa before you arrive. Instead, our partner employers have you enter Morocco first (no visa required for visits up to 90 days), and then they register you as an employee and apply for your Work Permit from inside the country. You’ll need to bring a background check and a few other documents with you to Morocco (we’ll send instructions after you’re hired), and then your employer will cover the major costs of the work permit application. It often takes longer than 90 days to arrange your Work Permit and Residency documents, which necessitates a quick trip to Spain or the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Exiting and re-entering Morocco starts a new 90 day visit, which gives you plenty of time.

What will the CIEE orientation be like?

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On this program, you’ll be welcomed to the country by the experienced staff of our Rabat Study Center. Orientation starts with airport pickup, as long as you’re arriving within the designated window. There are usually 3-4 days of presentations and discussions on topics like safety, communication, cultural adjustment, and housing. Meals will be provided, and we arrange home stays with local families for the duration of the event. On the final day, teachers split up and depart for their various teaching sites, but orientation gives them the foundation of their social network and peers to visit in other cities!

Is it safe to teach in Morocco?

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The short answer is, yes. CIEE has been sending teachers and students to Morocco since 2008, so our Morocco-based staff have extensive experience when it comes to keeping CIEE participants safe. When you arrive, you’ll participate in a multi-day orientation event where safety practices feature prominently. In addition, you’ll have 24/7 emergency support from our staff in Morocco. US citizens and residents will also receive international travel and emergency medical insurance through iNext.

As long as you follow common sense advice like wearing a seatbelt and not walking alone at night, you shouldn’t face any situation that is more dangerous than living in the US. Local police are very professional and go out of their way to keep foreign visitors safe. Pickpocketing and petty theft are issues to be aware of, especially in tourist areas, but violent crime is rare compared to the United States. You can also read more about safety and security conditions in Morocco on the US State Department website. All participants are advised to enroll in the State Department STEP program, and it can be helpful for concerned family members as well!

How can I travel around Morocco without a car?

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Morocco has an excellent rail network, which makes it easy, comfortable, and inexpensive to travel between cities. Coach bus service is also available, including smaller towns and destinations not served by rail.

Within each city, the dominant form of transportation is the taxi, and these are inexpensive and pretty convenient. Once you learn a few local phrases, it’s easy to ensure that drivers use the meter and charge a fair price. Expect to pay a little extra for rides with big suitcases though. Together, these systems put all of Morocco within reach for you to explore during your holidays and school breaks!

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