Chefchaouen and Akchour

Adventures are lessons in disguise. This weekend was my first major trip since arriving to Morocco. Three other exchange students and I planned to take a trip to Chefchaouen and Akchour over our three day holiday weekend. Wednesday last week we threw together the plans, booked a place to stay, and paid for a taxi through the university.

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Mini-Adventure to Fez

Yesterday was our first trip out of Ifrane since the night we arrived at the airport. I thought driving up at night was beautiful and interesting because of all the people still out and about in the middle of the night and because of the shops selling things from ceramics to textiles with their lights still on. I was pleasantly […]

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Adjustment and Dehydration

Adjustment is not something that happens overnight. The hardest part for me in my first couple of days in Morocco has been my appetite. In the US I have a healthy diet for the most part. I eat three or four small meals a day and drink probably less water that I should but I have never struggled with dehydration […]

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First Night Tears

Words can’t describe how I feel right now. The car ride from Fes to campus was beautiful. It was up a long winding mountain road passing though tiny little towns that look like something out of an episode of Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain. When we arrived at the school I was surprised to see a guarded gate around the outside of campus. The gate made me feel both safer and uneasy at the same time. It was comforting that the school takes its security seriously and at the same time thinking about why there is a need for guards is unsettling. The first building we went inside was the Residential Hall Administration Building which is a very popular place being that 98% of students that go to Al Akhawayn live on campus. The man at the front desk was so kind. Everyone I have met from Morroco has been so kind. Not that I expected anything different I’m just so grateful for their kindness. Walking across campus in the dark for the first time I couldn’t help but smile the entire time. I did it! I’m here!! I made a promise to myself and kept it. My first impression as I walked into my dorm room was that it looked like a prison cell. But after being here for a while I can’t help but compare how my experiences in Morocco is just like this room, prepared but ultimately […]

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The Ugly Side of Studying Abroad

It’s not always easy but in the end it’s worth it. I don’t think there is a single person who would disagree with me when I say that traveling the world teaches you things that can’t be read in a book or learned in a classroom. There is so much value for young people to step out of their world and see things from new perspectives and understand humanity on a different level. That is why it frustrates me so much that they make it so difficult for students to study abroad.

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