How IES Abroad Rabat Is Helping Me Build My Career

Blaze Grabowski headshot
Blaze Grabowski
December 29, 2023

During my fall semester in Rabat, I was able to participate in a semester long internship through the Social Action Internship Seminar. As an international affairs major, finding professional internship experiences abroad is exactly what I am looking for. On top of this, I was able to use the credit from the seminar class that accompanies the internship to fulfill degree requirements. This was a unique opportunity that I am confident will prepare me well for my future. 

Students were able to choose from a range of sociology based internship experiences. Some of my peers worked with women's centers protecting single mothers with children. Others worked with art centers. I am interested in journalism, and our class offered a range of opportunities with news agencies. I chose to work with Morocco World News, Morocco's leading English speaking news company. The internship was so convenient, they were located just down the block from our study center. More importantly, they offered a fantastic professional experience for me. 

During this internship, I became a published author, writing multiple articles for the company. At first, I wrote simple travel pieces about some of my experiences in Morocco. As the semester progressed, I got to write more sophisticated pieces. For example, I wrote an article about the stray animal problem in Morocco, and what people should be aware of when encountering them. My favorite piece of the semester was when I recounted the story of a Syrian refugee. His story revealed the challenges refugees face both en route to Morocco, and once they establish lives there. 

For my course, I only needed 5 hours interning a week to meet the class requirements, but Morocco World News asked for ten hours a week instead. They were flexible with my schedule, and even though ten hours seems like a long time, I was able to neatly fit the internship into my schedule. I was able to participate in my internship and still have plenty of leftover time on my weekends to travel throughout Morocco and Europe. The internship was also hybridized, meaning I could work additional hours outside of the office writing and editing new pieces. 

This internship was not only a good use of time for my career, it has helped me academically too. The seminar class that we took will count directly at my university towards my degree in international affairs as a regional foundation course. This meant that I was gaining valuable professional experience and critical course credit at the same time. 

Thanks to this internship experience, I was able to send published articles to other internships that I am applying for in the future. This was a foundational experience for my career as a journalist in the future. I met so many great people along the way, and most importantly, I gained valuable experiences that will help me in the future. 

Through my experiences with American students at home, I have noticed that many students are concerned that leaving home for a semester will sacrifice opportunities to make connections and gain internship experience. With IES Abroad Rabat, this should not be a concern for students. In addition to the Social Action Internship Seminar course, the cohort is a closed knit environment that allows students to meet new people from universities around the country. During my semester, I met so many talented and ambitious students that could serve as great connections in the future. All of our professors are also talented and well connected people too. Because this is a small cohort, it is easier to build connections with IES Abroad professors than it might be with professors at home. Dr. El Addouli for example is IES Abroad Rabat's program director, who has received degrees from dozens of universities around the world, and has lived around the world too. Dr. Toutou is another professor who has studied around the world and conducts critical social research in Morocco. Furthermore, study abroad itself adds another interesting element to anybody's resume coming out of college. If a student decided to study abroad at IES Abroad Rabat, they could choose to partake in an extraordinary semester long internship experience, and they will find themselves studying in a perfect environment to build connections with other study abroad students and the IES Abroad professors. For me, it was one of my best semesters thus far for establishing my postgraduate career.

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Blaze Grabowski headshot

Blaze Grabowski

Hello there! My name is Blaze. I am a student at George Washington University and I study International Affairs. I am also a Global Bachelor Student, a GW program where students study abroad for three semesters.

2023 Fall
Home University:
George Washington University, The
International Affairs
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