Jada Bullen
August 25, 2015

Insha'Allah is my all time favorite word, and it's not even English.

Instead, it is an Arabic word that translates as “God-willing.” Spend two hours with me, and I’ll probably drop the word at least three times, whether you're an Arabic speaker or not (I don't discriminate).

It was one of the first words I learned in Arabic, and two years later it has become a staple in my vocabulary.

You may say, “Ok Jada, that’s great (mashallah alayki) but why is that important, or even relevant to an introductory post on study abroad?”

Insha'Allah carries more depth than the literal phrase. For me, Insha'Allah is a way of approaching life. It is an acknowledgement of Who is in control and a reminder to take life as it comes.

So, I made the decision to study in Morocco and organized my plans, but the way things have turned out for me up to this point was, ultimately, beyond my full control.

And what is this “point” that I refer to...?

Right now I am four days, three flights, and several security checks away from standing on Moroccan soil, which is where I will be studying abroad for the next four months. And, I’m Excited! Really Excited! Not to mention, So Ready!

(Ok, maybe not physically ready because the packing situation is quite dismal...I've started to pack and then stopped. I made a list; I lost the list; I made a new one.. It’s quite an ordeal. Packing is, by far, the least enjoyable part of traveling. Hands down.

However, mentally, I am equipped and eager to take on this new experience. I spent the summer in Oman--my very first time in an Arab country--which was enlightening but also a challenging culture to adjust to, hence, I was thrilled to return home. But, after barely a month back in the States, I am practically itching with anticipation to throw myself back out there in the world for Round Two. I want to see new things again, meet new people, eat new FOOD!

Unfortunately, my insatiable craving for change doesn’t completely cancel out the anxiety that accompanies any new experience I undertake. Despite the hours of youtube videos, blog posts, answers, and info packets that I have researched, I  have a few questions running around in my overactive brain:

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how hard is Darija (the local Moroccan Dialect of Arabic) ??
  2. Will men on the street really call me Mama Africa? (I heard from one of my friends who previously studied abroad in Morocco that African Americans get that a lot...the more important question is "How should I respond?")
  3. Bathrooms?? Can we please have an open discussion about the bathroom situation?  It is such an important topic!
  4. Do I need to learn French, what if I don't want to? Yep, I said it.
  5. How will I fit all my successfully bargained items in my suitcase???
  6. Why does Google Maps not recognize my homestay address?
  7. Will my host family like me? No, will they LOVE me?

In addition to these, my decision to study abroad in Rabat, Morocco received its fair share of questioning from others--usually variations of the following:

  1. Why are you going there,don’t they speak French...?
  2. But, isn’t it dangerous??
  3. Why not Jordan? (If I had a dollar every time I heard that one, I could really make a dent in my student loans...)

While I'm still here in limboland, it's easy to let my own questions and the doubts of others run rampant in my head, and maybe even a few months ago I would have let all the uncertainty consume me.  However, my summer in Oman really taught me the merit in not fearing the unknown and the beauty of blazing boldly on even when you have no idea of what's going on…a.k.a. Ride the wave.

Long story short: Yes, I am little nervous, and no, I don’t know the answers to these questions right now, but inshallah, the journey to discovering the answers will be enjoyable, or at least awkwardly funny enough to blog about in the future...

For now, I look forward to allowing my over-analytical soul learn to live a little. Insha'Allah.

P.S. I know this was a very wordy post, but your loyalty shall be rewarded! Very soon I will have my own authentic pictures and videos to share. ان شاء الله


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Jada Bullen

<p>I am Junior studying in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. As a feminist by thought and a hipster at heart, I seek every opportunity to break the barriers, disprove the labels, and blur the lines.</p>

2015 Fall
Home University:
Georgetown University
Cultural Studies
International Studies
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