It is time for an adventure abroad… a long, four-month adventure to the country of Morocco! What am I feeling? Mostly two things: Excited, of course. This is going to be an amazing semester; I know it. The second feeling is being unprepared. This is for a few reasons. First, I don’t know any Arabic yet, and with Arabic being one of the country’s official and most spoken languages, communication might be difficult. However, I am looking forward to using my French to help me. I am also feeling a bit unprepared because I am still in class here up to two days before I depart. When will I pack?? Probably the day before I leave, but this is all right. I know I will get everything done; there is no need to panic.
It will be happening so soon. I think about it enough that I am already there in my dreams at night. My family continues to ask me if I am nervous, but I must say, I am not feeling any nerves yet. However, I am almost positive that they will hit me once I start traveling next week. On January 30th I will depart from Chicago, make a layover in Paris the next day, and then finally, that afternoon, land in Rabat – my future home for the next semester. Rabat is the capital city of Morocco. It is not the largest city but one of the largest. I look forward to becoming familiar with a new place and creating a new home for myself. ‘Home’ for me will be with a new family – a host family. I found out a little bit of information on my host family before I meet them. They have two young children, and I am very excited to meet them!
My goal for pre-departure is to PACK LIGHTLY. Friends that have traveled abroad in the past have always said they regretted packing too much. I am going to really test myself to pack as lightly as possible. I can always buy whatever I am missing once I’m living in Rabat.
This photo below shows some items that I am definitely bringing along:
Computer – For homework, blogging, and Skyping friends and family
Passport – Yes, I do hope to leave the country
IES Folder containing important travel documents
A Photo book – To have photos of friends and family and to show my host family
Sunglasses – I’m expecting some sunshine in Morocco
Digital camera for taking photos and videos
My Arabic Alphabet book that I’ve been working on to prepare for my Arabic studies
My Agenda – It’s best to stay organized!
New Journal – (Compliments of my cousin) Documentation of events is key!
My sketchbook – To draw everything I see… things in the markets, the sights, the people. It serves as another form of documentation but also a creative outlet.
An important question that I have often been asked is, “Why Morocco?”
I probably know more information about other countries, but Morocco… It’s intriguing to me. I am so curious to learn about people and a history with this culture that continues to balance both tradition and modernity. The Arabic language is also one that I have always wanted to learn, and here I will have that opportunity. I will get to challenge myself to see how much I can understand after a short time of being surrounded by it. Studying abroad here also allows me to complete requirements of my French major. Everything just made sense, and it felt right choosing to go here.
Studying abroad in general feeds my travel bug. It will allow for a chance to gain a deeper appreciation for a culture different than my own. I will meet new people and create memories that will turn into stories to share with everyone.
Expect many videos and photos in the near future!
I’ll be at school counting down the days until then.
More Blogs From This Author
<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hello, everyone! I am Meghan Johns, a 20-year-old student who comes from the small, but lovely Carthage College in Wisconsin. I study studio art, art history, and the French language there, but I am really excited to begin learning Arabic in Morocco. In my free time, I draw and write music. Traveling is always a must on my to-do list. I cannot wait to see what Rabat has to offer. You can guess how excited I am to start my adventures there this next semester, but the only thing I'll love more than having them is sharing them, with you.</span></p>