Today marks my 2-month anniversary in Morocco, and I’m officially on the downhill slope of my study abroad life. Though it’s only been a mere few weeks, I feel like I have had a lifetime of experiences (cliché, I know, but it's true). For anyone reading this who is even slightly considering studying abroad in Morocco, here are some words of advice I have found helpful so far:
1. Take advantage of all the Darija slang. Not only will you feel kind of bilingual, but it will be easier to communicate with your family and others.
2. Never fall asleep on the bus rides or risk missing out on some great views.
3. Never pay full price for anything in the medina. People try to take advantage of you every day, so you have to stand your ground.
4. The medina is the most peaceful early in the morning, anytime before 8am. Aka the most enjoyable time to be in the medina.
5. Buying large containers of bottled water is a better deal than buying single liter bottles. You’re going to be spending a lot of money on water to save your stomach, so might as well get the most out of your money.
6. Don’t ask what you are eating until after you’ve eaten it. Half the time, you honestly won’t want to know.
7. Whether you journal normally or not, make sure you bring one with you. I haven’t journaled since I was 14, and I wasn’t planning on writing while I have been here, but there are things you’re going to want to remember that pictures won’t always be able to tell.
8. Hit up as many cafes as possible at the beginning of the trip so that your phone will connect to their wifis the rest of the semester easily.
9. First class train tickets are your safest bet for an air conditioned trip with your very own seat. To ensure this, make sure you buy tickets (with your friends!) at least a day in advance. I’ve had some friends who waited too long and were then forced to stand for 5 hours in a crowded car with no air flow in 90 degree weather.
10. Really get to know the people you’re studying with. You’ll be going through a lot together, and they’ll quickly become your much needed support system.
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<p>Hello! I'm Sarah Miyahara; originally Southern born, California raised, Chicago educated, and now Morocco living! Taking a break from life at Loyola University Chicago where I study International Studies, Political Science, and Peace Studies, to spend my first semester of my junior year abroad. I've always loved photography, particularly because it's the only art I've ever been good at, and now I can't wait to share my photos with you!</p>