Hi there, I’m Emma, and I’m from Hinsdale, IL. I’m a senior at Brown University studying computer science and Middle Eastern studies. No, you are not the first person to tell me I should work for the CIA. I like stories, and I like data. I like combining them even more. Follow my blog for an in-depth look at Moroccan culture!
The other day, I walked out of the front door of my homestay — just like I do every day — and a man who was pouring something down the drain outside my alleyway stopped dead in his tracks, stared at me, and yelled, “Welcome to Morocco!”
It’s officially halfway through the semester. It has been six weeks. It feels like I arrived in Rabat, I blinked, and now we’re here. But coming back from a long and relaxing sojourn in Portugal and Spain, I realized how much Rabat is becoming a home to me.
IES Abroad Rabat visited Erg Chebbi, one of two sand seas from the Sahara in Morocco. The neighboring town, Merzouga, is a tourist hub. During the summer, many tourists come to be buried under the sand, as it is believed to be a cure for arthritis.
For its first weekend trip, the IES Rabat program went to Merzouga. Merzouga is frequented by tourists because of its proximity to the Chebbi Sand Sea. But Merzouga is also a small residential town close to the Algerian border known for its Gnawa population.
The second I stepped off the train in Rabat, I knew what I wanted: a McDonald's cheeseburger. I know, I know. I'm in Morocco! Why would I go to an American fast food chain for food? Why wouldn't I want an authentic Moroccan experience? But you know what?
There is always a very loaded anxiety before traveling. I’m spending a month traveling through Spain, Tunisia, and Morocco prior to starting the program. Upon talking about my travel plans with friends and family, I get a lot of questions like: “Where are you going?