Exchange will be hard. I think that there will be some times when I will wonder why I am even in Morocco. So that’s why I’m going to make a list of all of the reasons that I want to study abroad, specifically in Rabat, Morocco. So, here we go!
- I love learning languages, and I am extremely interested in learning Arabic. Not only will it be stimulating for me, but it will also help me in a future career. Because it is so widely spoken, and such an important world language, I will be able to do a lot in the future with this knowledge.
- To learn about the culture. In the past couple of years, I have found myself incredibly fascinated by the West/North African culture. Countries like Morocco, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, and Algeria interest me so much. The region is so rich with culture and tradition, I cannot wait to immerse myself in it. I want to truly feel like I know and understand another culture.
- I also want to learn about religion. Coming from the US, I see Islam around me, but I have never really learned much about it. All my friends are either Jewish or Christian, and Islam is just not a very represented religion where I live. However, with the recent stigmas surrounding Islam, I want to be able to understand the religion, and help others to do the same. I think understanding is the beginning of acceptance, and if I can help others understand Islam, maybe they will hold fewer prejudices.
- The small victories. Just the small things like navigating the Rabat transportation by myself, or having a full conversation in Darija with my host mom, will be what will probably make me the most happy. I want to be able to conquer small things like that because, sitting here in the US, those seem like impossible feats.
- I want to grow up a little more, and become more mature before college. I’m kinda young for my grade, I don’t feel like I’m quite ready for college yet. I think that this gap year will be wonderful for me to get to know myself better, and explore my interests before I head to Indiana for university!
- I want to become more accepting and understanding of people different than I am. I am privileged, and have always lived in a country where I am part of the majority. I have never really been a foreigner, I’ve never stood out for any reason. I think it will really help me to be a minority for once, and it will help me better to understand the many minority groups back in the US.
- I am a very adaptable person, but this exchange is definitely going to test me, and likely help me to be a more flexible person. I think if I just remember to go with the flow, and chill out a little bit, I will be able to make the most of my time in Morocco. These are good life lessons!
- I want to gain a more well-rounded view of the world. Being immersed in a culture that is different from my own is probably the most helpful thing in shaping my worldview.
So those are just some of my reasons. There are obviously many more that I could list, but these are just some of the ones that are really important to me. !مع السلامة