Morocco, the “Western Kingdom” of northern Africa, has made a name for itself amongst avid travelers. With a coastline that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, Morocco boasts beautiful beaches as well as a scenic mountain tops.
Take time to wander through the extensive spice markets, visit the humongous Hassan II mosque, and breathe in the many unique smells in this Islamic African state. Once you see the gorgeous seaside towns or listen to an Arabic storyteller, you’ll know that you’ve made the right decision to intern in Morocco. Don’t hesitate to intern abroad in Morocco for a fantastic adventure!
Human rights internships in Morocco are extremely popular with law students, legal studies majors, and anyone interested in working to better the human condition in communities around the world. Despite several improvements, Morocco’s mixed human rights record continues to call for attention. Interns in Morocco have the opportunity to better understand some of the main policy issues involving the poorer communities, research initiatives, and communicate complicated ideas in a professional manner.
Quality education in Morocco is extremely difficult to come by. With an illiteracy rate of 40%, thousands of Moroccans are lacking much needed education. Field internships with various non-governmental organizations, charities, and schools send interns to teach in remote Moroccan villages.
Several developmental projects regarding health, women’s empowerment, community building, and environmental sustainability rely on international interns and volunteers for help. Take the opportunity to deepen your experience as an intern in Morocco and serve the community!
Planning Your Trip
When and Where to Look for an Internship:
Finding an internship in Morocco may certainly seem like a daunting task. Do not worry! There are many third-party program providers that organize internship programs with local Moroccan businesses and organizations. Look out for application instructions and deadlines, as they may vary. Some internships might be scheduled for a fall or summer time slot, and others may begin anytime during the year—it all depends on the program! Begin your research earlier and you’ll have a higher chance of getting that perfect internship in Morocco.
Cost of Living in Morocco
The cost of living in Morocco is relatively high, especially in larger cities. Depending on where you live, housing costs will vary. For most foreigners, the cost of living in Morocco is not a major concern; however, many local Moroccans tend to live on much smaller salaries. To save on living costs, live like the locals do! Visit the traditional village markets for local groceries and watch out for certain “bargains” advertised to you while shopping. Below are some examples of living costs in Morocco. Keep in mind that 1 US dollar is approximately equal to 8.62 Moroccan Dirham.
- Rent (1 bed apartment): 4500 MAD
- 1 inexpensive meal: 40 MAD
- 1 way subway ticket: 4 MAD
While working in a largely Islamic country, it is extremely important to understand some of the basic values of Islamic society. Always dress and act rather conservatively, as Moroccans highly value honor and dignity. Exposing too much skin is not looked upon fondly. Businesses follow a hierarchical system, and often respect Muslim practices. This means that most shops are closed on Fridays and sometimes Thursdays, as Fridays are holy days, and most Moroccans pray five times a day. The Moroccan culture highly values family, so nepotism is often viewed positively, especially in business.
The official language spoken in Morocco is Arabic, although French is also often used. In some parts of northern Morocco, Spanish is widely used as well. While many of the young, educated Moroccans are learning English as a third language, do not expect to be able to use English locally. Most of the official documents and signs will only be printed in Arabic and French, so it is extremely important that you have a good grasp on both languages before interning in Morocco.
Networking is a must for business professionals in Morocco. Since respect and trust are highly valued, one will often need to develop a personal relationship before entering into a business agreement or partnership. Professional networks are extremely important for business in Morocco—sometimes the people you know will be more important that what you know. As a foreign intern, you will not need to worry about this too much, unless you plan to work in Morocco in the long-term. However, it never hurts to begin networking as soon as possible!
Work and Labor Laws in Morocco
Morocco’s work and labor laws establish the number of hours employees can work, health and safety standards, and other information about terms of employment. International interns in Morocco will most likely be unpaid, but this depends on the internship program and company or organization.