Travel & Teach - Morocco
Morocco is a fascinating country filled with mysterious beauty and extreme contrasts. At its most northern point it almost touches mainland Europe, yet you will feel worlds apart from Western influence if you choose this as your teaching destination. In a country steeped in history, you can explore thousand year old medinas, where you may feel as if you are walking in medieval times, or experience the modern rush of cosmopolitan cities. You will see a mixture of styles of dress, from modern chic to traditionally dressed women in full cover with only their eyes visible.
Morocco is the African country which offers the greatest variety of climate, thanks to being bordered by two seas, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. All of the principle cities (and hence teaching centres) are to be found beside the sea, either the Mediterranean in the west or the Atlantic to the north. Towards the interior you will find the Sahara desert and the terrain is more mountainous. So there is a lot of variety to stimulate the traveller to this spectacular country. The people are warm and friendly and are usually welcoming of westerners.
After a long struggle, Morocco eventually gained its independence from France in 1956. It is a developing nation, still searching for sustainable economic growth. In terms of language, it is turning away from its colonial heritage and there is an increasing demand for English. (The same can be said for its neighbour, Tunisia, which has become a popular package holiday destination. Whether Morocco will seek to go down the same route remains to be seen.) But the upswing in the demand for English is also mirrored in the business community, which is seeking greater trade with the EU. Therefore there are opportunities for the adventurous EFL teacher, whether you are new to the profession or just looking for a change of scene. There are private language schools in the main cities and even an English First (EF) in Casablanca! Prospects of finding EFL employment are good for confident, adventurous native speakers, but you will need to have a degree to enable you to gain a work permit from the government. Remember that this country is still considered ‘off the beaten track’ by many. There are more EFL opportunities in Egypt, for example, but if you want to experience the delights that North Africa has to offer, Morocco could be the adventure you are looking for.
British Council http://www.britishcouncil.org/
British Council in Morocco: http://www.britishcouncil.org/morocco.htm
Moroccan Embassy UK: http://morocco.embassyhomepage.com/
Moroccan Embassy USA: http://www.embassy.org/embassies/ma.html
Moroccan National Tourist Office: http://www.tourism-in-morocco.com/
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Travel and Teach
It is unusual to see jobs in Morocco advertised in the UK EFL press, although some private language schools do advertise on the internet at websites like www.tefl.com. However, there is definitely more choice if you are able to travel to the country and seek work on arrival. The British Council has an office in both Rabat and Casablanca and they may be able to help direct you towards organisations of interest (see Useful Addresses later). Check with your nearest Moroccan Embassy for entry requirements. Otherwise, simple word of mouth and interaction with the locals is likely to yield results. Go armed with all certificates and dress to impress. A word of caution; even if you have obtained a position by informal means ensure you clarify all terms and conditions precisely.
On applying for EFL jobs, it is generally advisable to send a passport sized photograph along with a CV and possibly copies of degree/EFL certificates. Morocco has a strong American presence, with a large chain of American Language Centers dotted around the country – for details of some of these have a look at Teaching English Abroad available through our bookshop page.
An aura of confidence and professionalism will certainly help at interview and we would recommend at the very least you take a Global English Level 1 TESOL or a Weekend TEFL before you go. As stated in the introduction, you will need to have a degree to gain a work permit, but you should be able to travel to the country and get this inside Morocco. If you are lucky a prospective employer will help you with the process. Native English speakers can expect to earn a minimum of £5 per hour, although almost certainly you would be able to negotiate a higher fee if you can teach business English. If you are able to secure work from abroad, accommodation may be included as part of the contract.