First rule: There are no rules. These resources are completely free and at your disposal. Use as much, or as little, as you want. Study casually, or work to create a portfolio of academic work that will blow the socks off of the educational establishment.

Feel free to adapt the materials for your own purposes. We expect families, business people, backpackers, college students, high school kids, middle aged vacationers, and retirees who are on a late life adventure to take these materials and run with them. We’d be very happy for teachers or travel group leaders to add these materials to their study abroad packets as well.

The nature of open source is collaboration, so please feel free to contribute when you become aware of resources we haven’t listed, or you have project ideas that we haven’t developed. Send us your work and inspire others to reach higher and deeper as they travel!

Our goal with this project is to inspire adventure and further education through experiential learning around the world. Please send us a note and let us know how you used these resources!

Buffet Style Learning

Does the menu look overwhelming? Looking for a formula to use as a skeleton for your studies in Morocco?


  • Two books
  • Two films
  • Three articles
  • One Problem & Solution or Project Option
  • One Cultural Assignment

Table of Contents

Book Recommendations


Morocco foodMorocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes from the Spice-Scented Markets of Marrakech to the Date-Filled Oasis of Zagora

by Jeff Koehler

With a wide range of exotic flavors and cooking styles, Morocco includes 80 recipes with Spanish influences, rustic Berber styles, complex, palace-worthy plates, spicy tagines, and surprisingly easy to make street food. From piquant appetizers like cumin-spiced potato fritters, to classic tagine and couscous entrees, and stuffed pastries like Seafood Pastilla, to fragrant sweets like Honeyed Phyllo Triangles Stuffed with Almonds, and, of course, Mint Tea, this beautiful collection of recipes surprises and inspires the home cook. Gorgeous photographs of such iconic Moroccan scenes as the markets of Marrakech and the date-filled oasis of Zagora capture the diverse flavors of this sun-splashed country.

morocco caliphThe Caliph’s House

by Tahir Shah

n the tradition of A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, acclaimed English travel writer Tahir Shah shares a highly entertaining account of making an exotic dream come true. By turns hilarious and harrowing, here is the story of his family’s move from the gray skies of London to the sun-drenched city of Casablanca, where Islamic tradition and African folklore converge–and nothing is as easy as it seems….

Inspired by the Moroccan vacations of his childhood, Tahir Shah dreamed of making a home in that astonishing country. At age thirty-six he got his chance. Investing what money he and his wife, Rachana, had, Tahir packed up his growing family and bought Dar Khalifa, a crumbling ruin of a mansion by the sea in Casablanca that once belonged to the city’s caliph, or spiritual leader.

With its lush grounds, cool, secluded courtyards, and relaxed pace, life at Dar Khalifa seems sure to fulfill Tahir’s fantasy–until he discovers that in many ways he is farther from home than he imagined. For in Morocco an empty house is thought to attract jinns, invisible spirits unique to the Islamic world. The ardent belief in their presence greatly hampers sleep and renovation plans, but that is just the beginning. From elaborate exorcism rituals involving sacrificial goats to dealing with gangster neighbors intent on stealing their property, the Shahs must cope with a new culture and all that comes with it.

Endlessly enthralling, The Caliph’s House charts a year in the life of one family who takes a tremendous gamble. As we follow Tahir on his travels throughout the kingdom, from Tangier to Marrakech to the Sahara, we discover a world of fierce contrasts that any true adventurer would be thrilled to call home.

morocco porchThe Conquest of Morocco

by Douglas Porch
The Conquest of Morocco tells the story of France’s last great colonial adventure. At the turn of the twentieth century, Morocco was a nation yet to emerge from the Middle Ages, ruled by local warlords and riven by religious fanaticism. But in the mad scramble for African colonies, Morocco had one great attraction for the Europeans: it was available. In 1903, France undertook to conquer the exotic and backward country. By the time World War I broke out the conquest was virtually complete.

morocco houseA House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco

by Suzanna Clarke

The Medina — the Old City — of Fez is the best-preserved, medieval walled city in the world. Inside this vibrant Moroccan community, internet cafes and mobile phones coexist with a maze of donkey-trod alleyways, thousand-year-old sewer systems, and Arab-style houses, gorgeous with intricate, if often shabby, mosaic work.

While vacationing in Morocco, Suzanna Clarke and her husband, Sandy, are inspired to buy a dilapidated, centuries-old riad in Fez with the aim of restoring it to its original splendor, using only traditional craftsmen and handmade materials. So begins a remarkable adventure that is bewildering, at times hilarious, and ultimately immensely rewarding.

A House in Fez chronicles their meticulous restoration, but it is also a journey into Moroccan customs and lore and a window into the lives of its people as friendships blossom. When the riad is finally returned to its former glory, Suzanna finds she has not just restored an old house, but also her soul.

morocco planeMorocco Plane Reader – Get Excited About Your Upcoming Trip to Morocco: Stories about the People, Places, and Eats of Morocco

by Max Hartshorne

Is there cell phone service in the desert? What are the origins of organic Argan oil? Did you know that the Berbers make 95% of their income off it? Read the Morocco Plane Reader and you will find out these questions and more about the beautiful country of Morocco.

You will learn about the health and safety of such a mysterious place, transport salt on the back of camels, and discover Morocco’s different languages. Why not travel to this exotic country and climb the dunes of Erg Chebbi, take a ferry ride to Spain, visit ancient tribal lands, learn proper etiquette, eat interesting foods, visit the markets, see a Tinman, the Dye pots in Féz and explore the great architecture of Marrakech.

morocco howeMorocco: The Islamist Awakening and Other Challenges

by Marvine Howe

In Morocco, Marvine Howe, a former correspondent for The New York Times, presents an incisive and comprehensive review of the Moroccan kingdom and its people, past and present. She provides a vivid and frank portrait of late King Hassan, whom she knew personally and credits with laying the foundations of a modern, pro-Western state and analyzes the pressures his successor, King Mohammed VI has come under to transform the autocratic monarchy into a full-fledged democracy.

Howe addresses emerging issues and problems–equal rights for women, elimination of corruption and correction of glaring economic and social disparities–and asks the fundamental question: can this ancient Muslim kingdom embrace western democracy in an era of deepening divisions between the Islamic world and the West?

morocco storiesMorocco: From Empire to Independence (Short Histories)

by C.R. Pennell

From the strait of Gibraltar to the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains and the windswept Sahara, this book captures a history as diverse and dramatic as Morocco’s legendary landscapes and cities. Beginning with Morocco’s incorporation into the Roman Empire, this is a tale of powerful empires, fearsome pirates, a bloody struggle against colonisation and an equally hard-won independence. It charts Morocco’s uneasy passage to the twenty-first century, and reflects on the nation of citizens that is finally emerging from a diverse population of Arabs, Berbers and Africans.

The story of a country at the crossroads of two continents, this history of Morocco provides a glimpse of an imperial world of which only the architectural treasures remain, and a profound insight into the economic, political and cultural influences that will shape this country’s future. C.R. Pennell is Al-Tajir Lecturer in Middle Eastern History at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

morocco arabianIn Arabian Nights

by Tahir Shah
Tahir Shah’s The Caliph’s House, describing his first year in Casablanca, was hailed by critics and compared to such travel classics as A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun. Now Shah takes us deeper into the heart of this exotic and magical land to uncover mysteries that have been hidden from Western eyes for centuries.…

In this entertaining and penetrating book, Tahir sets out on a bold new journey across Morocco that becomes an adventure worthy of the mythical Arabian Nights.

As he wends his way through the labyrinthine medinas of Fez and Marrakesh, traverses the Sahara sands, and tastes the hospitality of ordinary Moroccans, Tahir collects a dazzling treasury of traditional stories, gleaned from the heritage of A Thousand and One Nights. The tales, recounted by a vivid cast of characters, reveal fragments of wisdom and an oriental way of thinking that is both enthralling and fresh. A link in the chain of scholars and teachers who have passed these stories down for centuries like a baton in a relay race, Shah reaches layers of culture that most visitors hardly realize exist, and eventually discovers the story living in his own heart.

Along the way he describes the colors, characters, and the passion of Morocco, and comes to understand why it is such an enchanting land. From master masons who labor only at night to Sufi wise men who write for soap operas, and Tuareg guides afflicted by reality TV, In Arabian Nights takes us on an unforgettable journey, shining a light on facets of a society that are normally left in darkness.

morocco blackBlack Morocco: A History of Slavery, Race, and Islam

by Chouki El Hamel

Black Morocco: A History of Slavery, Race and Islam chronicles the experiences, identity, and agency of enslaved black people in Morocco from the sixteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century. It demonstrates the extent to which religion orders society but also the extent to which the economic and political conditions influence the religious discourse and the ideology of enslavement. The interpretation and application of Islam did not guarantee the freedom and integration of black Moroccan ex-slaves into society. It starts with the Islamic legal discourse and racial stereotypes that existed in Moroccan society leading up to the era of Mawlay Isma’il (r. 1672-1727), with a special emphasis on the black army during and after his reign.

The first part of the book provides a narrative relating the legal discourse on race, concubinage and slavery as well as historical events and developments that are not well known in printed scholarship and western contexts. The second part of the book is conceptually ambitious; it provides the reader with a deeper sense of the historical and sociological implications of the story being told across a long period of time, from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Though the strongest element of theses chapters concerns the “black army,” an important component of the discussion is the role of female slaves. One of the problems the historian faces with this kind of analysis is that it must rest on a limited “evidentiary base.” This book has broadened this base and clarified the importance of female slaves in relation to the army and Moroccan society at large.

Moroccan arabicMoroccan Arabic: Shnoo the Hell is Going On H’naa? A Practical Guide to Learning Moroccan Darija – the Arabic Dialect of Morocco

by Aaron Sakulich

For everyone going to Morocco, any age + skill level: language students to casual visitors and everyone in between. Clear and easy pronunciation system, on-the-street utility and low price. All book sales go to support Moroccan-USA NGO for more community and education-based materials, activities and exchange. Produced by an all-volunteer bi-national team of experts – your chance to move beyond tourist phrasebooks and corporate textbooks.

Best of all, and unlike the others, everything is provided side-by-side in English, transliteration, and Arabic. And it uses a simple real-word transliteration system that is simply written the way things sound without the use of exotic linguistic symbols.

Finally a straight-forward and easy to use primer for learning Moroccan Arabic, now improved in this 2nd edition. It incorporates reader suggestions and features more details on the transliteration system, additional words, new word lists, and the text has been completely revised and re-edited.

Practical and witty, it’s basically the equivalent of a VCR repair manual, just a bare-bones list of how to do the important things: here’s the present tense, here’s the future tense, etc, etc. In other words, it’s a reference book with simple examples, none of the filler, and a few youthful surprises. It’s just the kind of cheat-sheet everyone craves.

Useful to everyone with an interest in contemporary Morocco: travelers, tourists, backpackers, students, diplomats, business people, academics, artists, Peace Corp volunteers, Fulbright Scholars and student grantees, etc.

morocco memoriesMemories of Absence: How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco

by Aomar Boum

There is a Moroccan saying: A market without Jews is like bread without salt. Once a thriving community, by the late 1980s, 240,000 Jews had emigrated from Morocco. Today, fewer than 4,000 Jews remain. Despite a centuries-long presence, the Jewish narrative in Moroccan history has largely been suppressed through national historical amnesia, Jewish absence, and a growing dismay over the Palestinian conflict.

Memories of Absence investigates how four successive generations remember the lost Jewish community. Moroccan attitudes toward the Jewish population have changed over the decades, and a new debate has emerged at the center of the Moroccan nation: Where does the Jew fit in the context of an Arab and Islamic monarchy? Can Jews simultaneously be Moroccans and Zionists? Drawing on oral testimony and stories, on rumor and humor, Aomar Boum examines the strong shift in opinion and attitude over the generations and increasingly anti-Semitic beliefs in younger people, whose only exposure to Jews has been through international media and national memory.

morocco storytellersThe Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco

by Richard Hamilton

Marrakech is the heart and lifeblood of Morocco’s ancient storytelling tradition. For nearly a thousand years, storytellers have gathered in Jemaa el Fna, the legendary square of the city, to recount ancient folktales and fables to rapt audiences. But this unique chain of oral tradition that has passed seamlessly from generation to generation is teetering on the brink of extinction.

The competing distractions of television, movies, and the Internet have drawn the crowds away from the storytellers and few have the desire to learn the stories and continue their legacy. Richard Hamilton has witnessed first-hand the death throes of this rich and captivating tradition and, in the labyrinth of the Marrakech medina, has tracked down the last few remaining storytellers, recording stories that are replete with the mysteries and beauty of the Maghreb.

morocco musicMusic of Morocco: Recorded by Paul Bowles, 1959

by Paul Bowles
This is a collection of musical recordings.

Kids Book Recommendations


morocco kidsThe Adventures of Seymour & Hau: Morocco

by Melanie Morse

Join thrill-seeker, Seymour, and his intergalactic friend, Hau, as they travel the globe! Using Seymour’s smarts and Hau’s out-of-this-world abilities, they follow the call of friendship to far away lands, helping an international array of kids in tight spots- exploring new cultures, solving mysteries and making new pals with every adventure.

Every book in the The Adventures of Seymour & Hau series takes young readers (6-10 years old) on an inspiring adventure around the world where they learn about different people and cultures across the globe. Wrapped in excitement and action The Adventures of Seymour & Hau entertains and stimulates a curiosity about the globe and it’s people that can last a lifetime.

In each book Seymour & Hau travel to a different location around the world where they meet a local kid who needs their help. It’s not long before the new friends find themselves swept down a river in Sumatra, participating in a dog sled race in Alaska, or tracking down camel bandits in Morocco. Hau keeps things interesting with a questionable digestive system and an insatiable appetite. The Adventures of Seymour & Hau is an invigorating series; where every book is a new adventure and a new world to discover.

morocco jannahJannah Jewels Book 6: Mystery In Morocco

by Tayyaba Syed

In Book 6 of the 5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487694013&sr=1-5&keywords=morocco+kids” target=”_blank”>Jannah Jewels Adventure Series, they travel to the city of Fes in Morocco. The Jannah Jewels learn about Fatima al-Fihri, the founder of the first university in the world, al-Qarawiyine. Can the Jannah Jewels solve the riddles to find the artifact in Fes before time runs out?

Film Recommendations


The Kingdom of Morocco BBC Documentary


Al Jazeera World – Marriage and Divorce in Morocco

Moroccan family law is built around the Moudawana, a family code that governs marriage, divorce, child custody, maintenance and the division of assets.Adapting well-established traditions, it has been in existence since the 1950s; but, historically, marriage – and divorce – had always been in the hands of men.But in recent decades the Mouda

Faces of Africa – King Hassan II Building Morocco

King Hassan the second of Morocco ruled for thirty eight years. The population was against the hereditary kind of rule. But King Hassan allowed for a multi-party system to be incorporated into Morocco’s first constitution of 1963, the system was the only one in the Maghreb at the time.

The truth about the Arab spring (full documentary) Morocco

This documentary explains the political situation in Morocco from the perspective of ordinary citizens.

Reporters – Morocco: the hellish world of sex tourism

Reporters – Think of Morocco and you think of palaces, bustling souks and age-old traditions. But the postcard image hides a darker reality: the country is a magnet for paedophiles and sex tourists. Across the country, hundred of thousands are being exploited under the gaze of their pimps. Ours reporters took secret footage of this hellish world where men, women and children are all for sale.

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown Morocco Tangiers


Morocco: Women get together to sell Argan oil

Berber women in Morocco have used argan oil for centuries to care for their skin, hair and nails. Pressing the oil has always been women’s work. Now women are starting to market it themselves as well. A Berber businesswoman has helped female villagers to establish co-operatives to make and sell the oil; they are also setting up a global distribution network.

Women and Islam: New perspectives. Morocco 2013

The film gives voice to a number of Moroccan women in their attempt to develop new female emancipatory visions. Which vocabularies and sources do Moroccan women’s organizations make use of? How do Moroccan women today appropriate and / or reinterpret religious and other cultural traditions so as to underpin women’s participation and rights? Is there or isn’t there a cooperative spirit among women in Morocco that may serve other communities?.

Since the 1990’s new perspectives and practices have emerged under the label of ‘Islamic feminism.’ Muslim scholars have highlighted the active role of women in Islamic history and the ethical-spiritual message of the Qur’an. Leila Ahmed, Asma Barlas, Ziba Mir Hosseini (1) and Amina Wadud (2), have argued that the key assumptions of the Qur’an, and its overall world-view are egalitarian (as was earlier argued by Moroccan scholar Fatima Mernissi), and that the text emphasizes the principle of gradual reform. In many Muslim countries women organisations feature a feminist agenda, demanding equal rights for women in every domain of life and society. In Morocco today, the social movement demanding improvement of women’s positions, entails many voices and vocabularies, secular as well as religious ones. New perspectives are emerging for coalitions of religious and secular feminists, that involve a ‘Spirit of Cooperation’ (3).

Jamie Oliver in Marrakesh Morocco

Jamie’s in Morocco, dodging snake charmers to try out the street food of Marrakesh, like slow-roasted lamb in cumin, and almond and rose water cakes. Later he joins a family for some Moroccan home cooking, and makes his own versions of chicken and lemon tagine, Moroccan roast lamb, and a `snakey cake’ made of filo pastry, almonds and rose petals.

Women of the Sands

In this stunning documentary, the nomadic women of Mauritania tell their stories.

Article Recommendations

Morocco Said to Ban Sale of Burqas, Citing Security Concerns – NY Times

Morocco Harnesses the Power of the Sun – Al Jazeera

New York Times: Gender Inequality in Morocco Continues, Despite Amendments to Family Law – NY Times

Morocco Rejoins African Union After 33 Years – Al Jazeera

Free Speech Goes on Trial in Morocco – Washington Post

Teenage Rape Victim Dies After Setting Herself on Fire – The Guardian

The Muslim World Has to Take Action on Climate Change – Al Jazeera

Tea in Morocco: It’s in the Blood – Washington Post

Why Morocco is Leading the Charge Against Climate Change – CNN

Everything You Need to Know About Being Gay in Muslim Countries – The Guardian

‘Cloud Fishing’Reels in Precious Water for Villages in Morocco – The Guardian

Morocco’s Cargo Women in Pictures – The Guardian

More than 1,000 Refugees Storm Border at Spain’s Ceuta – Al Jazeera

Morocco: A Different Kind of Muslim Country – Right Turn: Washington Post

What the Domestic-Violence Makeup Show Tells Us About Women’s Rights in Morocco – The Guardian

Morocco Judge Acquits Girls Charged with Homosexuality – The Guardian

Morocco Convicts 6 Men for Homosexuality – Al Jazeera

Morocco Tackles Radical Islam – Washington Post

Refugees in Morocco Set Sights on Europe – Al Jazeera

Africa’s Biggest Windfarm Sparks Controversy in the Desert – The Guardian

Women’s Rights in Morocco: Gender Equality on Paper Only – Qantara

Morocco Restores World’s Oldest University – Al Jazeera

Morocco Lights the Way for Africa on Renewable Energy – The Guardian

Project Options:



Morocco has a long and multi-cultural history, from the early Phonecian and Berber communities, to the golden age of the Islamic civilizations, and the oversight of Rome, to the European colonial era. These and other civilizations left their marks on Morocco and contributed it’s evolution toward the modern state.

Take some time to read about the history of Morocco and explore the past as you explore the present while you are in the country.

You might be interested in learning more about:

  • The first people to inhabit Morocco
  • Carthage and the coast vs. interior rulers
  • The establishment of Mauretania
  • The Muslim conquest
  • Early Islamic kingdoms
  • The Berber Dynastic Era
  • The Alaouite Dynasty
  • The Arrival of the French
  • The Arrival of the Spanish
  • The establishment of an independent state
  • The Western Sahara conflict
  • Modern Morocco

Green Energy in Morocco

Morocco is a leader in Africa towards the development of green energy, with a significant investment made in both wind and solar energy in the past decade. Explore their commitment to the Paris Climate Treaty and the ways in which they are leading, not only Africa, but the world, in the development of alternative energy sources.

What was the energy consumption and production situation in Morocco before the change in focus of the government towards renewables? What is the situation now? In what ways has the development of this industry affected the economy?

Monarchy of Morocco

Morocco is a constitutional monarchy. When was the constitution penned and why? What powers does the King retain? What is the general sentiment of the Moroccan people towards the king? Towards the larger government? Towards the constitutional reforms?

Explore the history of the Alaouite Dynasty and their long rule over the country. How has this family ruled for so long and provide an overview of the changes within the country and the ways in which they have ushered Morocco out of the Middle Ages into the modern era.

Islam in Morocco

Do some research on the Islamic history of Morocco as well as the modern incarnation of the religion in the region. How is Morocco’s version of Islam different than some other countries’ interpretations of the religion? What is the role of Islam in politics and daily life in Morocco?

What is the official position of the Imams and the Moroccan government on radical Islam? Have they taken any actions to combat it?

Mining in Morocco

Mining is a major industry in Morocco and the country is the third leading producer of phosphate in the world. Explore the mining industry, both as a business and it’s political and economic impact. Who are the big players? What kinds of mining are undertaken in the country. Who are the miners? What is life like for miners in Morocco? What are the ecological impacts of the various types of mining on the country? Examine the pros and cons of this industry and explore the ways in which mining has influenced Moroccan history and politics over the years.

Profiles of …..

Conduct a series of at least five interviews within a country. The point of the exercise would be to get a well rounded view of what it is like to live in the France from a variety of ages, incomes, employments and experiences. This could be conducted as video, or as text. Do an in depth analysis of the experience/information.

People you might profile:

  • Farmers
  • Teachers
  • Restaurant owners/workers
  • Imams
  • Government officials
  • Doctors or nurses
  • Cafe owners
  • Street vendors
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Drivers
  • Artists or musicians
  • Laborers
  • Cab drivers
  • Long term expats

Problems & Solutions


Women’s Rights & Gender Equality

Women in Morocco are still fighting an uphill battle for equality. The laws on the books in Morocco are often openly discriminatory even though the constitution guarantees the equal treatment of men and women.

Observe and investigate while you are in Morocco. What is life like for women here? Do some reading on the political and legal position of women as it applies to the workforce, inheritance law, family law and other aspects of public life. In what ways are women discriminated against? What is the reasoning given for this when challenged politically or legally? How does the situation of women in Morocco compare with that of women in other Muslim countries?

Homosexual Discrimination

Morocco has legal prohibitions against homosexual behavior and it enforces them. Do some reading, talk to people within the LGBTQ community (if you can find them and if they will talk with you) and ask questions about what it is like to live under the Moroccan law.

Tell the real life stories of the LGBTQ population in Morocco. What is Morocco like for LGBTQ travelers? Do the draconian rules apply to visitors as well as Moroccans? Have there been any cases of prosecution of foreigners? What is the sentiment within the international LGBTQ community surrounding Morocco and its policies as well as travel?

Leather Industry

The tanneries of Fez are famous around the world and leather is one of Morocco’s primary industries. The industrial pollution that results from the tanning stage of leather production has significant impact. Explore what is being done to curb this pollution. What it’s root causes are, both in the modern industry and historically.

Study the history and culture around leather production in Morocco and the families who have traditionally made leather production their business. What sorts of products do they produce? Where are they sold? How does this industry support the national economy? What is it about Moroccan leather that has become famous worldwide? Explore the pros and cons of the leather industry in Morocco. Visit the tanneries yourself, if possible, and give a first hand account of what you learn.


Morocco suffers from corruption across all levels of government. “Wasta” (middlemen), patronage, and nepotism are common. Accusations of bribery and other concessions at high levels within the government plague the country’s international reputation and make it difficult to get “business” done within Morocco.

Do some research on high level political and economic corruption in Morocco. How serious is the situation? Has the situation improved in the past few years or worsened? Has the move towards constitutional monarchy and a more democratic process curbed or improved the corruption problem? Did you have any first hand experiences in Morocco with corruption?

Cultural Assignment Options



Morocco is a food lover’s delight. The rich cultural history of the country expresses itself over dinner tables and streetside food carts. Watch the documentaries by Anthony Bourdain and Jaime Oliver to get you started and have an introduction to the beautiful foodscape of Morocco.

Eat your way across the country. Try the unique foods from each of the cultures you encounter in Morocco. Take a cooking class in Tangiers. Don’t be afraid to try weird things and different things. From couscous to Tagine, to the ubiquitous mint tea, try the best foods Morocco has to offer.

Make a record (or a video!) of all of the new foods you’re trying as you travel through Morocco.

Meaningful Connections

What is a meaningful interaction? You get to decide that. In general, it should be an interaction in which cultural exchange took place and you learned something. Often this will be with a local person; sometimes it will be with another traveler.

Sometimes these interactions look like very little on the outside but are totally life changing on the inside. Other times, they are rock your world amazing from every angle. It could be a meal shared, an afternoon’s excursion, a discussion that opens your eyes in some way, a self revelation that happened without any words exchanged at all.

Spend a day with a local individual or family. Document your experience in photos, interviews and the written word. The best way to interact with locals is to just start chatting with them at markets, on tours or on the street. You can also ask other travelers if they have met anyone who has offered some insight into life in the country. If you are a family who have children attending a local school then have a party, invite a parent to coffee, basically just open up your home to new relationships.

Take a Class

There are many options! Don’t be limited by this list:

  • Cooking
  • Language
  • Art or Crafts
  • Berber weaving, or leather works
  • Literature
  • Yoga
  • Traditional dance
  • Music, traditional drumming or guitar lessons, perhaps?

Museum Visits

Morocco has some fascinating museums and historical sites across the country. Make an effort to visit the big ones that are in the guidebooks, but also keep your eyes open for small private museums tucked into back alleys and archeological sites that tell the story of the country.

Here are some options in the main cities:

Save your ticket stubs!


Volunteering is a great way to get to know a local community and give back a bit to the places that you choose to travel. There are lots of ways to do this, both organized and arranged privately, as well as impromptu opportunities that will pop up.

If you’re looking for a list of volunteer opportunities in Morocco, Transitions Abroad has a site dedicated to helping you find one. Please be advised that TAP is not recommending these, only presenting them as a list of possibilities. Vet your volunteer options carefully.

Live local

Get out of the hostel, rent a place in a local village, or do a homestay. Through websites like Airbnb it’s easy to find places to live locally. Consider a co-living space to develop community with like minded travelers while diving a little deeper and going a little bit more local. SunDesk in Taghazout , is one option.

Photo essay or a blog description of why living local was different than living in a hostel. How did this experience change the economics of your stay? What did you learn about the way locals live? What challenged you? What would you do differently next time?

Work Stay

Through an organization like WWOOF, HelpX, or Workaway you can arrange for an opportunity to work in exchange for your room and board in a number of capacities, from farm labour to hospitality. Lots of students make use of these experiences to lower the cost of their travels, while at the same time learning valuable skills or “trying out” various career areas that interest them.

Request feedback in the form of a short evaluation that can be used later for a CV or reference

Public Transportation Project

Take as many types of public transportation as possible. Ride a camel, take a galloper, a petit and a grand taxi, do all of the local forms of transport that you can, in addition to riding the train and the metro, bus, and airplanes.

Challenge yourself to take every type of public transportation available while you are in Morocco. Create a photo essay or videologue of your adventures. What did you learn?

Attend a Religious Observance

Morocco is a politically religious country as well as culturally religious country. Islam is the dominant religion in Morocco and is pervasive in every aspect of daily life, from commerce to family life. Visiting Morocco is an excellent opportunity to learn about Islamic life and the faith that supports it. Try to set aside the assumptions that have been handed to you through the media and observe for yourself and experience for yourself the realities of Islamic life. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. How does the religious climate in Morocco compare with what you grew up with?


How to Create Your Own Course Work



Learn to ask for what you want. If you meet someone interesting, ask them to teach you. Ask them for an interview. Ask to shadow them for a day or a week. You’ll be surprised at how eager people are to share what they know and teach when someone shows actual interest. Learn to ask questions. Learn to take social risks by putting yourself out there as a learner.


You have an idea or an interest. Something surprises you on your journey and all of a sudden you have a burning desire to know more. Plan your attack:

  • Narrow your field of study to a particular question or topic.
  • Compile resources: Look for teachers. Who knows what you need to know? Or who can you interview to learn more? Are there books or videos on the topic you’re interested in?
  • Quantify it. How will you demonstrate what you have learned? A research paper, a video project, a photo essay, through art or music, a blog post, a published piece, an interview series, a mini documentary or do you have some other idea?


Produce a quality piece of academic work that reflects your experiential learning. The whole key to quantifying outside the box learning is to translate it into something that reflects the value of what you learned and how it contributed to your overall educational process.

Perhaps this will be as simple as a traditional research paper, depending on the depth and length of your study this could be as short as three pages or as long as a dissertation. Maybe you’ll produce a video for YouTube, or something grander, like a mini-documentary. Perhaps you’ll do something concrete instead, an art, or community action project and you’ll tell the story through a photo essay, or a series of blog posts. The possibilities are limited only by the resources you have at hand. Get creative. Think outside the box and truly experience your education.


Do You Have Anything to Add to This Resource Page?

We’re actively seeking to grow these resources in an open-source spirit. Please email jenn(at)bootsnall(dot)com with your edits or submissions of new information or materials.

Thank you!