As mentioned briefly in my previous post, I spent that last four months or so (Fall '09 Semester) studying abroad in Morocco. Our host city was Rabat, but the program provided a great opportunity for us to travel across the country and to countries nearby such as Spain, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, etc.
Many college students struggle with the decision to study abroad and being one of these students, I highly encourage it. Studying abroad opened my eyes and my heart to many experiences. While in Morocco, I made many friends and still keep in contact with them. Though studying abroad has its great advantages (see pictures below), it also has some downfalls; culture shock both leaving to the US and returning into the US.
For me, returning to the US and especially heading back on campus was the most difficult part of the study abroad experience. It had nothing to do with Guilford Campus, but being away in a different country with different customs and cultures, it was strange to be back at Guilford. I think it was because I spent most of my time at Guilford and in Greensboro. Having taken classes year--round (Fall, Spring, Summer) since my freshman year, I have come to consider Guilford my home. And being back at home and noticing the difference was quite strange, and has taken some time to get used to. Classes and subjects that I normally would find easy, have gotten harder, speaking English and communicating with others have gotten harder as well... when you make small talk in French and Arabic for four months it's so hard to do the same in English... lol. But with those came the unexpected things that made culture shock a little harder, but my experience that much more fulfilling; I've changed. The experience in Morocco has changed who I am, for the better, I suppose. My friends has noticed this change as well and they love it. I went from being a shy, wall flower to an extremely outgoing person.
Though these changes and culture shock may seem like a huge CON into not studying abroad, the experiences and the changes (for the better) of who you are as a person are extremely worth it!!!
A little blurry, sorry, but this is my home-stay week for a week. I didn't have a home-stay while in Morocco, I chose to live in a dorm filled with Moroccan girls. I liked that experience better because they were so curious as to American culture much in the same way I was about theirs.
Pics from Marrakech, Morocco:
Pics from Essouria:
Pics from Fez: