From AMIDEAST Student to AMIDEAST Intern: Sara Micare
I was lucky enough to study with AMIDEAST for the Spring 2019 semester. Being an International Relations major at American University, I chose to study in the Regional Studies in French program in Morocco to further advance my French-speaking skills and expand my knowledge of the MENA region. However, my academic pursuits would ultimately become the pathway to unimaginable experiences and lifelong friends.
Anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Moroccan host mother, I sat nervously with my future roommate (and good friend) Kendall, in a classroom at AMIDEAST in Rabat. One by one, my friends were greeted by their new families for the next four months. Kendall and I had no idea what to expect ꟷ but my abroad “go with the flow” mentality hadn’t failed me yet, and I relaxed. I didn’t know much about Morocco. I knew the basic history and I knew a handful of people that had been to Morocco. But as I was daydreaming about my life for the next four months, I heard mine and Kendall’s name called out. Our host mother greeted us with a smile from ear to ear and was eager to bring us home.
Four months with AMIDEAST was a constant adventure; literally everything I can tell as a funny story. The AMIDEAST student lounge became my second home in Rabat. It’s where I spent most of my time doing school work, but also my favorite place for daily chit chats with my friends. The weekends, however, I pushed myself to travel all over Morocco (an incredibly fun weekend would be only a $50 expense). My two favorite trips, of course, were the desert and Zaouiat Ahansal. Not only is the desert incredibly beautiful, but I made my best friends there. Isabella, Chris, Samba, Jocelyn, Kendall, and I walked through the desert telling jokes and getting to know each other. Likewise, Zaouiat Ahansal is breathtaking and quite spiritual for me. This trip was more personal to me due to the fact that I found a strong sense of inner peace there. Not only that, but the Sheikh (community leader) and his family were hospitable and a lot of fun (also I love little baby Sheikh).
Furthermore, my 21st birthday in Morocco was a night I will forever cherish. Many of my friends worked at FOO (Fondation Occident Orient), a school where refugees can learn English. On the night of my birthday during Reflection Week (also Ramadan), FOO held a concert showcasing their students’ musical talents. There was a spread of food, music, and dancing ꟷ this made my birthday really special and unforgettable, and it helped wrap up the entire semester.
Fast forward to three months after my study abroad program, I currently sit at AMIDEAST headquarters in Washington, DC as an Education Abroad intern. With the same nervousness I had my first day in Morocco, I enter yet another chapter with AMIDEAST. However, my time abroad allows me to enter this new adventure as a more adaptable and confident person. I applied to AMIDEAST not only because I loved my program, but I believe in their mission and want others to believe in it as well.