I hope to one day look back at this post and laugh–Oh Kathleen, now that you’ve successfully enrolled in a Moroccan university in Casablanca, you see there was nothing to worry about!
This blogpost by a fellow Ambassadorial Scholar has gotten me very, very nervous. The abridged version of her story goes like this: Scholar has been planning on going to Tunisia, has applied through the normal diplomatic channels to a university, has a well developed idea of what she’d like to study in Tunisia. Scholar arrives in Tunis in late July to start taking language classes and pays a visit to the US embassy. Someone at the embassy announces that her chances of getting into a university in Tunisia (I think he says “in North Africa”*ALARM BELLS*) are slim unless she goes to a private school.
Cue my frenzied emailing of half my Rotary and Morocco contacts…
You see, I’ll be arriving in Morocco on the night of August 30th with no guarantee of enrollment in the University. That guarantee is one of the very few requirements for receiving my scholarship. The check that makes all of this possible, in other words.
Is a mirage too clichéd of an image to use when talking about Morocco? Answer: yes.
My heart is pounding a little softer after I received emails from a couple of people who assure me that things will work out. A former scholar to Rabat told me she attended public school (albeit with the help of some State Department contacts) so I know that it is not impossible to get enrolled in the public school system. My Casablanca Sister-Cities contact opened his email with: “I am sorry to hear about your nervousness. There is nothing to worry about.” Those are the sweetest words I’ve heard all morning.
I hope he’s right, because I have big, wonderful plans for Casablanca and they don’t involve turning back around and coming home.