10 Tips for Living in Morocco
By Betsy Burlingame
Summary: Despite the Turkish toilets, high cost of living and language barrier, expats in Morocco agree that they love living in Morocco. Members share advice for living in and moving to Morocco.
In late November, we began a series of threads on our country forums entitled, "10 Tips for Living in...". We thank all of you who posted your tips and encourage readers to continue to post more tips by visiting your country's forum and looking for the thread "10 Tips for Living in...".
Here is our second 10 Tips article for people living in and moving to Morocco:
- Finding a Job - I feel that languages especially English, French and Spanish are in demand and you can easily find a job in a language centre. Some of them do not require you to have a teaching certificate, only that you are a native speaker. - Riana
- Taxis - There may be more than one passenger in a taxi. BUT as you add each person, YOUR fare should be reduced pro rata. It's not unusual at all to have 2 passengers plus driver in front and 4 in back. You would pay for the amount of SIX people if you go alone (I'm talking about big taxis, not petite taxis by the way) and if you are one of the SIX in a full taxi, it's substantially less. - malika
- Marriage - If you are an American getting married in Morocco, LOOK OUT! The complicated red tape is beyond anything one could imagine. Be prepared for a federal police investigation, a local police investigation, many many trips to the notary for advice and help, convincing the judge your marriage is for real, convincing all the support staff around the judge the marriage is real. You will have to meet with the king's delegate at the court and when he asks you about sexual relations, "no, I have not had sexual relations with my fiance". If you are female, when you get your certificate of good health from the doctor, be sure and also get a statement that you are not pregnant. I'm over 60 and had to go back for this. Organize, organize, organize and be prepared for hours of waiting and nothing moves. Be prepared to pay off anyone who is even slightly involved with your marriage papers. You will have at least 4 pounds of papers at the end and multiple multiple red seal stamps on every document. Set the price the notary is going to charge you BEFORE you start this process - we're getting ripped off now for double the price. You need to be patient and expect to do a lot of traveling to hand deliver documents between multiple cities. If they say come back at 2, don't leave - sit there until 2. - malika
- Moroccans - Moroccans are warm and extremely hospitable. There are man poor poor people and if you have $10 in your pocket, it's $10 more than they have and many times they are hungry. Please try to understand many people are desperate just to feed their family or to buy a tank of gas to heat their home for a very cold night. As Americans, almost none among us can imagine the challenges that face some of the most brillant and loving people on earth. - malika
- Family - Speaking of love, a Moroccan's family is their everything. Always remember to ask how each one of them are. Always say you pass your greetings on to them. This is so important to them. - malika
- Turkish Toilets - Be prepared for turkish toilets - the hole in the floor. If you travel outside the big cities, there will be many of them. Be sure to wash your hands well and touch as little as possible. Bring some antibiotic wipes from home to cut down on the risk of inviting in some uninvited germs. - malika
- Schools - There are no English schools unless you are prepared to pay private school prices. I have two kids and they cost about $10k a year in the American School. The French schools are difficult to get into as well. - gds
- Shopping - If anyone says "I want you to meet my friend" while shopping - run as fast as you can and don't look back. You'll be spending a lot more money. And by the way, money and cards in holder around neck and INSIDE your shirt. - malika
- Cost of Living - Cost of Living is high, especially if you intend on shopping in supermarkets. Having said that though, markets are abundant and affordable. Accommodation is very expensive if you have dreams of living in a Moroccan villa. Apartment living varies from very plush to very 'un-plush'. You get what you pay for, so you need to understand what you can afford, and also really make sure that you get good advice on areas to live in. - gds
- Language - English is a 3rd language if you are lucky so without support from a company, expect to struggle a lot as you get to grips with Arabic (not easy btw) and French. Nothing is in English...nothing!! The signs at the airport are the last smattering of English you will see...I assure you! - gds
- Last but not Least - Don't die until you've visited this magnificent and beautiful country. 40% illiteracy but some of the most intelligent people on the planet. I have many "favorite" parts of Morocco. The roads are dangerous particularly in the high atlas. Drive safely or force the driver to drive safely. The views are astounding. Merzouga and the surrounding area is about being free and feeling the presence of God. The beach cities are busy and wonderful. Try to connect with one family to be your friend and you'll find what the real value of life is if you happen to be a typical American. - malika
Add your own tips for living in Morocco by clicking here and posting a reply to the thread "10 Tips for Living in Morocco". To post tips for another country find the country forum here and look for the thread "10 Tips...".
About the Author
Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.
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First Published: Feb 01, 2009