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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Casablanca, Morocco

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

I had experienced other similar countries so I just read a book "Culture Shock Morocco"

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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

I spoke so little one would say NO she did not speak Arabic, French or Berber.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

I always think about culture shock and expect it.

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

This time it was a bit more than I even expected.

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

When you expect the stages you will recognize them but it doesn't really make it any easier. Just keep busy and learn to get thru them in a way that works for you. Don't run away or retreat, that is the worst thing you can do.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Frustration, Irritation. I come from a close family full of hugs but giving up the personal space was the hardest.

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Family, caring, sincere people.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Thieves, trash everywhere and the outdoor urinal. Getting used to the economy.

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

I love my new family they truly are so patient in my attempt to learn arabic. I am not allowed to say a few words in arabic since I cannot seem to hear or repeat what is being said. So much so that it is now the family joke. The words are not in any book stating to be carefull.

zip as in: to zip around a corner. This essentially is a man unzipping his pants as explained to me.

Careful saying coffee in arabic. Said wrong you are asking someone if they would like a cup of sperm.

Husband said wrong in arabic means thief. And there were a few other funnies, bless them all for making light of the learning moments. I will say the whole family agreed after numerous attempts of trying to say coffee in arabic I am now to just say "coffee"

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

If you have never traveled to another country you need to find a group of people who live in the area who have already gone thru the culture shock.

If you are used to travel just remember that you can still experience culture shock and the emotions associated.

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Comments about this Report

Oct 11, 2011 05:46

Great points! I am also living in Casablanca and have lived in France and Japan. Casablanca has such a large expat community there is no reason to feel alone. Take advantage of these groups as the support is wonderful as you are all going through the same things. Morocco is a wonderful country and the people are great. I do agree the trash , crime and urination out side do take a lot of getting use to :o)

Mar 5, 2012 19:03

i am in egypt and i understand completely.. also.. tease.. sounds like an arabic word for "rear end" lol

Apr 29, 2014 12:03

I am considering moving to Morocco. Would you plz add me as a 'friend?' I think I am crazy to make this choice, but I will come to visit for three months and see how I like it/don't like it and I need help finding a place to stay, maybe PT work, etc... Any help you can offer would be MUCH appreciated! Thank you!

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