Logo Sunset

The Life of an American Expat in Morocco

The Life of an American Expat in Morocco

16 Mars 2022
The Life of an American Expat in Morocco

Becoming an expatriate can bring about several concerns for an individual unfamiliar with the new country they will reside in. Basic concerns include expat health insurance long-term, cost of living, or unfamiliarity. Although everyone should be open minded to this experience, many will face homesickness or culture shock along their journey. For an American expat term in Morocco, this can be one the most enriching experiences of a lifetime. 

As international tourism has expanded throughout Morocco, you will find a wide range of cultures throughout your stay. It is important to note that Arabic is the Moroccan vernacular, while about 35% of Moroccans are proficient in French. For an American, it is comforting to know that throughout larger cities such as Marrakech and tourist areas such as the Medina, the English language has been adapted due to the growing international audience. With menu items also translating to English, it is evident that a language barrier is more of a stereotypical hardship an American expat will face in the larger cities.

However, you will find most speak French and Arabic in the smaller communities of Morocco. You may have trouble finding those that understand basic English as many are developing the language. In this case, there is no harm in learning a common Arabic or French saying to express essential needs or questions, especially when it comes to a food allergy or daily demand. As this can be quite a scary reality to face, it is an important part of indulging and appreciating the Moroccan culture. 

With this, expat groups such as The British Business Group is one of many providing support systems and a social centre for those looking to connect with others in the country. This is a comfort for a number of American expats looking to bond with others going through the same experience. There is no shame in seeking other expats that will understand the similar emotions that come with relocating to Morocco. However, you will find the kindness and hospitality of the Moroccan community will not go unnoticed as an American trying to adapt to their new home.  

The most important aspect of being an American expat, is to continue to accept the newfound culture, religion, people, and foods. With Morocco being the third most welcoming country in the world, you will find that citizens in Morocco will genuinely invite you to their home, especially if you are traveling alone. As an American this might sound a bit off, since it common in the states to avoid these situations, but in reality, this does occur with sincere kindness. Moroccans want you to feel welcomed into their homes and community, even if it’s after a small conversation with them. This just goes to show the openness the culture has to others, and it is essential as an expat to adapt to that same mindset while abroad. 

You will find that it is more respectable to dress conservatively, especially as an American expat. Although there is no rule on how to dress in Morocco, it is appropriate to wear unpretentious clothing unless you are willing to stand out. This does not mean you will have to splurge on a new wardrobe as a pair of American jeans and a t-shirt will do the trick. For women, long dresses to stay cool or even a pair of pants is perfect for an American expat. Many love to stick to their American roots while conforming to the Moroccan dress norms. This would be considered a great way to follow the customs while living in the country. 

Moreover, all religions are respected throughout the country. There is no pressure as an American to convert or adapt to the Islamic religion of the state. In fact, if you have any questions, many will be happy to explain and express their beliefs and practices with you. With this, it is essential to understand that in the country of Morocco, you do have an obligation to respect these religious practices. For example, following the rules of not entering shrines or mosque if you are a non-Muslim and offering unwarranted opinions. With about 90% of the country identifying as Muslim, religion is very sacred. It is the duty as a newcomer to educate themselves and be accepting of these practices, just as the Moroccan community is to all they encounter. 

Lastly, living as an American in Morocco also comes with logistical matters like expat health insurance and cell phones. Expat health insurance is critical for a long-term stay. When it comes to health care, there are two sectors in Morocco that will probably be familiar to you: public and private healthcare. It is also essential for most expats to have these services offered in English, which is an understandable request. With this in mind, a majority of expats choose International Private Healthcare Insurance. The benefits associated with this expat health insurance long-term is the plan lasts until you leave the country and decreases the likelihood of facing a language barrier. Moreover, the services will most likely match the care you would receive in your home country. 

When it comes to cell phones, American expats should order a SIM card if you are planning on staying in Morocco for a lengthy period of time. This is the easiest way to stay in touch with friends and family without the pricey service charges. For those enduring a prolonged stay, it makes the most sense especially when wanting to use navigation when you have no way home. As these matters depend on the individual, it will put many American expats at ease when it comes to necessities while being abroad. Morocco makes it very easy to fall in love with the country as it is a place where 37 million people consider “home”. 

Although living as an American expat can be a stressful change, it is also an exhilarating experience for those that have the opportunity. With Morocco being greatly adaptable, it also has the qualities to form a new home. With any questions regarding long-term rentals in Marrakech, feel free to reach out to us via: info@marrakechsunset.com or if you want to explore luxury villas for sale in Marrakech during your stay as an expat, please explore our website: www.marrakechsunset.com