The End Pt. 2: Ma’assalama

Just like this exchange, I’m going to make my final Moroccan blog post short and sweet.

The first night I stepped on campus, I was in a panic. Whether it be from the anxiety or the lack of sleep for 36 hours, I was freaking out. I facetimed my mom asking questions like “what am I doing here?” “why did I choose to study abroad here?” “can I catch a plane back?”. Man, am I glad I didn’t check the ticket prices.

Although I was terrified as all living hell to be here, it wasn’t long until I fell in love with Morocco. It wasn’t a love-at-first-sight relationship, but my appreciation for such a new and exciting place started to grow day by day. Maybe it was because I didn’t know jack about Arabic or the fact that I had no idea what was going on half the time, but being out of my comfort zone helped me realize the beauty and diversity that exists in this world. It turned into an empathetic, “put myself in other peoples shoes” experience, which I am forever grateful for. Morocco doesn’t have that rich classical beauty of Europe and isn’t a well-known study abroad destination, but I can guarantee that there than what meets the eye about this place.

I think it was all the amazing people I met that really made this place the best. Of course the scenery was gorgeous and the culture and everything is fantastic, but I am still blown away by how amazing the people here are. I have yet to meet a single selfish person, and I cannot believe the sweetness of the souls here. The outpour of love and acceptance has made this study abroad everything and more.

There really are no words to describe how this experience was as a whole. It would take a few days to explain everything I’ve done (that I can remember oops), and I don’t think I would be able to encompass how incredible it was just by a few stories. I know I’m heading back to the thousands of “well how was it?” questions, and the best answer I can give you is it was single handedly the most unbelievable time of my life. I don’t know how I can explain what 4 months of being in a whole new world is like, and the amount of self-growth that I (and others) have gone through is astounding. I know it’s so cliche and literally everyone (LITERALLY) says it, but studying abroad in a completely foreign country is so so good for you in every aspect.

And so, it is with this final entry on Morocco that I say goodbye to Morocco. Goodbye to the lifelong friends who have gone to hell and back with me, and who are now the people I consider bridesmaids and besties. Goodbye to habibi, who showed me how to deeply and truly love again. Goodbye to the delicious tajines with thousands of flavor, and the hundreds of delicious dishes that I’ve been lucky to try. I don’t want to leave you just yet, but know that I’ll be back the second that I can. Ma’assalama, Morocco.


All My Love,

Ellie Leonhardt

P.S If anyone has questions about studying abroad here and who to talk to (I got the hookups), please contact me! I’m more than happy to ramble on for hours about this place.



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