Teaching English In Morocco:A Melting Pot Of Medinas, Cuisine And Handicrafts
Teaching English in Morocco can be a fascinating adventure. A melting pot of cultures and peoples, Moroccan life has strands influenced by its Arabian, European and Berber roots. As you settle into life in Morocco, you will enjoy sampling its varied cuisine, the heady mix of old and new traditions, the stunning landscape and of course, it’s warm and hospitable people.
There are opportunities opening up for English teachers in Morocco. Traditionally, Arabic and French have been the popular languages. However, with growing international business and the country’s exploding tourism sector, the demand for English language teachers is on the rise.
If you would like to embark on a long Moroccan adventure as an expat English teacher, do go through our comprehensive guide given below. It will help you in your Moroccan job hunt.
Snapshot Of Morocco
Opportunities for Teaching English in Morocco
The market for English teachers in Morocco is a growing one. With business and tourism sectors growing rapidly and the country opening out to international ties, the demand for English speaking skills is on the rise.
The government policy has also seen a shift with greater emphasis being given to the education sector. As demand for quality education increases, there is a proportional increase in the demand for English teachers teaching English in Morocco.
There are both private and public schools in Morocco. The public-school positions are almost exclusively reserved for Moroccan nationals. Opportunities for expat teachers is mostly confined to the private sector. You can apply to private language schools, private international schools or private universities.
There are private language schools in almost all the major cities of Morocco. But you will find more schools and more opportunities in cities like Casablanca, Marrakesh, Rabat and Tangier.
These are wonderful cities to live in. However, you need to be very careful when applying for a job at private institutes. First, not all the schools are professionally run.
The private schools often have their own set of rules and regulations. If you sign up without adequate research, you might find that there are several grey areas in your employment contract.
Second, there are government regulations regarding the qualifications for teachers in private schools. Do not be too delighted if a school offers you a job, even if you lack the necessary qualifications and expertise for the job.
It probably means that they expect you to work without a work visa or residence permit. This is strictly not advisable.
Morocco has quite a large international school community. Most of them are in Casablanca, Marrakesh, Rabat and Tangiers. There are a few schools in cities like Fez and Ifrane. Curriculums followed include British, American, French, Saudi and Spanish.
Some of the school also follow the Moroccan curriculum in addition to the international one.
A considerable proportion of the teaching staff in Morocco’s private universities are expats. Most positions require at least a Master’s degree and work experience. You could also look for opportunities in the language schools affiliated to private universities.
A Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certification may get you at least an interview call. Working in the private universities can be a great experience. The work load is light enough for you to have enough time to explore the country.
Yet another option for teaching English in Morocco is to look for private tuitions. The market for private classes is growing rapidly.
It is not just young students who are seeking to beef up their English-speaking skills. In the rapidly growing economy, there are young professionals who need to brush up their English skills in order to get a vital professional edge.
They add to the demand for English teachers. The hours are flexible. However, it might not be financially possible to survive solely from private tuitions. Most expat English teachers take up private tutoring to supplement their salaries from school.
There are plenty of opportunities for teaching English in Morocco. With a bit of research, networking and the right qualifications, your dream of living and working in this vibrant country will come true.
When And How To Apply For Teaching Jobs In Morocco
Applications can be sent around the year for language schools. There are always vacancies for teaching posts in these institutes.
At times, they struggle to fill in vacant posts days before the sessions begin. The regular private schools and international schools follow a more structured approach.
Their academic term is from September-June. It would be prudent to start the application process as early as April or March.
Teaching English in Morocco requires some amount of leg work. Vacancies are rarely advertised on the internet or newspapers. This would mean that you would have to do some amount of research and also use your networking skills.
The first step would be to make a list of the schools you would like to apply to. This is necessary, because as we mentioned earlier, not all schools have a productive and rewarding working environment.
Once you have a short list of the ‘good’ schools, it is best to make cold calls/emails enquiring if they have vacancies for English teachers.
If they do respond positively, send in your resume. But that is not the end of the matter. Moroccan schools expect follow up calls on a regular basis. So be prepared to spend some time on the application process.
If you have the financial resources consider looking out for a new service we will be launching soon in which we contact all the schools on your behalf. You can find it in the Teacher Marketplace.
It might also worth considering to come to Morocco on a tourist visa prior to starting your job hunt teaching English in Morocco. Most schools do expect to interview in person before taking the final decision on your appointment.
The tourist visa is valid for a period of 90 days. Once you land a job teaching English in Morocco, the school will help you with the paperwork required for obtaining a work visa or residence permit.
Some Of Our Latest teaching Jobs In Morocco
Qualifications Needed To Teach English In Morocco
The government has strict standards for hiring teachers who will be teaching English in Morocco. You need to have a Bachelor’s degree in addition to a TEFL or CELTA certification. Most schools also prefer to hire native English speakers.
However, this is not mandatory. If you are fluent in the language, you can still apply for teaching English in Morocco.
Private universities normally require a Master’s degree. However, there are openings in university language schools for candidates with a BA +TEFL certification. If you are looking for private tutoring opportunities, qualifications do not really matter.
But do remember that it is impossible to get a work visa or residence permit if you do not meet the Government guidelines on hiring teachers. Teaching experience is valued in the job market and gives you an edge over the competition.
Getting A Visa To Teach English In Morocco
Teaching English in Morocco will require you to go through a rather long-drawn out process to get the papers and permits needed for you to work in this beautiful country. Here is a list of the steps you need to go through to get the papers to legalize your right to stay and work here.
- Once you have decided on Morocco as the destination for your work abroad experience, apply for a tourist or student visa to come to the country. This is easy if you are a citizen of an English-speaking country (excepting South Africa). The visas are available on arrival at Morocco and are valid for a period of 90 days.
- Once you sign an employment contract, you can apply for a work permit or residence permit. It is known as the carte de sejour.
- Once your application is submitted, you will receive a receipt. Keep it safe till your work visa is issued. The process is long and tedious. Sometimes, it may take nearly a year to get a work visa.
- If your tourist visa expires before your work permit is issued (which is very likely given the bureaucracy involved), you will have to leave Morocco and return again on a new tourist visa.
- Applying for a new tourist visa is inconvenient but not really difficult. You have to leave Morocco for 24 hours before you re-enter on a new tourist visa. Most expats take a bus or a cheap flight across the border to Spain and then re-enter Morocco. I am sure you will agree that spending a day in Spain is no great hardship!
- The work visa is valid for a period of one year.
- When your work visa expires after a year, reapply for a 3 or 5-year visa to avoid going through all the paper work annually. The time period for the extended work visa will depend on your nationality.
- Most schools help you with all the paper work required for the visa. The first preference for any job, as per government rules, has to be a Moroccan national. The school has to prove that there were no other suitable candidates for the job. That is why it is important that you have all the documents that establish your credentials in hand.
Documentation Required For A Moroccan Work Visa
You will need to produce the below in order to successfully able to receive a Moroccan work visa:
- Three certified copies of your employment contract
- Three certified copies of your passport
- Three copies (one of them must be a certified copy) of a lease in your name
- If accommodation is provided by the employer, the latter must provide a certificate to confirm he/she is taking up the housing costs
- Certificates proving your qualifications
- Two forms of your application for registration. These are available at the prefecture and you will have to visit there personally to fill up the forms
- 8 passport-size photos
- The visa fees
Only once this has all been completed can you legally start teaching English In Morocco.
Salary & Work Environment in Moroccan Schools
Do not expect to save for the future whilst on a teaching English in Morocco.
The salaries for teaching English in Morocco are just about enough to cover your costs and fulfil your ambition of exploring and learning more about the country. Average salaries in language schools range from $800-$1000.
Private schools and international schools offer higher salaries, in the range of $1000-2000. Private university salaries may be as high as $3000, depending on your qualifications and experience.
Private tutoring is not very lucrative. You can earn up to $20 an hour.
Moroccan schools normally offer housing, healthcare and a travel stipend as additional perks. You should negotiate further with the school management if these are not included in your initial offer letter.
Your work environment will depend on the school. There is anecdotal evidence that some schools do not treat teachers professionally. But if you have done your background research diligently, you will probably only apply to the ‘right’ schools.
Schools in Morocco work for eight hours, with almost an hour’s break for lunch. Some schools have an extra half hour break. There are 20-30 students in each class. Saturdays are holidays or half days. Employees are entitled to 18 days paid leave as per the labor laws in the country.
It might take you a while to get used to the discipline, or lack of it, in Moroccan schools.
Students may not be punctual. This can be tiresome if you are taking private tuition’s. It is also normal in Moroccan society to interrupt people without much ado. You will have to learn with it.
Never get into a direct confrontation with a parent or student. This is regarded as an affront. Moroccans prefer a very indirect style of communication.
Cost Of Living In Morocco As An Expat Teacher
The cost of living in Morocco is surprisingly high, especially in cities like Marrakesh. Your Morocco assignment will be a break even one. The potential to save is rather slim.
The rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center will be $300 per month. A similar sized apartment outside the city center will cost $170.
However, several schools in Morocco do provide housing or cover your house rent. If you do not fall in this category, it might be wiser to look for a house away from the city center as the price differential is quite substantial.
Your utility bill will add another $40 to your housing costs. Internet and phone bill will be approximately $30-40.
Morocco is a great place to embark on a culinary adventure. The cuisine is delicious and eating out is not very expensive.
A three-course meal in a mid-priced restaurant will put you back by around $20. A bottle of beer costs $3. The street food in Morocco is delicious. If you are not up to cooking, you can always indulge in a feast from the streets. Your bill will be around $3!!
Transport is not expensive. However, the public transport system is not very efficient. You may have to rely on taxis extensively. The charge for a one-kilometer ride is an affordable $0.75.
Groceries will account for 35 percent of your total monthly outflow; transport is 14.6 percent and eating out will be 12 percent.
Living Life In Morocco
Teaching English in Morocco will give you enough time to explore this wonderful country. There is much to see and do here. Cities like Marrakesh and Casablanca are exotic, colorful and simply oozing with charm.
It is not really necessary to go on sight seeing tours to enjoy the flavor of life in these cities. Just sit back in a café with a cup of delicious Moroccan coffee at Marrakesh’s legendary plaza and watch life pass by.
The quirks of the bargain hunters in the busy streets, the beguiling sales spiels by the local vendors, the colorful carpets on sale, the musicians competing for your attention and the delicious aroma of the slow cooked tagine – everyday life in Morocco has a charm that is indefinable.
Once you have settled in, you can plan to see more of Morocco. Use your weekends and school holidays to visit Morocco’s beautiful mountains. Explore the vast deserts with their towering dunes and lively oasis.
Visit the beautiful cities of Casablanca, Fez and Tangiers. Enjoy the warm hospitality and friendship of the local people.
While life in Morocco can be a never-ending adventure, it is important to be sensitive about the local culture and laws.
Here are some important tips:
- Alcohol consumption is not allowed in public
- Homosexual and extra-marital relations are illegal and punishable
- Morocco is an Islamic country. You must adhere to local rules of behavior.
- It is better to dress conservatively. This is especially important for women expat teachers
- It is wiser to carry your identification papers and work permit with you always.
- Medical services are not very dependable.
Must-Visit Places If You Decide To Teach Abroad In Morocco
Known as an imperial city, Meknes in its heydays was full of grand buildings and bustling medinas. It was the capital of the Sultan who ruled the area in the 17th century.
Meknes is not as impressive as the other imperial cities in Morocco. But since it hosts fewer visitors, you can have a more relaxed time exploring the palaces and streets.
The spectacular scenery at Dades Valley will be one of your lasting memories of Morocco. The valley is set between the High Atlas mountain range and the Jebel Sarho.
Known as the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, the sight of the looming cliffs of the valley changing color during the course of the day is simply unforgettable.
If you are looking for a quiet weekend make your way to Chefchaouen. Located in the Rif Mountains, the little town has several arts and crafts shops worth exploring. The artefacts are beautiful and attest to the creativity and talent of the local residents.
The town itself is pretty, with a serene air and houses painted a light blue color. You can also take long hikes to discover the absolutely stunning countryside around Chefchaouen.
You cannot come to Morocco and not visit the Jebel Toubkal. The highest peak in North Africa, the Jebel Toubkal is situated in the High Atlas Mountains. It towers at an imposing height of 4,167 meters.
The trek to the top is not easy. But the joy of being high up in the clouds with the stunning view of the world beneath you is certainly worth the effort.
Morocco As A Place To Teach English: Our Final Thoughts
Morocco might not be the right destination for those who are looking to save for the future. But teaching English in Morocco has the advantage of allowing you to live in an exotic part of the world.
The experience of living in a different culture enriches you and broadens your horizon. So, go ahead with your job search in Morocco. After all, it is not just money that makes you rich!
International Teachers Experience Who Teach English In Morocco On YouTube
Some Frequently Asked Questions On Teaching English In Morocco
Teaching Jobs are fairly hard to find in Morocco in comparison to other countries. Teachers have said that if you managed to at least learn a little of one of the languages spoken in Morocco this will help immensely.
Morocco is one of the safest countries in Africa due to its very stable government and teachers have felt very safe. However try to avoid any direct criticism of Morocco, Its King and government
You only require a visa for morocco if you intend to live and stay in morocco for more than 3 months otherwise a visa is not needed to visit Morocco