Where we work / Morocco

Morocco was called by the late King Hassan II “a tree whose roots lie in Africa but whose leaves breathe in Europe”.

Morocco

Perched on the northwest corner of North Africa, a 30-minute ferry ride from Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco was called by the late King Hassan II “a tree whose roots lie in Africa but whose leaves breathe in Europe.”

You can also explore short-term programs we offer in Agadir and Fez.

Like the arabesque mosaics that decorate its buildings, Morocco’s Arabic and Islamic culture is an exotic mix of African, Bedouin, European, and Mediterranean influences that have melded together over thousands of years. You’ll catch the same fascinating mix of scents and fragrances at the doors of Moroccan homes and shops, owned by locals generous in their hospitality to wandering strangers. Relationships come easily in this North African culture with the Mediterranean feel, bonding in the classroom, over a cup of tea, or at a family celebration.

In 2014, Morocco’s Prime Minister announced that the country would switch from French to English as the primary language of instruction in higher education. Since that time, opportunities have been extended to ELIC to serve and teach in this beautiful and unique country that sits at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and the Arab world.

frequently asked

questions

Job description

Which city is the new role in?

Agadir, Fez

What is our history with this school?

In Agadir, we first began teaching in the spring semester of 2018. We signed an MOU in 2018 as well. We have had three teachers here total, and currently, only one is there. In Fez, we began teaching in the fall of 2020 with one full-time teacher and another part time “vacataire”. The part-time teacher switched to full-time in January. MOU signed in late May 2021, the same academic year. Currently (June 2021), those two teachers are here and will continue; a third is in the application process at the moment.

List duties and responsibilities of the role.

In Agadir, teaching university students English for Business, academic writing, intercultural studies, etc, doing student interviews in September, and preparing exams and final grades. Some staff meetings.
In Fez, teaching university students; possible future opportunities with clubs, though likely extracurricular. Preparing exams, final grades, and catch-up work post-semester (rattrapage).

Describe weekly work schedule and hours for the role?

Teachers should be prepared to teach for 15 hours with 8 office hours, with a total of 23 hours per week.

What class subjects will the teacher be teaching? Are there opportunities to teach something other than English?

In Agadir, English for business at B1, B2, C1, C2 level. Intercultural Studies is a possibility. Or if MBA, teaching Marketing, Management classes. Possible English for Physical Therapy, English for Tourism, English for Science. Academic writing.
In Fez, English within the schools of business, civil engineering, general engineering, political science and law, architecture, and design.

How many students will the teacher have? How many different classes?

In Agadir the teacher will have 75 to 100 students total. This represents about 5 classes of 15 to 20 students. In Fez, Class sizes vary within departments. The largest class had 51 students; the smallest class had 2. I had about 250 students in the fall term.

What is the student demographic?

Students are from middle to upper-class families, although some are on scholarship and from poor areas. There are many sub-Saharan African international students as well as students from the W. Sahara.

How much classroom prep time is required/expected each week?

On average, teachers should be prepared to prep 5 to 8 hours per week.

Will the teacher have an office on campus? Will the teacher be expected to hold office hours?

The teacher will have an office on campus, with a requirement of 8 office hours.

How many teachers are already placed at this school?

We have availability for more teachers!

How will the new teacher engage with non-ELIC faculty & teachers at this school?

Teachers will work closely with administrators and the English department head and be involved in the English department and communicate with colleagues.

What are the bare minimum degree requirements needed by a new teacher in this role?

B.A. with one to two years experience and TEFL certificate.

What are the ideal degree requirements needed by a new teacher in this role?

M.A. in Business, TESOL, science, Engineering, Tourism, or related field.

What are the experience or resume qualifications needed by a new teacher in this role? Is prior teaching experience necessary?

1-2 years teaching experience are required.

Are there age restrictions for a new teacher?

No, but 25+ would be ideal. Retirees are possible.

What will the new teacher learn after their first week in the classroom that will encourage them as they move forward?

The class size, classrooms, and textbooks are ideal.

What will the new teacher learn after their first week in the classroom that will be a challenge for them as they move forward?

The students don’t show as much affection but they do appreciate you! Classes can begin, change, or take holiday with very little warning.

Any additional helpful points of the job opening?

In Agadir, the set Salary grid between $900-1400 depending on experience, with nice apartment with common pool. Teachers can walk to work and there is a supermarket under the school apartments. In Fez, there is a set salary grid between $1400-2000 depending on degree and experience. 

Team Dynamics

What is the current team size and team demographic in Morocco?

In Agadir, there is one family of 4.
In Fez, 8 adults and 3 children – one single man; one single woman; one married couple with an infant, and one married couple with two school-aged daughters. 

Who are the current team leaders and/or what is the current leadership structure in Morocco?

Scott and Stephanie are the current Country Directors and Team Leaders in Agadir and Scott H. is the city team leader in Fez.

Where are some of the team members from in the US or Canada? Hometowns? Alma maters?

Scott is from Chicago, Stephanie is from Fairbanks, Alaska. They met at Moody in Chicago, went to Wheaton for M.A.s

How often do you see your teammates each week in formal team meetings?

Generally, we see eachother once a week for a team meeting.

What do formal team meetings entail? What's the takeaway? Why do you meet? What's the value of formal team time?

In the past, it has often involved a team meal and then alternating with professional development, CR training, communal lifting, team building, and having fun. Accountability for building our team knowledge and staying motivated for our goals.

How often do you see your teammates each week informally just for fun? And what do you do together?

Usually at fellowship together, plus informally quite often for coffee or dinner. Usually, we eat together and just hang out, though we have played a lot of games (party games, board games) in the past.

Share a fun team story

We know how to have a good team retreat! We’ve also often done Thanksgiving and Christmas together as a team, which have brought many good memories.

Share a challenging team story.

All of us getting to the airport for a team retreat was a big struggle recently with pickups, car troubles, limited flights with odd scheduling.

City & everyday life

How long have we been in Morocco?

ELIC has been in Morocco since February of 2018

What does the first week in Morocco typically look like for new teachers? How do they get their lives "started"?

Teachers move into school apartments and get them all cleaned up, stocked, and ready to go. Teachers go through an in-country orientation, learn a little French/Arabic and get good at taking taxis and going shopping. Teachers meet people at the international fellowship and tour the campus.

What does housing look like in Morocco? How far away are housing options from the school? From their teammates?

In Agadir, teachers live in an apartment owned by the school about 15 min walk to the campus. They will most likely live in the same building as their other Pinnacle colleagues. There are 3 bedroom and 1.5 bedroom options. In Fez, housing is available close to (or with) teammates. Apartments usually have 3 bedrooms and 1.5 to 2 baths. The team is not located close to the school, but carpooling is usually available when needed.

What is the local currency in Morocco? Do people typically carry cash? Credit cards?

Moroccan Dirhams (MAD). People generally carry cash and coins for taxis. Credit cards can be used at any grocery store, but not local shops. Bring a debit card, as those are commonly used as well and useful for ATMs.

How do people generally travel to their school? What is public transportation like in Morocco?

Public transportation is limited to buses. People generally buy their own car in the second year or walk to school. Most will take cheap taxis everywhere at first.

What is Morocco culturally known for? Where are fun spots to take new visitors?

Agadir is known for its beautiful boardwalk by the beach. It is fun to take people to Taghazout beach for surfing, Crocopark, the Dolphin show, the Marina, and the Oufella lookout over the city. Fez is known for the historic old city, the Fez Medina. There are many interesting places within and just outside the Medina. Fez is the historic imperial center of Morocco and is the cultural heart of the country.

What does shopping for food look like in Morocco? Do people usually eat out? Cook for themselves? Share meals with teammates?

In Agadir, there is a grocery store, Marjane Market, under the apartment building, and local shops called “hanuts” on every corner with groceries and vegetables. Most people cook for themselves, but you there are apps to use for getting nearby food and a good cafe nearby. In Fez, there are chain grocery stores (Marjane, Carrefour) with easy access by taxi and local shops called “hanuts” on every corner with groceries and vegetables. Most people cook for themselves, but there are apps to use for getting nearby food, and plenty of “snack” places everywhere. Team Fez often eats together.

What do meals look like during school hours? Do teachers share meals with students?

In Agadir, there is a cafeteria on campus with reasonable and safe food for about $4 a meal. Teachers don’t often eat with students, but maybe colleagues. In Fez, the school has a restaurant; money can be put on the university ID card for its use here. Faculty usually eat in a separate space, but it’s not unusual at all to eat with students. Teachers sometimes work through lunch and eat in the office.

What local dish is Morocco known for?

Tagine, maybe fish.

Does Morocco have any western chain stores or restaurants?

McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, KFC.

What's your favorite thing to do as a team in Morocco? What do people do for fun or during downtime?

In Agadir, we like to go to the beach or out to eat near the ocean. We like to boogie board and go to Crocopark. In Fez, we like to go to the ancient Medina, and we like to play games together. Sundays are usually filled with others in the international community.

How do people exercise in Morocco?

There is plenty of walking as a matter of transportation. In Agadir, people walk or run on the boardwalk, join the gym across the street, swim in the ocean, both men and women can bicycle. In Fez, there are lots of gyms across different neighborhoods. The university is currently building/installing the campus gym, so that remains to be known.

How do people spend their weekends? Are there cities nearby that people typically visit for a weekend away?

From Agadir, you can go to Taradant for shopping, or Marrakesh in 3.5 hours. From Fez, you can go to Ifrane (1 hour away) which is always cooler because it is higher in elevation. Sefrou is nice, and a local friend’s family lives in a small village close to Fez; they love having guests.

What's your favorite coffee shop and/or restaurant in Morocco? Why?

In Agadir, La Rosace, La Quotidien, La Bagette D’oree, cafe on campus, La plage bleue, These are cafes women and men can go to. Most are only men.  In Fez, Cafe Blanco, Cafe La Suite, La Facade: all cafes that serve food where men and women can go. La Grillardiere is a family-friendly restaurant. Cafe Clock is a really great restaurant in ancient Medina.

What will a new teacher be surprised to have learned after their first 60 days in Morocco?

In Agadir, ​​I think teachers will have learned more French than they were thinking and used it in Taxis. They will have learned to be quite independent and adventurous and feel more comfortable in their classrooms. In Fez, I think teachers will have learned more Arabic than they were thinking and used it in Taxis. They will have learned to be quite independent and adventurous and feel more comfortable in their classrooms.

Any additional helpful points for Morocco?

Agadir is a beautiful city with wider roads, palm trees, argan, and beautiful beaches. People are very friendly. Fez is a busy city with people out everywhere all the time. There are many modern amenities as well as very ancient ways of life. The city is very culturally rich and revered amongst Moroccans.

Family & growth

How do people generally work with Member Care Specialists in Morocco?

People talk with their Member Care specialist on the phone throughout the semester and text them occasionally as well. Once a year they will visit each city in Morocco.

What does ongoing personal/spiritual development look like in Morocco?

In Agadir, there is an English speaking fellowship that meets every Sunday on the beach for frisbee and community, and every 2nd and 4th Sunday at a building. The women meet every week for lifting and fellowship and keep in touch for requests and lifting. 

In Fez, there is a English speaking fellowship  that meets every Sunday at a building dedicated for this purpose. There are opportunities for men and women to gather separately for time together.

What does ongoing professional development look like?

We have a Professionak Development meeting once a month, usually as a country team. Observations happen with new teammates and are offered by others as opportunities arise.

Are any current teachers in Morocco continuing their education through our various MA opportunities? If so, what degree(s) are they pursuing?

Yes, the Gross family, they both Completed their master’s with Wheaton.

Is language study available in Morocco? If so, what does that process look like for new teachers?

Yes! There is an excellent Language Center in Agadir where teachers can do part-time Arabic or French study. It is perfect for learning Moroccan Arabic or Modern Standard Arabic. The French Institute has evening classes for all levels of French.

Teachers can also learn online with a language center in Fes. 

Are there any families with children in Morocco? If so, how many children are on the team? What is the age range (oldest and youngest)?

In Agadir, there are two children. 3 and 6 years old.

In Fez, there is one infant boy and two sisters, one 7-years-old and one 9-years-old.

What's it like to raise a family in Morocco?

Agadir is a good city for families and there are many families with children at the international fellowship for support. Moroccans love children. Fez is a great city to raise a family. Shopkeepers and neighborhood guardians take care to keep an eye out for families, especially foreigners. Local residents are very friendly with children.

What schooling options are available for Pinnacle families with children?

In Agadir, children often go to a maternelle or pre-school, maybe a local one near the university housing, and then go to a private Moroccan elementary school or the “Lycee Francais” an international French government school, or homeschool. There is no English school in Agadir yet.

In Fez, we have experienced a variety of school settings. There was previously an English-instruction American School, but it is currently not in operation. Homeschooling of course is an option. Currently, the two girls are in a Canadian School where English, Arabic, and French are all used as languages of instruction for the language itself as well as math and science. Most communication is in French.

What roles do non-teaching spouses typically play in Morocco?

They generally help with student activities and event nights. They could lead book clubs at the university and build relationships with friends and neighbors.