Teaching English in Morocco

By | December 10, 2013

Morocco is situated in North Africa, and shares a border with Western Sahara and Algeria. Although Morocco is only 8 miles from the Spanish coast, culturally it is a million miles away from Spain. With a mix of Islamic, African and Mediterranean cultures it is a unique country which is famous for romantic cities and active markets.

Morocco is one of only three countries that has coastlines in both the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastline, with the other two being France and Spain.

Moreover, the country has some very diverse land that offers skiing in the mountains, hot and sandy deserts and some great beaches too.

Read more about Morocco from Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in Morocco

Tangier Beach

Tangier Beach image courtesy of WikiMedia

Although Arabic is the official language of the country, French is also widely used. Recently the government has been promoting the importance of learning English throughout the country.

Morocco has a large business sector and fast growing industrial and tourism economy and people are genuinely interested in learning English. As a result of all this, there is a real need for native English speaking teachers.

You can spend your weekends walking in the mountains, visiting some of the most romantic cities in the world, or shopping in one of the many markets selling everything from spices to gold.

With a relatively low cost of living compared with European countries and a pretty good salary for TEFL teachers, Morocco is fast becoming a popular destination for native English speaking TEFL teachers.

Teaching English in Morocco Advice

Sunshine on mosque Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco

Mosque Hassan II – Casablanca

There are some things that you should bear in mind when going to live in Morocco. It is a country that is very different from western countries and you should be aware of some of the local customs.

  • Both homosexuality and extramarital sexual relations are illegal.
  • Sexism can be a problem in the country, especially for women traveling alone.
  • You must dress conservatively at all times, and always behave discreetly.
  • Morocco is a deeply religious country, so you will be expected to respect Islamic beliefs and practices.
  • If you criticize Moroccan institutions you could go to prison!
  • You will need to keep your ID with you at all times because there are frequent checkpoints throughout the country.
  • Morocco has very strict drug laws and possession of even a small amount can result in a long prison sentence.

Read more about Moroccan customs.

Where to Teach English in Morocco

Like most countries around the world, you will find the most teaching opportunities in the bigger cities. Some of the bigger cities in Morocco include Tangier, Marrakech and Casablanca.

You might find opportunities in smaller towns and cities, but most English teachers will usually work in the larger cities.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Morocco

Old kasbah in the Sahara desert

Old Kasbah

Private Language Schools

In private language schools, you can be teaching students of all ages and levels. You could be teaching general English or English for specific purposes with tourism and business being the most popular.

Be aware that some schools don’t treat their teachers with respect and can provide very questionable contracts. That being said, not all schools are the same so make sure that you do your homework before you accept a job.

Public Institutions

Public schools are also teaching English to their students and you will find some opportunities teaching English in public institutions such as schools and universities.

Volunteering

Although Morocco is a relatively developed country there are parts of the country where people are poor and don’t have access to good quality education. As a result, you will find that there are a number of opportunities available for volunteering as an English teacher.

Private Lessons

Just like in other countries, English teachers often take private lessons to supplement their income. You won’t make a full-time living from doing private lessons, but you can certainly boost your salary a little by taking a few private lessons.

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Teaching Requirements and Qualifications

a medina by night

A Medina by Night

One of the most asked questions for TEFL teachers is “Can I teach English in Morocco without a degree?” and the answer is, yes you can, but it might be difficult to obtain a working visa.

There are a number of private language schools that will employ native English speaking teachers without a degree or a teaching certificate. However, you should be aware that these schools generally pay much less, they won’t often provide an employment contract and sometimes they might even try to avoid paying you anything.

If you want to work in the public sector, you will need to have at least a degree and teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA.

For the higher paying jobs and to work in a respected private language school, it is important that you have a degree and a teaching certificate of some kind.

An internationally recognised classroom based teaching certificate like a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA are always better. Having said that, you could also find jobs after completing a cheaper online course.

Expected Salary and Living Costs

[sociallocker id=”1205″]Most English teachers in Morocco will earn anywhere between $800 and $1000 per month. For this you will usually have about 20-25 teaching hours per week and you will also need to plan lessons, mark homework and other things associated with teaching.

If you are an unqualified and inexperienced teacher (known in the industry as a ‘backpacker teacher’), you could even be paid a lot less than this amount. For those with the relevant qualifications and experience, you will be paid around $1000 a month and maybe a little more in some circumstances.

The cost of living in Morocco is considerably cheaper than in European or other western countries and you might expect to pay between $600 and $900 for your living expenses depending on your lifestyle.

For a more specific breakdown of costs in Morocco, take a look at Numbeo.

Therefore, working in Morocco will allow you to live fairly comfortably and even save a few dollars each month. However, you will probably be spending a lot of your spare time traveling around the country, so don’t expect to save too much![/sociallocker]

Visa Requirements

Fes Morocco

Fes

To teach legally in Morocco, you will need to have a working visa. In most cases, your school should be able to help you to arrange this. Beware of any schools that refuse to help with arranging your visa.

It is possible to find a job and work with a tourist visa, but it does expire after 90 days and if you haven’t arranged a working visa, you will need to leave the country.

Moreover, you will also need at least a bachelor’s degree and a proper teaching certificate to obtain a working permit. If the school doesn’t require that you have these, they will not be able to assist in getting a work permit and you will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to get the relevant documents to work in Morocco legally.

For more information about visas in Morocco, click here.

How to Find TEFL Jobs in Morocco

Sunset Sky - Rabat, Morocco

Sunset in Rabat

You will find that there are many jobs advertised online on international TEFL jobs boards and also local jobs boards. However, most schools will require that you attend an interview in person before you are offered a position.

Moreover, you will find teaching jobs advertised in local newspapers and noticeboards.

Finally, you can also try to look for jobs by visiting or contacting schools directly. Check their websites to see if they are looking for teachers, give them a call, or even go and speak to them in person.

Teach English in Morocco

There are many reasons to teach English in Morocco and there is a growing demand for native English speaking teachers in the country.

Like anywhere, there are unscrupulous employers and you should do your homework before accepting a job. On the other hand, there are a number of respected schools and employers in the country too.

Morocco is a beautiful country with a rich and old cultural heritage that the locals are proud of. Morocco would be a great choice for people who want to experience this unique country whilst teaching English to the locals.

Disclaimer

Although I have never worked in this country, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. This blog post has been written after extensive research online, interviews with teachers who have worked or are working in the country, and local schools have been contacted. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have worked or are working in Morocco, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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2 thoughts on “Teaching English in Morocco

  1. Ralph Doe

    Thanks for the tips about Morrocco. I am looking for a job teaching English possibly outside France where I have been living and working since 1976. I speak French and think that a French-speaking country would be best and Morrocco is close. However I have never been to Indo-China and I suppose that is the place I would most like to live in for a few years. Do Cambodians still speak French I am wondering because I have never taught Englsih to non French speakers?

    1. William Lake

      You don’t need to know the native language of your students to be a good English teacher. If, however, you can speak a language that the locals can it will be far easier to fit in, make contacts, and find jobs! With regards to speaking French in Cambodia, most don’t. The older Cambodians are more likely to, but the young Cambodians prefer to learn English.

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