Difference between pages "Packing list for China" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Morocco"

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{{Packing lists by country}}
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{{FAQs by country}}
  
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in [[China]] and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally.  You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in China.
 
  
===General Clothing===
 
  
* SmartWool socks
 
* Good cotton underwear
 
* Two-three pairs of khakis and two pairs of comfortable pants for leisure and travel (one pair of jeans and one pair of pants with zip off legs)
 
* Four to six business casual shirts (men should have at least one shirt with a collar that can be worn with a tie)
 
* One dressy outfit (a sport coat and a tie for men, a dress/skirt for women)
 
* A good raincoat (a light raincoat, since it rains more in the summer)
 
* Two pairs of long underwear (light/medium)
 
* Winter coat, gloves, hat, and scarf
 
* One or two heavy wool sweaters
 
* Two to four long-sleeved shirts for layering
 
* Shorts for sports/leisure 
 
* Two to four casual shirts for travel/leisure shirts with a little spandex are great since your clothes will stretch out)
 
* Pantyhose or tights (thick cotton or wool tights are important if you plan to wear skirts or dresses in the winter)
 
* Easy-care skirts (not too short, at least knee-length), and maybe a wool skirt for winter
 
* One or two short-sleeved or sleeveless dresses (no spaghetti straps) for summer Shoes
 
  
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==How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Morocco? ==
  
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Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds this allowance.  The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The authorized baggage allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches.  Checked baggage should not exceed 80 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 70 pounds for any one bag.
  
Note that good shoes are available in China but only in smaller sizes (up to size 8 for women and up to size 9 for men).  
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Peace Corps Volunteers are not permitted to take pets, weapons, explosives, mace, radio transmitters, automobiles, motorcycles, or motor scooters to their overseas assignments.  Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, or aerosol containers.  
  
* One pair of sneakers (brand names are available locally but American prices)
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==What is the electric current in Morocco? ==
* One pair of teaching shoes (sturdy, comfortable, warm for winter)
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* One pair of sturdy sandals (leather is recommended) to wear in the warm season
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* One pair of waterproof hiking boots
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* One pair of dress shoes
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* One pair of “kick-around” shoes.
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Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
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* Deodorant (can be difficult to find in China)
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If you have electricity and it works, the current is 220 volts, 50 cycles. Since there are surges and cuts in power that put a strain on voltage converters and appliances, bring good-quality items. The Peace Corps does not provide transformers.  We recommend CD or tape players that use “D” batteries because “C” batteries are a little harder to find. “AA” as well as watch and calculator batteries are easy to find, but their quality is sometimes questionable.
* A three-month supply of any prescription drugs you take (to have while the medical office orders your medication)
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* Contact lens solutions (available locally; note that the Peace Corps does not recommend wearing contact lenses, but most Volunteers who choose to have been able to wear them. You should still bring two pairs of glasses)
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* Any special makeup, facial soaps, or lotions you might want
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* Tampons (hard to find in-country)
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*      Tide Sticks (one or two)
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===Kitchen===
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==How much money should I bring? ==
  
Most cooking supplies are available in-country, including eating and cooking utensils.  
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Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards and ATM cards are preferable to cash and traveler’s checks. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.  
  
* Spices: basil, thyme, sage, or other Western seasonings you use (can be purchased in Chengdu, but are nice to bring if you have favorites)
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==When can I take vacation and have people visit me? ==
* A coffeemaker if you drink coffee (available locally but American prices); a French press is a good alternative and can be bought in Chengdu and at some other sites
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* Baking pans and measuring cups (if you love to bake and want to buy a toaster oven in chengdu—or maybe a former Volunteer left you one—you might need some supplies!)
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===Miscellaneous ===
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* Locks for travel and to keep valuables secure in your residence
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Each Volunteer accrues two vacation days per month of service (excluding training). Leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work. Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.  
* Money belt or neck pouch
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* Sleeping bag that packs small for travel/warmth in winter
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* Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool
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* Watch (durable, water-resistant)  
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* Camera, filters, and extra lens cap; batteries are available locally but may be difficult to find
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* Small gifts such as stickers, stamps, coins, maps, key chains, etc.  
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* Headlamp (great for travel and working in the dark when you need both hands)  
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* Duct tape
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* Musical instruments if you play (also available locally at fairly reasonable prices)
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* Stain stick for laundry (your clothes will get filthy so bring a few)
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* Earplugs (for the loud 6 a.m. wakeup call on campus)
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* Fitted sheets and pillowcases (schools provide sheets, but they are not fitted); perhaps flannel for winter
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* Pictures of clothing from catalogs if you plan to have clothes made
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* Games such as Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Taboo, Scattergories, and chess
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* Frisbee
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* Lonely Planet or Rough Guide to China
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* Mandarin Chinese phrase book
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* Checkbook (note that checks written from your U.S.  bank account can take 40 days to clear at the local bank)
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* Books to supplement those assigned by the college. (Also available at www.bookdepository.com with free shipping to China)
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These might include:
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==Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ==
  
* The ESL Miscellany: A Treasury of Cultural and Linguistic Information: New 21st Century by Raymond C. Clark (Pro Lingua Associates, revised edition 2004)
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The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase personal property insurance before you leave.  If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers are cautioned not to ship or take valuable items overseas.  Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.
* High school history books
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* Books about your city or area
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* Children’s books (the pictures can be useful)
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* Books about U.S. holidays or customs
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* Literature anthologies
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* General references like a world almanac
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* A writing and grammar handbook
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* Activity books for English conversation and environmental classes 102 
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==Do I need an international driver’s license? ==
  
Note: Books are really heavy to pack. The Peace Corps Information and Resource Center (IRC) is a great resource, as well as the Book Aid International program. Many reference materials are also available online. It may be more effective to bring a flash disk with your favorite handouts and lessons, and to print those things in-country. Family and friends can also send books from home if needed.
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Volunteers in Morocco do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating any motorized vehicles while in Morocco. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks and lots of walking. If you rent a car while on vacation outside Morocco or any other Peace Corps country, however, you will need the appropriate driver’s license.  
  
* Pictures or slides of your family, hometown, and “typical” America (supermarkets, schools, street scenes, historical sites, weddings and other celebrations)
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==What should I bring as gifts for Moroccan friends and my host family? ==
* World atlas and maps of the world, United States, your state, etc.
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* Restaurant menus, job application forms, sales announcements, product catalogs, college brochures, recycling handouts, and sightseeing brochures to use in classes
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* A key chain with a small flashlight attached
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* Copies of your diploma and teaching certificates (universities may ask for these)
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* Calendar (hard to find here)
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* Picture frames (also hard to find; if you like frames for your family pictures, etc., bring some)
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* Documents from home (if you are considering a future move such as graduate school, etc. It will make your life much easier if you bring certain documents or copies from home [e.g., GRE scores, an unofficial transcript]; if you own a house and are renting, bring a copy of your lease, and if you may sell your house, pack a copy of deed information)
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* Laptop
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* iPod or mp3 player, CDs, speakers
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* Contact information for former employers, references, schools, election office (to request an absentee ballot), bank
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* Hard and electronic copies of resume
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* Checkbook and ATM card tied to account
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* Credit card
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* Power of attorney
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You may consider having some things, like heavy and bulky winter clothing, sent to you after you have arrived at your site, or you may consider bringing funds to purchase clothing (depending on your size). The key is to bring what you love and don’t bring too much!
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As you will be staying with two different homestay families, gifts for the children are greatly appreciated but should not be large or elaborate. Some gift suggestions include pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes, souvenirs from your state, hard candies that will not melt or spoil, games, or photos to give away.  
  
Also See:[[Packing List from China Volunteers Perspective]]
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==Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be? ==
  
[[Category:China]]
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Peace Corps trainees are not assigned to individual sites until the last few weeks of Pre-Service Training. This gives Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites, in addition to finalizing site selections with ministry counterparts. Many factors influence the site selection process and the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be. Most Volunteers live in small towns or in rural villages and are usually less than an hour from another Volunteer. Some sites require more than a 15-hour drive from the capital. Come with the attitude that you are here to serve Morocco and not a particular geographic region.
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==How can my family contact me in an emergency? ==
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The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, you should instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580; select option 2, then extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574.  For non-emergency questions, your family can get information from the Morocco desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, extension 2421 or 2422.
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==Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ==
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There are businesses that offer Internet access in most towns in Morocco. Because of weaker telephone and electrical infrastructure in outlying areas, however, Volunteers posted to rural sites may be limited to sending and receiving e-mail on their occasional visits to larger towns or regional hubs. Before leaving the United States, many prospective Volunteers sign up for free e-mail accounts, such as those offered by Yahoo or Hotmail, which they can access worldwide.
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    Gaining access to the Internet access with laptop once was a remote possibility.  However, in 2008, 36% of Peace Corps Morocco volunteers 'Always'(26%) or 'Usually'(10%) have access in their home(2008 Biennial Volunteer Survey Report).  Some volunteers posted near large cities or highways are now using a pre-paid month-to-month mobile 3g internet which is accessed with USB modem through supported cell phone networks.  With the exception very remote Health and Environment sites, wired ISDL internet is widely available from Maroc Telecom(available in one or two-year contracts). 
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    A Small Business Development or a Youth Development volunteer may find the application of laptop use more advantageous in their work than an Environment or Health volunteer. 
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    Computers and laptops are becoming common in urban areas and are popular with university students.  Owners could increase their risk of becoming a victim of crime by owning a laptop. 
 +
 
 +
    If you bring a laptop, be sure to bring a high-quality surge protector, as electrical lapses and surges are common.  Additionally, you will not find the same level of technical assistance and service in Morocco as you would at home and replacement parts can take months to arrive.
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[[Category:Morocco]]

Revision as of 02:04, 4 September 2009

FAQs about Peace Corps
  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring?
  • What is the electric current?
  • How much money should I bring?
  • When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
  • Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
  • Do I need an international driver’s license?
  • What should I bring as gifts for my host family?
  • Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
  • How can my family contact me in an emergency?
  • Can I call home?
  • Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
...and more...

For information see Welcomebooks



How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Morocco?

Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds this allowance. The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The authorized baggage allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 80 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 70 pounds for any one bag.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not permitted to take pets, weapons, explosives, mace, radio transmitters, automobiles, motorcycles, or motor scooters to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, or aerosol containers.

What is the electric current in Morocco?

If you have electricity and it works, the current is 220 volts, 50 cycles. Since there are surges and cuts in power that put a strain on voltage converters and appliances, bring good-quality items. The Peace Corps does not provide transformers. We recommend CD or tape players that use “D” batteries because “C” batteries are a little harder to find. “AA” as well as watch and calculator batteries are easy to find, but their quality is sometimes questionable.

How much money should I bring?

Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards and ATM cards are preferable to cash and traveler’s checks. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.

When can I take vacation and have people visit me?

Each Volunteer accrues two vacation days per month of service (excluding training). Leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work. Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?

The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase personal property insurance before you leave. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers are cautioned not to ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.

Do I need an international driver’s license?

Volunteers in Morocco do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating any motorized vehicles while in Morocco. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks and lots of walking. If you rent a car while on vacation outside Morocco or any other Peace Corps country, however, you will need the appropriate driver’s license.

What should I bring as gifts for Moroccan friends and my host family?

As you will be staying with two different homestay families, gifts for the children are greatly appreciated but should not be large or elaborate. Some gift suggestions include pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes, souvenirs from your state, hard candies that will not melt or spoil, games, or photos to give away.

Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?

Peace Corps trainees are not assigned to individual sites until the last few weeks of Pre-Service Training. This gives Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites, in addition to finalizing site selections with ministry counterparts. Many factors influence the site selection process and the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be. Most Volunteers live in small towns or in rural villages and are usually less than an hour from another Volunteer. Some sites require more than a 15-hour drive from the capital. Come with the attitude that you are here to serve Morocco and not a particular geographic region.

How can my family contact me in an emergency?

The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, you should instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580; select option 2, then extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. For non-emergency questions, your family can get information from the Morocco desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, extension 2421 or 2422.

Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?

There are businesses that offer Internet access in most towns in Morocco. Because of weaker telephone and electrical infrastructure in outlying areas, however, Volunteers posted to rural sites may be limited to sending and receiving e-mail on their occasional visits to larger towns or regional hubs. Before leaving the United States, many prospective Volunteers sign up for free e-mail accounts, such as those offered by Yahoo or Hotmail, which they can access worldwide.


    Gaining access to the Internet access with laptop once was a remote possibility.  However, in 2008, 36% of Peace Corps Morocco volunteers 'Always'(26%) or 'Usually'(10%) have access in their home(2008 Biennial Volunteer Survey Report).  Some volunteers posted near large cities or highways are now using a pre-paid month-to-month mobile 3g internet which is accessed with USB modem through supported cell phone networks.  With the exception very remote Health and Environment sites, wired ISDL internet is widely available from Maroc Telecom(available in one or two-year contracts).  
    A Small Business Development or a Youth Development volunteer may find the application of laptop use more advantageous in their work than an Environment or Health volunteer.  
    Computers and laptops are becoming common in urban areas and are popular with university students.  Owners could increase their risk of becoming a victim of crime by owning a laptop.  
    If you bring a laptop, be sure to bring a high-quality surge protector, as electrical lapses and surges are common.  Additionally, you will not find the same level of technical assistance and service in Morocco as you would at home and replacement parts can take months to arrive.