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Camels, deserts and UN delegates - students take a trip to Morocco

2017-05-02

On one day they were meeting staff from the US Embassy, and the next they were trekking through the desert on camels. Just another eye-opening trip organised by Malmö University students who are part of the UF Malmö.

UF in Morocco

The Malmö Association of Foreign Affairs (UF Malmö) is a non-profit association, led by students for students. Each semester it organises a trip abroad to gain a first-hand understanding of ongoing political issues.

This semester the 14-strong group visited Morocco for an 11-day tour, which combined meeting NGOs, UN agencies and embassy staff alongside networking events with plenty of time in-between to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the country.

A different perspective

Julie Gjerlufsen, who is in her final year of International Migration and Ethnic Relations Bachelor’s Programme, was one of the co-organisers.

Camel in the desert“The idea was to get more of an inside perspective of Moroccan issues as they are right now, that meant meeting with people that are working on the ground who are working with things like migration, for example.  

“We got a really interesting insight into how something can be framed in different ways and how certain events can be seen differently from a national and international perspective. 

“We learned things which you do not hear about otherwise, like how Morocco is for migrants both a country of destination and also transit. Because the borders to Europe are so tight, people can’t really go from Morocco to Europe any more. So we got to learn what that means for the country, there are issues of racism there, especially towards those from sub-Saharan Africa. 

Looking to the future

“It was definitely a great networking opportunity, both with NGOs and the more international organisations. We got to ask people what their career path was, where they got to be where they are now. A lot of us want to follow in their footsteps.“It was a great trip, we learned a lot about the country, met a lot of people and had fun. We had someone from pretty much every international programme and this trip tightened the bonds between the group. 

“We were riding on camels, swimming in the ocean, walking through the markers of Marrakech, haggling. It was an amazing and rewarding time. I would really recommend others get involved in UF Malmö.”

Text: Adrian Grist

Last updated by Adrian Grist