America's Unofficial Ambassadors

We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.

Neethi Vasudevan prepares to teach English in Morocco.

Summer Service Intern Neethi Vasudevan will be departing to Morocco in one week where she will be teaching English at the Al-Akhawayn Azrou Center for Community Development in Ifrane, Morocco. 

This post was originally written by Neethi. 

In another two weeks, I will be departing for Morocco to intern with The Al-Akhwayan Azrou Center for Community Development. Founded in 2000, the Azrou Center is a social service initiative affiliated with Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. It operates a host of education and job-training courses for students and young people from primary school to the post-high school level. My job as an Unofficial Ambassador is to teach English to the students at the center and coordinate creative writing groups. On a broader sense, however, serving as an Unofficial Ambassador, I have the responsibility to the play a part in helping dispel Western Stereotypes in the Muslim World.

When I was first placed to intern in Morocco with AUA, I was filled with excitement. I mean who wouldn’t be? Spending six whole weeks in Morocco, fully immersed in a new culture, having the ability to make a difference, and to teach while being taught new lessons myself, whether it be in life or otherwise; it was all like a dream come true, especially for an International Studies major like myself. But now, as the days get closer to my departure, I can’t help but feel a little nervous as well. Although I do have some experience with teaching English to students from my volunteering experience at a local school in India, the existence of a language barrier and a new cultural setting leaves me in an unknown territory of not know what exactly to expect.

Despite all my nervousness, however, I still remain very much excited about all the wonderful experiences that await me in Morocco. In my six weeks there, I hope to be able to truly embody the role of an Unofficial Ambassador and hope to have as much an impact on the people there, as they will have on me.


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