This blog has been created to share the College of Staten Island (CSI) students’ experiences around the world. Dolphins across the Seven Seas provides the opportunity for CSI students, staff, faculty and beyond to gain insight into the study abroad experience. Additionally, Study Abroad Peer Advisors provide reflections upon their experiences as well as advice to potential study abroad participants. CSI is the single senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY), located in the borough of Staten Island.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Taurine 2012 ~Victoria Papazian, Marrakech, Morocco

In the days leading up to our trip to Morocco I was both excited and extremely nervous. The only time I had ever traveled abroad was with my mother and aunts and the thought of doing it without them scared me. However, having my classmates along for the ride made me feel much better. The flight there was as smooth as anything and when we finally landed in Casablanca it was still dark out. After going through customs and border patrol, we finally got to go outside. I can’t even begin to explain the sight of seeing the sun rise in Casablanca. It was breathtaking. On our bus ride to the hotel from Casablanca we were introduced to the Hassan II Mosque. This mosque was incredibly beautiful with the ocean shore and bright blue sky as a background.

The whole purpose of the trip was to attend the 18th International Taurine Conference. The conference was very informative on the effects of Taurine on different organ systems, as well as its effects on a wide variety of diseases. We were fortunate enough to have a wonderful planning committee to put all of our dinners and excursions together for us. One excursion brought us to a “carpet store.” This wasn’t just any carpet store - on all four walls were carpets of all different colors and patterns. After one of the store owners spoke, the workers rolled out all different rugs for us to look at and purchase.
We had another excursion that took us shopping, so we would be able to purchase gifts for family and friends back home. We also went to the Djemaa el-Fna which is a large square and market place in Marrakech’s medina quarter. It was amazing to see so many people selling different goods and the children running around together playing games.
We went to two different dinner events. The first was Kaftan night when all the female students were given beautiful kaftans in different colors and designs. One dress was more stunning and ornately decorated than the next.  All of the girls looked like princesses. The other dinner night was Chez-Ali, which reminded me of Medieval Times and Aladdin. Each of the dinner rooms was beautifully decorated with different colored silks. Outside of the dinner rooms was a large terrace that had an arena in the middle where performers did riding tricks on horses and donkeys. There were camel rides and belly dancers as well as other performers who came into the dinner rooms and did dances for us while we were eating.

In the time we had to ourselves, we explored the area around our hotel. The scenery was beautiful and breathtaking at every turn. It was such an experience to be able to travel to Morocco with such wonderful people. Professors El Idrissi and L’Amoreaux did so much for us that enabled us to thoroughly enjoy our trip. I’m so thankful to have been able to go on this trip. I’ll never forget my spring break in Morocco and will tell stories about my trip for years to come.


  1. Thank you Victoria. I am so happy that all the students had a wonderful time in Morocco. I feel fortunate to be able to share with my students the beauty and the wonders that Morocco has to offer and I thank all of you for being part of this experience.

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