: Critical Language Scholarship Summer 2013—Tangier, Morocco
I was selected to participate in the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship Program. CLS is a program that enables college students to go abroad and enroll in intensive programs of language study for one summer. During my time abroad, I will engage in cultural activities, spend time in classrooms learning language and grammar, and act as a student ambassador of culture representing the United States. This summer I will be travelling to Tangier, Morocco for ten weeks to learn Arabic.
I study Political Science—my interests include electoral politics and public opinion polls in Arab Spring countries and new democracies. I currently work with a faculty member to research the ways Egypt’s new democracy is being affected by public opinion. In the fall I will begin working on an Honors Thesis in Political Science that explores the way women influence the electoral process in Jordan. I hope that my time abroad gives me linguistic and cultural experience that will shape my thesis project and add a unique perspective to my studies.
When I’m not studying, I’m either catching up on Al-Jazeera headlines or running on the treadmill. I love to eat chicken tikka masala, drink fair trade coffee, and listen to country music.
A big thanks goes to University of Iowa faculty who read my application and guided me through the revisions of essays. Ambassador Ron McMullen, Dr. Fred Solt, and Dr. Mary Traschel edited numerous copies of my essays and application. Vicki Hesli served as a sound mentor and editor throughout the application process. In addition, Asma Ben-Romdhane (Teaching Assistant) and Denes Gaszi (Department Chair) of the Arabic Department provided feedback and recommendations for the application.