I studied abroad in Jordan in the fall of 2015, I studied in Spain the spring of 2016, and I returned to intern with ARDD-Legal Aid in Jordan the summer of 2016. Now that I look back on my time abroad I realize that I have grown a lot, and that my interests around immigration before going abroad did not change so much as they evolved.
I decided to go abroad for a full year, splitting my time between an Arabic-speaking country and a Spanish-speaking one. I learned a lot while being in the Middle East. I learned that though Jordan is a Muslim majority, there is diversity of thought, like any other country. Here in the U.S. we seem to perceive that region as one. We often don’t recognize that much of our pop culture reaches that region; it fills the screens and ears of the Jordanian youth. This is what allowed me to become friends with many people there — through our love for the same music and political views.
A few months in, I had committed to the study abroad program in Madrid and realized that I could not stay in Amman for the following semester. I reached out to my program provider, CIEE, and told it that I wanted to return and continue doing work around the refugee crisis in Jordan (I had volunteered a bit). They connected me to ARDD-Legal Aid, an organization that provides legal aid to refugees. Thanks to Posse and the Hamilton Career Center I was able to return to Jordan for the summer of 2016, reconnect with my friends, and work in an area that interests me.
I think my study-abroad experience, and the people that I have met are the reason I want to continue working in the area of immigration. Now I will embark on another journey related to my study-abroad experience — I was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship, and I will spend time studying Arabic in Oman. I hope to go into immigration law in the future.