While both challenging and fascinating, AMIDEAST Morocco’s academic year program was a rewarding experience for Kathryn. During her year abroad, she studied the contemporary culture and societies of Morocco, as well as the country’s political systems and gender issues. Taking a Media Arabic course, McNamara noted, “My Arabic skills hugely improved, to the extent that I feel fully conversational in most situations.”
Aside from coursework and AMIDEAST excursions, Kathryn was extremely involved the local host community. She learned a great deal while teaching English as a community service program and interning at the Democratic Association of Moroccan Women. Kathryn developed an exceptionally close relationship with the Moroccan family who hosted her during her time abroad, and she continues to stay in touch with them today. Overall, Kathryn notes that her experience with AMIDEAST expanded her comfort zone and helped her to become a more confident and adaptable student during her time abroad.
Kathryn’s experiences in Morocco directly influenced her desire to live abroad after graduation. Kathryn recalls that, “Learning Arabic made me open to new languages, and gave me confidence in my learning abilities.” Currently, Kathryn lives in Bandung, Indonesia and works at an Islamic high school as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. She will remain in Indonesia until May of 2012, and hopes to return to the Arab World in the future.