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Scholarship Testimonials

Dear AFCEA Staff,

             

My name is Jordyn Arndt and I was a recipient of the Undergraduate AFCEA Intelligence Scholarship.  Having returned from my semester in Morocco, which was made possible in part due to this scholarship, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your generous support.  My study abroad experience in Morocco made an incredible impact on the achievement of my personal, academic, and professional goals.  Studying abroad in Rabat would not have been possible without the financial assistance of AFCEA.  I am so grateful to have been awarded this scholarship and am eternally thankful for the amazing opportunities it has provided me.             

During my semester in Morocco, I experienced great personal growth.  Living with a host family in Fez and Rabat allowed me to gain a better understanding of Morocco.  I became integrated into my host culture by cooking with my host mothers, discussing politics with my host fathers, and sharing meals and stories around the dinner table with the entire family.  During our time together, we explored our different viewpoints, exchanged ideas, and shared our often similar hopes for the future.  Despite language and cultural barriers, we communicated effectively and forged understandings.  I improved my French proficiency and practiced both my Modern Standard Arabic and Moroccan dialect of Arabic.             

Studying abroad in Morocco facilitated academic growth. Engaging in content courses related to gender, international business, and literature allowed me to fulfill requirements for my majors while experiencing a unique, North African influence.  The IES Abroad gender course challenged my views of gender relations within Islam and introduced me to Islamic feminism, a fascinating field of academic scholarship that challenges the widespread patriarchal interpretations of the Koran and reevaluates them to find messages of liberation, equality, and respect.  In the IES Abroad internship course and accompanying internship, I learned about the differences in management and communication styles in Arab and African organizations.  The readings in this course complemented my internship experience at the Democratic Association of the Women of Morocco (ADFM).  As an International Business & Economics major, this course was extremely beneficial as it illustrated how cultural and societal practices influence business relations.  In the IES Abroad literature course, taught in French, I learned about the rich literature of North Africa written in French pre and post-independence.  This course allowed me to continue improving my French proficiency while learning about a new genre of Francophone literature that I was unable to study at my U.S. university.             

My semester in Morocco has impacted my professional growth. Interning at the ADFM allowed me to experience work in a multilingual, international environment.  Translating documents about women’s activism in Morocco at the ADFM inspired me to consider working in a non-governmental organization dedicated to women’s empowerment in the future.  My overarching career goal to facilitate sustainable economic development in Africa has been strengthened as a result of my semester in Morocco. I am looking forward to pursuing graduate and Ph.D. studies related to development economics in the future.  While I initially encountered difficulties in learning Arabic, I overcame them and did well in the course.  If I continue to aspire to work in North Africa, as opposed to working in Sub-Saharan Africa, I will continue my Arabic education in order to facilitate communication during my future career.             

I achieved all of my goals during my semester abroad.  Before arriving in Morocco, I made a list of my aspirations, anticipated challenges, and objectives for the upcoming semester.  About two months into the program, I received a letter from my global studies office with this list enclosed. Upon rereading my list, I was pleased to find that I had accomplished or was in the process of accomplishing all of my goals.  Improving my French language proficiency, learning foundational Arabic, gaining professional experience through an internship at an organization focused on women’s empowerment, and expanding my understanding of the culture, history, and society of North Africa formed the core of my list.  Through dedication and perseverance, I achieved these goals.             

The Undergraduate AFCEA Intelligence Scholarship played an integral role in supporting my semester in Morocco.  Without this critical financial assistance, studying abroad in Morocco would not have been possible.  My income working at various part-time jobs simultaneously would not have sufficed.  I am so grateful to AFCEA for assisting me in making this dream a reality.  This experience has made an incredible impact on my life and will continue to help shape my future.  I wish that I could personally thank the people who made my scholarship possible. While this is not possible, I hope that this essay will sufficiently demonstrate my immense gratitude.             

My semester in Morocco has been the highlight of my undergraduate education.  I believe that study abroad is incredibly important in helping American students to develop  cross-cultural understanding, enhance their foreign language proficiency, and become more globally minded.  As a college student and a student worker at the global studies office, I know that study abroad is an opportunity that is not available to everyone.  Financial constraints prevent students from engaging in this meaningful opportunity. Providing scholarship assistance can help bridge this gap and make a student’s dream a reality.  It did for me and I hope that it will for many others to come.               

As a message to all members of AFCEA, thank you for providing this scholarship to students. Study abroad is a key component of fostering globally minded, socially responsible citizens ready to address this century’s most critical international issues. I am dedicated to creating a more sustainable, peaceful future for our country and our world. This semester has helped me come one step closer to this goal and I am forever grateful.

Sincerely,

Jordyn Arndt

For more information about AFCEA Intelligence Scholarships!

 

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