As an Afghan American Muslim, studying abroad in Jordan was one of the closest opportunities I could have to visiting and living in a country with a culture similar to my own. The conflict Afghanistan has faced has produced innumerable problems for Afghans around the world, only one of which includes a sense of distance and disconnect for the diaspora communities. Being able to live in a Muslim majority country immersed in Arab culture that so closely parallels Afghan culture, allowed me to reconnect and learn more about my own identities. I formed a close community of people that I look forward to visiting again and again.
I studied abroad in Puebla Mexico on the LASP program. This experience was not only essential to my long term growth as a person, but also a really formative time in my growth with the Spanish language. Before going abroad I was not able to hold more than basic conversation, but by the end of the six months I was doing research and conducting interviews in Spanish.
International Studies gave me the opportunity to study abroad multiple times. While studying in Costa Rica and Spain I was able to build my Spanish skills and learn about the histories and cultures of those counties. I grew more comfortable in my ability to navigate unknown situations with confidence.