Hello all! My name is Katie Rose, and I am honored to be AMIDEAST’s Rabat Correspondent this fall. I will be periodically updating the Mosaic blog with photos and stories from Morocco over the next four months. I hope that my posts will serve as a way to document our undertakings and convey some of the things I learn and discover while abroad to those back home. I also hope that this blog will be a way to capture memories that my fellow AMIDEAST students and I can look back on in the future.
The next few weeks will be full of introductions. I will be introduced to a new country, new dialects and cultures, new foods, new peers and friends, a new host family and new professors. But first, let me start off by introducing myself.
I am entering my junior year at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where I am majoring in International Relations with a focus on security and society in the Middle East. Outside of class, I am a Metro editor at The Brown Daily Herald and a tutor for a refugee family from Myanmar. I am also a coordinator for the Interfaith Exchange, which fosters community service and interfaith dialogue among high school students in Providence.
I spent this summer in Providence working in public health policy for the Rhode Island Health Center Association, and recently returned home to Portland, Oregon, where I am now spending lots of time catching up with old friends, listening to some great live music and hiking with my dog (and other family members) in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
I think traveling — encountering new and different customs, people and places — is one of the most amazing learning experiences one can have. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to India, Guatemala, and several other countries in my lifetime, but I knew entering college that study abroad would be a very high priority for me because of the unique opportunity it would offer me to truly get to know a place by living and studying there for a more extended period of time.
As I gear up for my departure, I feel extremely lucky to be embarking on this huge adventure, but also nervous about jumping into this experience without knowing quite what to expect.
I chose to study abroad in Morocco in hopes that I will be able to improve my Arabic skills and experience life in a Muslim country while also encountering the many things that make Morocco so unique. I am particularly excited to study the intersections of Morocco’s Arab, European and African influences, and to see the collisions of new and old everyday within Rabat, crossing from the modern city into the medina.
Although I am nervous about language barriers and feeling lost or misunderstood in my new and foreign environment, I am really looking forward to forging new friendships, developing relationships with my host family and returning to the U.S. in December with an abundance of great stories to tell.
I am so grateful to my family, friends, professors and advisors who have supported me in preparing for this adventure, and I cannot wait to meet all my AMIDEAST peers and embark on this great journey together. Thank you for reading!