Qalam wa Lawh MSA Program
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Lillian Aronson

Liberal Arts Major: International Politics
Other Major: MIA IUG
Minor: Arabic, Middle East Studies
Hometown: Millville, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Summer 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I spent 2 months taking intensive Modern Standard Arabic classes at the Qalam wa Lawh Center for Arabic Studies in Rabat, Morocco. In addition to my classes, I studied Arabic calligraphy and Moroccan history and culture, volunteered at an organization working with refugees, and explored many parts of Morocco.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience improved my Arabic a lot as well as provided me with greater insight into the politics and history of the North African region and how it differs from that of the Middle East despite often sharing an Arab identity.

"This experience made me much better able to pursue a career that uses Arabic by being able to fully immerse myself in the language."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

This experience made me much better able to pursue a career that uses Arabic by being able to fully immerse myself in the language. It also helped me clarify some of my career goals by allowing me to experience what it’s like to work at an organization focused on helping refugees.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

I would not have been able to go abroad without the College of the Liberal Arts generous enrichment funds. By relieving some of the financial burdens of this experience, I was able to fully focus on my classes and work. 

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program has pushed me to challenge myself in all aspects of life and was one of the reasons why I really wanted to pursue an education abroad opportunity.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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