Originally posted: 2011
As I write these lines, I am still in Ottawa, packing my luggage – and my excitement! – en route to Seattle. To be honest, I am disquieted by the prospect of leaving the comforts of home on New Year’s Day, but the anthropologist sleeping inside me has awoken my appetite for adventure and discovery. For the past three years, I have studied anthropology – and sociology – at the University of Ottawa. I first chose to study anthropology for the money and glory awaiting me after graduation; now, I am more interested by the social and human impacts of art, cinema, and media in our daily lives. That’s my kick.
My other kick, of course, is traveling. As an anthropologist in training, I want to have as many academic and cultural experiences as possible. With incredible support, the Killam Fellowship has allowed me to combine both goals: since I had never set foot on the Pacific coast of the United States, and since I had never studied anthropology or sociology in a reputable American institution, I chose to study at the University of Washington. Of course, the Killam Fellowship in itself presents numerous learning opportunities, because it has allowed me to meet many American and Canadian undergrads with different backgrounds, experiences, stories, and sometimes different languages. For that matter, I am coming to UW to study, to learn, and to share my own experiences, stories, and background. And so, before returning to my luggage, I would like to say: À bientôt, Seattle!
Chihab El Khachab is a third year undergraduate student of anthropology and sociology at the University of Ottawa – and on exchange at the University of Washington in the winter of 2011. He is particularly interested in the anthropology of arts and media, with a special focus on aesthetic/political conflicts in urban contexts.
The Center has a Memorandum of Understanding with The Killam Fellowships Program in Ottawa to enhance study-abroad opportunities for UW students. The agreement enables undergraduate students to study at a Canadian partner institution for a semester or academic year. Modeled much like the Fulbright award, the fellowship includes a fall orientation in Ottawa, Canada, a spring seminar in Washington, D.C., and boasts a very active alumni group. Fellowships are $5,000 or $10,000 depending on the duration of study. For more information see the Center’s Killam Fellowship site:http://jsis.washington.edu/canada/undergraduate/killam.shtml