Alexander Powell is a recipient of the Summer 2015 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
I am an undergraduate expected to graduate this spring from the Near Eastern Languages and Civilization department. Since beginning my studies in NELC, I have developed a passion for learning Arabic and a desire to apply it to a career when I graduate. My interest in the history, culture, and politics of the Near East has been strengthened in the numerous courses that I have taken in NELC, history, political science, and through the Jackson School. The summer FLAS fellowship from the Center for Global Studies allowed me to travel to Jordan where my Arabic improved far beyond my expectations. I have always loved learning languages but never had the opportunity to live in a country in which the language I was studying was the spoken language. My adventures in Jordan allowed me to meet people from Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria and many other countries and hear their stories. In the future, I hope to spend more time working in the Middle East as an ESL instructor in order to further immerse myself in the culture, improve my Arabic fluency, and then take those skills back into academia or government.