Emily Kyte ’17 (pictured kneeling) at a medical clinic in Jordan recording basic patient demographics in Arabic.
Emily Kyte ’17, a geography major and Arabic minor, left her comfort zone far behind to study abroad in Amman, Jordan this past spring semester. With support from Lynk-funding, she has taken on a new challenge this summer and is making a difference in the lives of refugees, working as an intern for Alhadaf, a non-profit in the Hashemite Kingdom that serves marginalized populations through education, training, psychosocial support services, and medical campaigns. So far this summer, she has designed and taught an ELL (English Language Learner) course for Iraqi refugees, worked with logistics and translation at a health clinic, and is helping to open a new community space for refugees. She writes to us from Jordan:
I started taking Arabic my first year of college. My "Arabic community" was the foundation to my community and finding my place/self at Mount Holyoke. The intensive, daily instruction gave me work ethic, and taught me to laugh at myself a little more and take more risks in all parts of my life. As a first-generation student (who would not be here without generous financial aid) from a nontraditional home structure, this was key to deciding to stay after a really challenging adjustment my first year. With an incredible degree of encouragement from Jordanians, Arabic speakers, and Arabic learners, quiet ideas turned into a reality. After lots of Facebook-stalking my Arab friends, YouTube videos, and "head-nods" from those who have lived in Jordan, my family approved of my decision. I am the first person in my family to ever really travel outside of the U.S., so this experience meant redefining bounds, meanings, and conceptions of the world for my entire family.