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"From Aqaba to Amman" by Hannah Markey

"From Aqaba to Amman" by Hannah Markey

Hannah Markey is a student at St. Lawrence University, and she spent the semester studying in the Area & Arabic Language Studies Program in Amman, Jordan. She shares her experiences exploring Jordan and teaching at Jesuit Refugee Services.

I visited Aqaba in February with a group of my friends. While I swam competitively in high school and spend a great amount of time free diving, I had never tried scuba diving despite it being on my bucket list. The idea of being so far below the surface made me nervous, but I was determined to try this activity. With the support of new AMIDEAST friends, I went scuba diving for the first time and had an incredible experience. To me, traveling abroad is about exposing yourself to new food, music, dance, people, and activities. Overall, my experience scuba diving made me proud of myself and led me to feel closer to my fellow AMIDEAST students. Photo credit: Markey, 2018

As I walked around Amman and explored throughout the semester, the street art caught my attention because of the diversity in styles and topics. This artwork found near Rainbow Street particularly spoke to me, as it combined some highlights of Amman in this informal image. Some places included are the Le Royal Hotel, King Abdullah Mosque, the Amphitheater, and the Temple of Hercules. I appreciate the diversity expressed in this image, such as a mosque, church, and high-end hotel, and believe it reflects the diversity of this city. My favorite aspect of this image is Le Royal because my homestay family lives very close to this building, and it is the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night. Photo credit: Markey, 2018

Through the Community-Based Learning course, I completed a semester working as an ESL teacher at Jesuit Refugee Service. This component of my semester was the most challenging and yet rewarding experience I had while in Amman. As a Western woman, it was extremely difficult for me to serve as an educator without perpetuating the “good helper role” that so often accompanies volunteer work. I believe the mutual-learning environment I tried to establish led me to develop a unique relationship with each of the students. I believe that while I was placed at JRS to offer a service for these students, I gained so much knowledge from them in the process. Photo credit: Markey, 2018

Introducing Summer 2018 Blog Abroad Correspondent: Brian McCann

Introducing Summer 2018 Blog Abroad Correspondent: Brian McCann

"More Cotton Candy, Camels & Adventures" by Ammarah Rehman

"More Cotton Candy, Camels & Adventures" by Ammarah Rehman