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Welcome: Valeriia Voronkova, Education Abroad Intern

Welcome: Valeriia Voronkova, Education Abroad Intern

AMIDEAST Education Abroad is happy to introduce our new intern, Valeriia Voronkova!

Valeriia is originally from Kazan, Russia, but now she is a graduate student at the University of Arizona, School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies.

Valeriia has always been interested in Arabic language and culture and fascinated by the Arab world. After high school, there was no doubt which vocation to pursue in the future. Having submitted all the required documents and passed the entrance exams, Valeriia became a student of the Kazan Federal University in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature.

During her studies at the university, she has been trying to learn as much as possible and be an active participant on campus. She was a chairperson of Student Scientific Society and took part in Kazan Model UN as a representative from Russia where the essential issues of Russian-Syrian relations were discussed.

To get working experience and develop organizational skills, she took part in Kazan Summer Universiade 2013 as a volunteer-attaché, where she worked with a sports team from Egypt. After this experience, her desire to master Arabic became stronger and she travelled to Morocco for a three-month internship to study the Arabic language.

In 2015, as a part of her Arabic language program, she taught Arabic to first- and second-year university students. Her knowledge enabled her to find work as a travel consultant at a tourist office in Kazan. The best thing about this job was that every day she met foreigners and talked with them about their cultural experiences, enabling her to see the value of intercultural learning firsthand.

After her graduation, she decided to continue her education to improve her Arabic proficiency. Through her research, she saw that the United States had a number of top tier universities with Middle Eastern Studies Centers where students are taught by regional specialists and have access to vast Arabic literature resources. This is the reason why Valeria decided to apply for the Fulbright program.

Valeriia (right) at the University of Arizona. Photo credit: Voronkova, 2018

Valeriia is now a Master’s student at the University of Arizona where she takes classes on gender issues, history, politics, Islamic law, and literature of the Middle East.

To build up her international career experience, Valeria is taking part in a summer internship program where she works in collaboration with AMIDEAST Education Abroad and National Council on US-Arab Relations. Valeriia aims to share her experience from her Fulbright Master’s program and her summer internship experience to contribute to the Russian-American cultural exchange.

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