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Entering college I knew there was one ‘to do’ on my list: Study Away. Study Away is simply the term that MSU uses for Study Abroad. My best understanding of why MSU uses Study Away instead of Study Abroad is because they offer students the opportunity to study at different colleges within the United States and not only ‘abroad’.

Now let me introduce you to my ‘crazy dream’; I have No (Laa) desire to study in Europe, Asia or Australia. Many individuals give me glares of disgust when I tell them I dream of going to Africa and the Middle East. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Europe, Asia and Australia are wonderful places to study, but they don’t interest me. I see them as the ‘norm’ and well, that’s just not for me. I do however have more motives than just being different for my reasoning of wanting to study in Africa and the Middle East.

Africa: In 2006 at the age of twelve I became fascinated with the South African Boer Goat and since that point I have always wanted to visit their country of origin, South Africa. Knowing that South Africa is an English (Alenglaziah) speaking (Atakallum) country (one of eleven different languages official recognized) I knew that this would be easier than some countries in Africa but I have never left any of Africa out. Missouri State offers Study Away programs to Ghana, South Africa, and Botswana. Through my research, I have narrowed my options to Ghana and South Africa.

Morocco: Morocco falls under both categories. MSU offers 2 Study Away Programs to Morocco and after research I have become very interested in the country. However, I did not place it in Africa or The Middle East because of two reasons. First, it is obviously in Africa and secondly, it is considered a Middle Eastern country because of its northern location and it is greatly influenced by Eastern cultures.

The Middle East: After coming to Missouri State I have become friends (Estahgaree) with several individuals from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). My experiences with these friends (Estahgaree) have led to my budding interest in Middle Eastern culture. As an American citizen that grew up with little diversity in my small town, I never questioned if American culture was right or wrong, and ultimately never gave much thought to other cultures.

My knowledge that I have gained of the Saudi culture, which is greatly influenced by Islamic beliefs, often leaves me wondering about America as a culture. For now, I’ll leave that thought on this question: If most of our own relatives were once immigrants to this country, why then are we (Nanom) so very judgmental on other cultures today?

And (Wah) to answer the questions of those that are confused (emfahe), the words inside of the parentheses are the English (Alenglaziah) written form of how the word is pronounced in Arabic. Example: No (Laa) means: in Arabic, no is pronounced laa.

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