Nadine El Maalem, a senior Communication Studies major with minors in Arabic Studies and International Studies, is far away from our Glassboro campus. As a Global Ambassador at International Studies Abroad, Nadine is embarking on a non-traditional experience by studying abroad in Morocco.
Nadine learned about the opportunity to study abroad during her Rowan 101 class, a course offered to first year students that highlights a wide range of information on the Rowan experience.
Nadine was inspired to learn more about the program and found a perfect fit: an Arabic program in Morocco. “I thought this would be an amazing opportunity to connect with my own culture. I did the paperwork, and the next semester I was on a plane. That was in 2019. Now it’s 2021, and I’m doing the program a second time because it’s just that good,” she says.
Now, Nadine is in Morocco doing an academic and service learning program. This entails four traditional classes and 90 hours of service learning at an organization for class credit. Nadine works at Association Al Amal for her service learning course. “The organization is dedicated to helping women complete/continue their education by teaching them computer literacy skills, offering embroidery courses to make traditional Moroccan clothing, and cooking courses. The organization also partners with local schools to teach students ages 5-16 English,” she explains.
Nadine is getting a much different experience abroad. “I live with a host family and two other student roommates. My host mom is the best. She makes us Moroccan and French food daily. I really feel like I can connect with the culture because I’m totally immersed in it,” she says.
That’s one of the reasons Nadine wanted to go to Morocco again. “I love interacting with the locals and other students. I’m an extrovert, so I find myself chatting with the person who works at the local shops that is selling me cookies. Studying abroad is such a great piece to tack on your resume and is such an amazing experience; “it’s a win-win.”
Back at Rowan, Nadine is a student ambassador with Rowan’s Education Abroad Office. There, she works with the Education Abroad Advisor, Laura Kahler, as well as other student ambassadors at Rowan to promote the different education abroad opportunities available to Rowan students, as well as to provide one-on-one advising, application help, and information about scholarships and funding for study abroad.
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Nadine El Maalem