Joseph, Arabic Academy Student

“It was really cool when I managed to get a scholarship to come here and learn Arabic in that total immersion environment.

“I've never learned a language in this style before and I think it's very, very interesting, because I'm a very systematic person, so I'm always caught up on things like conjugation rules, and noun-adjective agreements and so on.

“Being in an immersion environment has taught me that I need to let go of that sometimes, and it's more about the actual thought and communication that occurs between two speakers rather than micromanaging every single grammatical rule.

“The Academy definitely helped me realize that Middle East studies is what I love and what I want to do in life. Arabic is sort of my future. But coming to the Academy really cemented that my mind. That it's really important for me to continue this path of, not only just studying Arabic, but studying the region, studying the politics, studying international law and so on.

“And I love the Academy. It's so much more exciting than whatever I was going to be doing at home, which was just sitting around, typical summer things. Doing the Academy is keeping me academically invigorated. It's keeping me intellectually stimulated. It's keeping me really, really excited and passionate about all the things I love.”