Hello everyone! My name is Clemencia El Antouri, and I am a fourth-year International Affairs and Romance Languages student. I am also a Security Leadership Fellow at the Center for International Trade and Security. I studied and interned in Amman, Jordan, with CET this summer. I chose this program because I had been self-studying Modern Standard Arabic and Levantine dialects for six years and wanted an intensive program to accelerate my progress. This program allowed students to participate in one of three tracks: Intensive Language, Research, and Internship. I participated in the Internship track to gain experience and learn about the difference in work styles between the United States and Jordan.

Every day, I would wake up at 8 a.m. and walk to the CET Center to attend classes for Advanced Arabic. The class was tiny, with only five students, ensuring we had as much time as possible to speak. The class lasted for five hours each day. It was split into halves for studying Modern Standard Arabic and Jordanian dialects. After class, I would walk to my internship’s office. I worked for Partners Jordan, a non-profit organization focused on humanitarian development in the Middle East. My primary responsibility was to apply for grants from USAID and foreign embassies to help fund projects related to climate change, women’s empowerment, and refugee housing. My work was conducted in Arabic and English; most of my coworkers were Jordanian.

Toward the end of the program, my cohort and I had to take the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview to certify our new level of Arabic proficiency. This consisted of a 40-minute interview with a native speaker in which various topics were discussed, such as climate change, personal ambitions, and work-life balance. A month after completing the test, I received my certificate with my results of Advanced-Mid in Arabic language. I will always treasure my time in Jordan and have gained a new perspective on Arab culture and Middle Eastern politics.