Follow Emily's adventures at http://emilyeverafter-beirut.blogspot.com/.
Emily Dawes, a native of Columbus, Indiana, has earned the distinction of winning two internationally renowned scholarships. In 2008, she won the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) and in 2009 she won the Rotary Foundation Future Vision grant. She received her B.A. in 2009, majoring in History, French, and Global Studies. While an undergraduate, Emily participated in the College of Liberal Arts Dean's Scholars program and was named a Thayer Scholar as a sohomore. Since graduating, Emily has completed an internship at the Carter Center, and she is currently working on an M.A. in International Studies and Diplomacy at Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco.
The Critical Language Scholarship Program for Intensive Summer Institutes and the Rotary Foundation grants are elite, highly competitive opportunities. The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government interagency effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. As a CLS scholar, Emily studied intermediate Arabic in Amman, Jordan at the Qasid Institute for Classical and Modern Standard Arabic. The Rotary scholarship programs aim to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. The scholarship will allow Emily to pursue an M.A. in History from American University in Beirut, Lebanon beginning in fall 2010. After completing her masters degrees, she plans to enroll in a Ph.D. program in History with the goal of becoming a professor of Middle Eastern History at a research university.
What was the most rewarding part of studying in Jordan?
Jordan was my first extended stay in the Arab world. I learned much about Middle Eastern culture and traditions. The most rewarding part of the entire experience was improving my Arabic enough to hold conversations with my tutor.
How did the experience prepare you for graduate school and your future career?
As a graduate student in Morocco, the scholarship prepared me to communicate with other students at my university in their native language. My adjustment to Morocco was aided by obtaining a more thorough understanding of life in a predominantly Muslim country.
Do you have any advice for students considering applying for a Critical Language Scholarship?
Although the application may look daunting, the process is worth it!
Why did you choose to study at the American University in Beirut on the Rotary Foundation Scholarship?
I chose AUB because it remains a premier higher education institution in the Middle East. Also, Beirut is a fun and exciting city. I have always wanted to live there.
How does your study in the Middle East fit into your overall educational and career plans?
Having a M.A. in International Studies and History will make me doubly marketable for any Ph.D. program in the U.S. or abroad. Since I plan on becoming a college professor, a masters degree from a Middle Eastern university is ideal.
Do you have any advice for students thinking of applying for the Rotary scholarship?
Learn from your local Rotary contacts. They can help answer all your questions about the interview and application process. Also, talk to former scholars about their experiences in order to gain a better idea of where you would like to go and what you would like to do and study.