Meet Jena Phillips

Jena Phillips

Program and Location:

Summer, Qasid Arabic Institute; Amman, Jordan


Political Science and Arabic Language and Literature

Why did you choose to study abroad?

I love to travel and NC State provided me with the opportunity to attend one of the best Arabic language programs in the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through this experience I learned that I am much more independent than I originally thought. I am capable of success even in a new and unfamiliar environment and have the ability to persevere when faced with obstacles.

What was one of your favorite parts of your program?

One of my favorite parts of the program was the relationships I was able to form with my professors. Both professors I had over the summer were passionate about their work and it was evident in how they interacted with students both in and out of the classroom.

What advice do you have to future study abroad students?

Studying abroad in a country where you don’t speak the language seems very intimidating but nothing in life is worth doing if it doesn’t scare you a little. Push yourself to do something you never thought possible and you will come out the other side a better student and person.

Were you surprised by anything during your time abroad?

The most surprising aspect of my experience abroad was how welcoming the locals we interacted with were. Due to the complicated relationship between the United States and the Middle East, I was nervous that individuals in Jordan may view us in a negative light and treat us with hostility. To my surprise, everywhere we went we were greeted with open arms and each person we met wanted to show us the best part of themselves and their country.

Would you do it again?

YES! Best summer of my life!

This post was originally published in Study Abroad.

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