Introducing Summer 2019 Blog Abroad Correspondent Ashley Morrill
احلاً و سهلاً!
Hey everyone! My name is Ashley Morrill and I am a third-year-student at The Ohio State University majoring in International Relations and Diplomacy and Arabic, and minoring in Middle East Studies. Living in Columbus with my five roommates (nine freshman year!) has been an amazing, eye -opening experience. Being a Buckeye has been a pretty wild ride: football games in the enormous Ohio Stadium, MLS and NHL games across town, and a plethora of extracurricular activities have kept me occupied and involved. One of my favorite things to do when I’m not in class is to meet up with my intermural soccer team for indoor and outdoor soccer. I love playing, and I can’t wait to find places to play while I’m in Ireland and Jordan!
I was born and raised in a small town in northern Vermont, just south of the Canadian border. Growing close to French-speaking Quebec up in a primarily English but sometimes French speaking household, I learned from a young age to appreciate the complexities of communicating in different languages. Living the quintessential ‘small-town life’in a small town had its perks, but it also made me yearn to explore and I found a passion for traveling and learning about other cultures and peoples. In high school I fell in love with French, and took as many opportunities to travel around the country as I could. During the spring of my junior year I was fortunate enough to travel to France with my small French class (of just nine students!); it was my first time overseas and I loved every moment of it. 23 states, 3 provinces, and 3 countries later, I am slowly but surely feeding my love of travel.
As an Arabic language major, studying abroad in the Middle East was a priority for me, and my interest in the Levant region drew my attention to Jordan as a perfect fit. Finding a study abroad program that brought me to Ireland ,( a place I had dreamed of going since I was little watching Celtic Women on PBS,) as well as Jordan was serendipitous. Studying in Ireland and Jordan will give , providing me the opportunity to connect all three of my areas of study together as well as the chance to explore two very different countries that I am deeply passionate about. This is a once-in-a-lifetime program I’m so excited to share with you all!
Having only completed two years of Arabic study thus far, I’m admittedly very nervous about navigating in Jordan surrounded by colloquial Arabic. I’m most looking forward to the opportunity to live with a Jordanian family and to practice my Arabic in that safe, welcoming environment, and I’m crossing my fingers that this will be enough to help me feel comfortable with spoken Arabic.
This program is everything I could have possibly dreamed in a study abroad, and I’m so excited to start my adventure and share my experiences with you all! I’m relatively new to blogging, so I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts and adventures with you. Stay tuned!