Karina Toy

Middlebury College

My time in Jordan was transformational and I am incredibly happy that I went abroad. I originally went because I had to as an International Politics and Economics Major. To be honest, even though I’d already had an awesome experience abroad I really didn't want to go. I was extremely nervous about the cultural differences in the Middle East, in addition to feeling that I was missing out on classes and opportunities back at Midd. However, I am super happy that I went! I not only had the opportunity to travel to an incalculable number of countries (depending on what counts as a country to you, I went to Palestine, Israel, Turkey, Spain, and Gibraltar), I also learned a lot, ate a lot of delicious food, and met a lot of amazing people. 

Especially in today’s political climate, the knowledge I gained abroad with regards to Middle Eastern culture and history, as well as the three monotheistic religions has been more useful to my academic career and understanding of the world than I ever thought possible. The Middlebury School Abroad in Jordan was instrumental in allowing me to make the most of my experience, introducing us to Jordanian mentors, giving students the freedom to travel and see the region (if it was safe of course), as well as providing opportunities to get involved in the community. In addition to all of this, my Arabic skills improved drastically while abroad and I am now able to use the language to communicate and connect with people all over the world.