Arabic is Aina's 5th language. She is a native speaker of Spanish and Catalan, and studied French throughout high school. She has always been passionate about Middle Eastern history and hopes to use her Arabic skills to better understand communities in the region in order to pursue a career in an international organization.
Allyson’s passion for languages and cultures grew after participating in a ten-month exchange program to Spain in High School. In college, she wanted to challenge herself with a critical language and Arabic has such a wonderful culture and history that her decision was made easy. Allyson is interested in International Relations and is a recipient of AROTC Merit scholarship. She loves traveling and interacting with foreign cultures as well as playing sports. She plans on commissioning into the US Army as an officer upon graduation.
Anat is a Banneker-Key scholar whose academic interests include international science projects, women in NGOs, and the role of translation in media reporting. She hopes to use her Arabic skills to bridge communication and cultural gaps between residents in the Middle East and the NGOs that aim to serve them. When she's not in class, Anat likes to work out and reread her favorite childhood books.
Andrew started studying Arabic in high school through the STARTALK program and went on to study abroad in Morocco with NSLI-Y. He is currently a double major at UMD interested in history and comparative politics. In the future, he hopes to do research on the MENA region and use his language skills in an internationally focused career.
Anne Layton studied Turkish for 5 years before coming to the Arabic program at UMD. She loves learning about languages and history, and hopes to one day use her language skills to work as a translator or cultural consultant. Anne Layton is a recipient of UMD's Presidential Scholarship and the ARHU Freshman Scholarship.
Ashley came to study Arabic through her passion for history. She currently works as a tour guide in museums and historic sites like Ford's Theatre and President Lincoln's cottage. She hopes to eventually use her Arabic skills to write, research, or work in education. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys traveling, watching films, reading, and writing. She is also the recipient of the Maryland Transfer Scholarship.
After studying both Spanish and French, Brooke began learning Arabic through the STARTALK program. Given her love of language, Brooke was captivated by the history and unique quirks of Arabic. As a student at Maryland, she has combined Arabic with a major in Communications through which she studies what motivates people to communicate. Outside of school, Brooke serves as a Community Assistant for Resident Life and enjoys cooking and baking. In the future, Brooke hopes to put her Arabic skills to use working for the Federal Government.
Devon began studying Arabic after mastering another notoriously difficult language- American Sign Language. He jumped in by studying in an immersion school in Tetouan, Morocco for 14 months, studying both Modern Standard Arabic and Moroccan dialect. He has used his language skills in internships to research Arabic-English translation and linguistics and provide real time interpretation. Devon hopes to eventually earn his Ph.D. in Arabic and Persian Studies and go into a career as an interpreter to help improve international relations and diplomacy.
Garrett chose Arabic after graduating from the STARTALK program in high school and was awarded a 4 year scholarship through the US Army. His future goals are to serve in Military Intelligence and Civilian Affairs both in military and in private/government sectors. Garrett is a recipient of the Army ROTC Scholarship and is a member of the UMD Color Guard team. His academic interests include Arabic Studies, Terrorism Studies, and International Relations. He is an avid soccer fan, especially Chelsea FC, and is also part of the Pistol and Rifle club where he shoots frequently.
Jacqueline first studied Arabic with STARTALK in high school, and she has been hooked ever since! She hopes to use her interests in Middle Eastern art, culture, and history to build a career in diplomacy and conflict resolution. Jacqueline also studied Italian intensively in high school, studied abroad in Italy, and created the first chapter of the National Italian Honor Society.
John began to study Arabic because of its rich history and the interesting nature of dialects and MSA. Alongside his academic studies, John works as a Research Assistant in the Linguistics Department, where he is studying syntactic prediction, which gives us tools like autocorrect and Slide on smartphones. John hopes to combine all of his academic interests in his future career by developing language processing software or language-learning curriculum.
Joshua is interested in learning Arabic history and politics alongside the Arabic language. His academic interests include the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and education reform in the Middle East. When he’s not in class, Joshua enjoys playing basketball and getting involved in community service through CIVICUS, a UMD living-learning program.
Joshua loves to study languages and has found that Arabic is a beautiful language which gives him insight into an interesting and diverse culture. He hopes to combine his Arabic skills with his interest in history in a future career. In his spare time, Joshua enjoys writing and playing guitar. He is also the recipient of the Transfer Academic Excellence Scholarship.
Kalyn has studied French and Chinese in addition to Arabic while at UMD. She previously studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco and Oman through the YES Abroad and CLS programs. In the future, Kalyn hopes to pursue a career focused on Chinese foreign policy towards the Middle East.
Lucy first started learning Arabic when she was just 8 years old through a language summer camp. She has been studying the language ever since, and hopes to eventually have a career in government or a humanitarian organization. She loves learning about other cultures and languages and is a recipient of the Qatar Foundation International Academic Excellence Award.
Marina attended Salisbury University for her freshman year. While there, she only took Arabic because it was one of the few language classes that fit into her schedule. Little did she know, Arabic Studies would become her passion and prompted her to transfer to UMD specifically for the Flagship Program. Marina hopes to learn everything she can about the Arabic language, as well as culture. She is interested in adding on the Global Terrorism minor in the future. Marina loves to fence and enjoys listening to music. She has played the violin since she was 8 years old. She hopes to incorporate her love for travel into her future career and become an avenue for communication and understanding across cultures.
Matthew was drawn to Arabic because of his love of studying languages and his interest in the Middle East’s many different cultures. He joins our Flagship program after a summer study abroad in Morocco. Matthew is also an athlete and an avid sports fan; he is a member of the triathlon club at UMD and a former soccer player. In his future career, he hopes to become a diplomat and improve relations between the Arab world and the West.
Neel grew up traveling internationally and decide to pursue Arabic studies with the hopes of using his language skills in a future career of international diplomacy. He has interned with local Senate campaigns and overseas. When he's not in class, Neel enjoys traveling and going to the gym.
Nicholas is a UMD Presidential Scholar who is also interested in writing, philosophy, film, and history. He was drawn to Arabic because of its cultural, historic, and religious roots. He hopes to one day work in education with his Arabic skills. In his free time, Nicholas enjoys reading and writing.
Olivia loves to learn new languages and learn about different cultures around the world. She chose to learn Arabic because she knew nothing about the language or the culture. After taking her first Arabic class she knew she wanted to continue learning Arabic. Her future career goals are to teach Arabic in high schools and community colleges. She wants to be able to offer students the same opportunities to learn a new language, and to learn about another culture that some may not have ever heard of. Olivia is the recipient of the President’s Transfer Scholarship and her academic interests include Second Language Acquisition, and she will pursue a Master’s degree in that field.