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kara fambrough, jordan, 2014-2015

Kara Fambrough admits she’s long been troubled about the ever-growing refugee scenario in Jordan, not only because the Middle Eastern country is an important ally to the United States but also because of the vulnerability of Syrian and Iraqi refugees due to a lack of medical care, food resources, and educational opportunities.

The senior from Conyers, who is majoring in international affairs and Arabic, will be soon be making her second visit to Jordan, this time under the auspices of the Boren Scholarship.

She’ll spend a portion of her time abroad at the Princess Sumaya University of Technology through the Council of International Educational Exchange and then will take part in an internship with a non-governmental organization.

“I will be studying Modern Standard Arabic, colloquial Arabic and taking various international relations courses,” Kara, whose previous visit to Jordan in 2012 focused on learning Arabic, as well as the Jordanian dialect. “Additionally, I will be volunteering with various NGOs dealing with human rights, refugee assistance, teaching English, and women’s rights.”

In 2013, Kara spent two months in Manama, Bahrain, as part of an internship sponsored by AIESEC, a non-governmental, student-run organization represented in more than 100 countries. In addition to taking part in Ramadan festivities, she created a tourism and advice-based website for Bahrain and promoted international travel to the Persian Gulf, had weekly Arabic and photography lessons, and learned about a host of cultures and communication styles while living with some three dozen international students.

She has similar plans during her second stay in Jordan.

“I am really looking forward to volunteering,” Kara, a Richard B. Russell Security Leadership Fellow and SPIA Student Ambassador at UGA, says. “It is a great way to help out the community, meet local people, immerse myself in the culture, and improve my Arabic.”

With a career interest in providing humanitarian aid in refugee camps, Kara – who plans to pursue a master’s degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown – hopes to be able to fulfill her federal service requirement by working in the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration with an eye on becoming a Foreign Service Officer and working for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

“A study abroad program should be a mixture of language studies, cultural immersion, and community involvement,” Kara says. “The possibilities are endless, and I am just so excited to see where my year in Jordan leads me.”

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