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brent buck, morocco, 2015-2016

Fascinated by the Middle Eastern country of Tunisia, Brent Buck’s original plans for his Boren-funded program centered on studying both the language and the political dynamic of the republic.

But a study abroad scholar knows that flexibility is often a critical key to learning, and as a result Brent is instead heading to Morocco, where he’ll spend six months in Fez studying at the Arabic Language Institute and six months in Rabat, where he will be at the Qalam wa Lawh Center for Arabic Studies.

This will be Brent’s second stint abroad as he spent summer 2014 at Morocco’s Center for Language and Culture as part of UGA’s Study Abroad in Morocco program in Marrakech.

With an interest in Middle East democratization and state development, the two-time Presidential Scholar’s career plans including working as an intelligence analyst for the United States Government, specializing in the Middle East and North Africa.

“Due to my current aspirations and past experiences, I see my role in the U.S. national security apparatus as one of an intelligence analyst, working in the FBI as an area studies specialist,” Brent, a UGA Honors student and native of Columbus who will graduate in May 2016 with bachelor’s degrees in international affairs and history, as well as minors in statistics and Arabic, says. “The combination of my studies at UGA and my time abroad will prepare me to be an intelligence analyst when I graduate.

“Exposing myself to two very different Moroccan cities will allow me to prepare for a variety of future experiences – I’m looking to be a very adaptable government employee.”

While on campus, Brent gained valuable experience as a research assistant in UGA’s Department of International Affairs, working under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Owsiak. He has also served as the finance director for the School of Public and International Affairs Student Union, the international project coordinator for the UGA chapter of Nourish International, and a finance team member for the UGA chapter of AIESEC International.

“The language skills I will gain will help me progress towards my end goal: serving U.S. national security by understanding the people and processes necessary for peace,” Brent says.

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