Rose Kane ’13, a Globalization and Political Science double major, chose to expand her horizons by studying in Amman, Jordan (SIT) during the fall of 2011. The program she chose through SIT entitled Social Change and Modernization proved to be a launching pad for other exciting opportunities 

Academically, the program was a great fit and exposed her to the overwhelming activity in the Middle East in a presentable and comprehensive way. “My study abroad program perfectly complemented my studies at Gettysburg, as I was able to study first hand what types of changes had been occurring among the public, particularly the youth, in the Middle East. An aspect of this program included a cultural, eight-day tour of Egypt, through which we broadened our understanding of the region.  This program created a strong foundation for understanding how important the youth are in shaping Middle Eastern countries.  As a senior at Gettysburg, I plan on shaping my Globalization capstone project around a study of the Competitive Authoritarian Regimes in the Middle East. My time abroad enabled me to experience first hand the differences in the government style of Jordan compared to the US, while also portraying just how powerful the youth can be in attaining real social and political changes.”

Rose also recounted personal experiences that changed the way she perceived events in the Middle East:

“One of the most eye-opening experiences I had while abroad was during our excursion to Egypt.  We spent one day meeting with students of Cairo University, talking to them about their roles in the recent uprisings.  Mustafa, a twenty-year-old, government studies, third year at the University talked to me about his role in the revolution, explaining what it was like to be in Tahrir Square with hundreds and hundreds of thousands of other Egyptians every single day. It was incredible to hear the stories of the Egyptian “Arab Spring” from someone who was the same age as me, and to really come to understand how serious of a situation it was for him and his friends as they fought for their rights. The time that I spent in Cairo coupled with the conversations I had with Jordanian University Students really sparked my interest in understanding what shapes governmental change.”

Upon returning to Gettysburg, it has been clear that Rose has continued to use her experience. She is a recipient of the Mellon Grant which will allow her to return to Jordan as well as travel to Lebanon during the winter of 2012 to “research the role of religion in shaping the competitive authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.”

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