Alumni Spotlight: Caroline Philhower

Why did you decide to study abroad with IES in Morocco?

Caroline: I decided to study abroad in Morocco because I knew I wanted to study Arabic, and I wanted to go somewhere that was uncommon for students at my school. I also have a minor in Spanish so I thought that it would come in useful as well, which turns out it is not used as much as I was expecting!

What made your study abroad experience unique and special?

Caroline: What made my experience unique is so hard to explain. The first thing that comes to mind is my host family that I was able to live with. It was honestly the best experience and really the highlight of my trip. I felt so welcome and I learned so much from my 4 host siblings and host parents. I went to Morocco with no language experience and my host family could not speak english very well so it was challenging to communicate at the beginning, but very fun. It was also so nice to be able to return to my host family in December and be able to have a conversation with my host mom, I really can't describe the feeling of being able to see exactly how far I came in such a small amount of time.

Caroline with her host family

How has this experience impacted your future?

Caroline: Studying abroad in Morocco has impacted my future significantly. I will be graduating in 2 weeks! I plan to travel and live abroad over the next couple of years, experiencing as many cultures as I can. I am trying to go to Turkey because I want to try something new, but Morocco will always be close to my heart and I would love to go back there some day. I also have worked hard to continue my Arabic after Morocco, even though it is not a language taught at my college. Working in the Middle East is my life goal, and Morocco absolutely had a great impact in my decision-making process.