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Student receives scholarship to study in Morocco

Mari Johnson

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Caitlin Trotter, a University of Alabama Honors College student, was recently awarded a National Security Education Program Boren Scholarship to study Arabic in Morocco, beating out nearly 900 applicants.

Trotter, a Huntsville native, said she became interested in Arabic and studying abroad after visiting her sister in Cairo, in 2007.

“I think studying abroad is a great thing to do because you learn a lot about the world and about yourself,” Trotter said.

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships strive to provide funding opportunities for American undergraduate and graduate students to add an important international and language component to their education.

Being a recipient of the Boren Scholarship provides Trotter with the opportunity to study Arabic in the country of her choice—Morocco.

Trotter said she chose to study in Morocco because she is studying both Arabic and French, and both languages are spoken in the country.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and I’ve always wanted to go there. With all of the upheaval in the mid east, it seems to be one of the most civil countries,” she said.

In addition to studying Modern Standard Arabic and Moroccan Arabic at Mohammad V University, the largest public university in Morocco, Trotter said she will also take history, religion and other types of classes including “History of the Maghreb” and “Gender and Islam.”

As a New College student studying international relations and photojournalism, Trotter said as part of the scholarship, she has to work for the government for at least a year within three years of graduating and will probably work for the United States Agency for International Development or the state department.

“Lately I’ve been very interested in development so I’m leaning towards working for the U.S. Agency for International Development,” she said.

The Boren Scholarship also focuses on geographic areas, languages and fields of study that are critical to national security, broadly defined and underrepresented in study abroad. Only 152 students were chosen as recipients this year for the Boren Scholarship.

According to the UA official website, Trotter is one of two UA student to be chosen as a Boren Scholar this year.

“This has been a record-setting year for UA and the Honors College,” said Fran Oneal, director of the International Honors Program.

Trotter said she is eager and excited to begin her studies in Morocco.

“I’ll be living with a host family,” she said, “which I anticipate to be an adjustment, but also very rewarding and educational. My goal is to learn the language and have a lot of really cool experience and meet new people and make new friends who I’ll be friends with a long time.”g

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Student receives scholarship to study in Morocco