In August, she will leave for Senegal’s capital, Dakar, where she will spend the year taking a Wolof language class as well as courses taught in French on Senegalese history, culture, and politics.
Caroline began learning French when she lived in Paris as a child. Later, she moved to the United States, and in high school, she decided to continue her studies. It was also in high school that her passion for diplomacy and foreign relations, particularly peace-building, emerged.
Caroline spent two of her high school summers interning at the National Defense University in Washington D.C.
“It wasn’t until I started interning there that I grew more interested in the American national security apparatus, especially the intelligence community, and it’s role in analyzing the drivers of and resolutions for violent conflict,” she says. “After these internships, I found myself heavily invested in in violent extremism and counter-terrorism, while maintaining my passion for peace-building.”
Although Caroline is familiar with France through her childhood and study abroad program in Paris, she knew Senegal was where she wanted to study for her Boren scholarship.
“Senegal is a member of a region whose history I’ve enjoyed studying in depth here at Bryn Mawr, and it’s also a critical partner in the region for the U.S,” she says. “It is a stable democracy that has seen little violent conflict for decades, and thus far has not seen the rise of violent extremist groups in its borders. If the U.S. wants to continue to be a productive partner against extremism in the region, Washington has to maintain respectful and amicable relations with West African partners like Senegal.”
At Bryn Mawr, Caroline, a double major in French and International Studies, has delved into her fields with full force. From advanced French and international policy courses to her study abroad semester in Paris at the Sciences Po, she has loved every second of enriching her passions.
“I can’t wait to learn even more next year,” she says.
Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. This year, the prestigious scholarship was awarded to four percent of applicants.
Information on the many fellowships available to Bryn Mawr students can be found here.