Kylah Fanning '20 is a linguistics major and education minor who spent the fall semester studying in Morocco.
Kylah took part in a program run by the School for International Training focused on the issues of migration and transnational identity that’s based in the Moroccan capital of Rabat.
“I haven’t been outside the U.S., so I was really excited to go abroad, use the French I had been learning for so long, and interact with non-American-centric understandings of the world,” says Kylah.
In addition to classes on migration and research methods, Kylah was able to study Arabic. But much of her learning occurred outside the classroom.
“Living abroad meant I was constantly actively learning; I learned to navigate, most of the time in languages I wasn’t confident in. I also learned how to be lonely in some ways: without the familiar surroundings of Bryn Mawr and the community here, I had both the challenge and opportunity of structuring my time to explore unfamiliar places and experiences.”
The program also featured a trip to the Netherlands to see the impact there.
“I love exploring different cities and thinking about how their histories and cultures affect how they were built and maintained, and I loved learning more about the interconnectedness of Europe and North Africa throughout history.”
Some of Kylah’s favorite memories of her time abroad are from the time spent with her host family.
“I was incredibly lucky to be placed with a wonderful host family. My host sisters and I have a lot in common, and we spent many evenings eagerly finishing our homework so we could sing karaoke together and eat dinner as a family.”
As she reflects on her time in Morocco, she is both nostalgic and grateful. “There are certainly things I miss about Morocco—living two blocks from a beautiful beach, seeing the incredible artisans create their work in Fez, the weather and food—but most of all the people I met, especially my host family. With luck, one day I would love to return.”
To students considering study abroad, Kylah advises that they “embrace new experiences, and to take the time to learn about some of the politics and history of the places they are headed.”