by: Sohini Ashoke
Senior Advait Arun traveled this summer to Rabat, Morocco to study Arabic and learn about Arab culture. “I’m studying the Arabic language and immersing myself in the culture and lifestyle here,” Arun said.
His desire to experience and learn new things contributed to his decision for studying abroad. “I want the experience living somewhere else with totally different people, and I want to experience lifestyles that we don’t encounter back home, Arun said. “I have always been interested in learning more languages, especially Arabic, and study abroad seemed like the best way to get a crash course in the language.”
He also wanted to have a trip that will help him throughout life. “I chose to study abroad because I wanted to do something memorable that will affect me for the rest of my life, assuming I make good connections, learn lots of Arabic, and reflect on what I do,” Arun said.
For Arun, adapting to the vastly different schedule he has in Morocco is difficult but rewarding. “It’s intense and I’m getting less sleep here than I do on average school days at Gunn, but it’s a worthy tradeoff for the amount of fun I’m having and the things I’m doing,” Arun said.
Arun lives with other students, and explains how having a new home is. “I enjoy living in Rabat, which has become a second home to me, and I enjoy being with other amazing students who are just as committed as I am,” Arun said.
Dealing with the change has been one of the challenges Arun faced while transitioning to a new country, but he has taken a lesson from this experience. “I’ve learned that it’s okay to take time for yourself. Adapting is hard and it’s important that one doesn’t rush into it without checking in with oneself and reflecting on one’s experiences periodically,” Arun said.
Not using his phone as much was also a challenge he faced. “I’ve also learned that we are really addicted to our phones, and having a dearth of internet here in Morocco is helping wean me off of that unhealthy habit,” Arun said.