Amanda Barbour participated in CLS Arabic program in Tunis, Tunisia in 2010 as an undergraduate student at the University at Buffalo.
“[Participating on the CLS Program] influenced the trajectory of my study. I completed my undergraduate work shortly after my summer in CLS and eventually went on to do research and receive my doctorate in second language learning and education.”
“On the CLS Program I learned valuable problem-solving skills that I’ve continued to use throughout my work.”
Amanda spent a year in Granada, Spain as part of her graduate program in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) studies, where she used intercultural communication skills she developed on CLS to navigate a new language and culture.
“Without my CLS experience in Tunisia, I wouldn’t have been successful abroad in Spain. I was more independent, productive and comfortable being in a different culture. I learned how to meet my needs without relying on language: a skillset that I’ve continued to use throughout my work as a teacher.”
Amanda went to Nanning, China to teach an English as a Second Language course to encourage students to study abroad at Niagara University
Beginning in early 2011, Tunisia made international news following popular uprisings that quickly spread across the Arab world, and Amanda’s friends and family turned to her for details.
“It was an interesting experience to watch the Arab Spring unfold after being in Tunisia with the CLS Program. As many Americans do not have experience in that region, being able to speak back on the negative narrative that was infiltrating the media by giving anecdotes of my CLS host family and community was a powerful experience for me.”
Amanda is the Assistant Director of English Language Development at Niagara University, a program for international students to intensively study English. She is responsible for the oversight, development, and continued growth of the English as a Second Language program, which is similar to the CLS Program providing 20 hours of English instruction each week along with a language partner and peer mentorship component. Her experiences with the CLS Program, and her knowledge of Arabic have helped her support her students in their language learning.
“On CLS I vividly remember the unanticipated stress and emotions associated with being abroad and intensively studying a language for the first time. It has significantly impacted the way I approach my daily professional work of teaching and administrating in a program for intensive English study.”
December 04, 2019