“I cannot overstate the value of the CLS Program. It changed my life and what I have been able to do as a student and as a professional. I’m so excited for the waves that the CLS Program will continue to make in my life and the way CLS will continue to change the lives of American scholars and the partners they touch abroad.”
Emily Cramer participated in CLS Arabic in Meknes, Morocco after her sophomore year at the University of California, Berkeley. She credits her experience with the CLS Program to landing her position after graduation at Operation Mercy in Jordan, a relief organization where she helped coordinate multiple different programs with an emphasis on meeting the immediate needs of refugees.
“When I took cab rides in Jordan, the drivers sometimes asked me if I was working with the military or for the CIA – stereotypes of Americans in Jordan at the time. When I answered no, it opened a conversation on the real reason I was there: to learn more about the language and culture, and to assist refugees. I would not have been equipped to have these conversations with people had it not been for my intensive study experience with the CLS Program.”
The CLS Program gave Emily the tools to leverage her passion for social justice and equality into meaningful change. In her position as the Interim Director of Children’s Programs at Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church, she works to open the eyes of privileged Silicon Valley children to systems of local and global oppression and equip them for their active, real-time role in breaking those systems down.
Looking forward, Emily hopes to continue a career in research-based international work in Washington, D.C. Her experiences with the CLS Program and in the MENA region gave her an appetite for informed participation in creating a more equitable future across cultural divides.
“Being able to navigate an intercultural workplace, where there are many different expectations about workplace norms, is a skill that I would not have without my CLS experience. It makes me a great asset to any international team.”
“The CLS Program was one of the most intense experiences of my life, and one that hugely shaped me.”
May 25, 2020