Critical Language Scholarship Program | Ezra Baker
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Ezra Baker

Lan­guage learn­ing will always be a part of my life. I am so grate­ful for the doors that the CLS Pro­gram has opened for me .”

Ezra Bak­er stud­ied Eco­nom­ics and French at Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty, and want­ed to broad­en his hori­zons to learn a more chal­leng­ing and less com­mon­ly taught lan­guage. When he heard of the CLS Pro­gram, he applied for to study Ara­bic because he knew that com­bin­ing Ara­bic and French would allow him to gain access to oth­er coun­tries across Africa and the Mid­dle East, and would help him with his future career. Ezra was award­ed the Crit­i­cal Lan­guage Schol­ar­ship to study Ara­bic in 2015 in Mad­a­ba, Jordan.

The CLS Pro­gram helped me fur­ther my goal of work­ing with Ara­bic by improv­ing my lan­guage abil­i­ties and gain­ing expe­ri­ence liv­ing in the Arab world. It also led to more job oppor­tu­ni­ties such as being the Res­i­dent Direc­tor in 2018 in Tang­i­er, Morocco.”

After Ezra fin­ished his sum­mer as Res­i­dent Direc­tor with the CLS Ara­bic pro­gram, he was hired by the CLS host insti­tu­tion, the Arab Amer­i­can Lan­guage Insti­tute in Moroc­co (AAL­IM). While in that role, he was able to work close­ly with the CLS Res­i­dent Direc­tor. It was impor­tant to him to become famil­iar with a dif­fer­ent pro­fes­sion­al cul­ture, com­mu­ni­ca­tion style, and nego­ti­at­ing skills to be able to adapt to any work­ing environment.

He is now a grad­u­ate stu­dent at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty with plans for a career in inter­na­tion­al devel­op­ment. He is also study­ing Swahili in order to gain more access to East Africa, and enjoys dis­cov­er­ing the sim­i­lar­i­ties between Swahili and Arabic.

Work­ing in devel­op­ment will be a career shift for me, to be sure, but I will still use the lan­guage and adap­ta­tion skills that the CLS Pro­gram cement­ed for me. I would def­i­nite­ly be in a dif­fer­ent place in my life and career with­out the CLS Program.”

Alumni Profiles

Ezra Baker
Ezra Baker
Arabic 2015
Madaba, Jordan

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Posted Date

June 01, 2020