Critical Language Scholarship Program | Rachel Sider
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Rachel Sider

CLS gave me the ini­tial boost of con­fi­dence to make friend­ships in a for­eign lan­guage, try new foods for which I only know the Ara­bic name and, even­tu­al­ly, dream in the lan­guage. This was the foun­da­tion on which my pro­fes­sion­al life in the Mid­dle East has unfolded.”

Rachel Sider par­tic­i­pat­ed in CLS Ara­bic in 2012 as a sopho­more in col­lege, and now works as the Advo­ca­cy Man­ag­er for the Nor­we­gian Refugee Council’s human­i­tar­i­an pro­gram in Syr­ia. CLS was her first intro­duc­tion to the Mid­dle East, and she has been involved in the region ever since. CLS devel­oped the foun­da­tion of her lan­guage skills and career work­ing on human­i­tar­i­an pol­i­cy in the Mid­dle East. 

Being pro­fi­cient in Ara­bic and hav­ing famil­iar­i­ty with mul­ti­ple dialects, as well as devel­op­ing cross-cul­tur­al com­pe­ten­cy, were major advan­tages in my ear­ly career search, and today these fac­tors make me much more com­fort­able liv­ing abroad.”

Rachel is still using her Ara­bic sev­en years after her CLS sum­mer, and she con­tin­ues to cross paths with par­tic­i­pants from her CLS cohort who share sim­i­lar career ambi­tions and passions. 

What I trea­sure most about CLS is the diver­si­ty of its par­tic­i­pants and the net­work of lan­guage lovers it endows.”


Alumni Profiles

Rachel Sider
Rachel Sider
Arabic 2012
Rabat, Morocco

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Posted Date

October 24, 2019