Northern Michigan University
Placement: Women's Rights Association
Throughout the program, ELAP participants complete a series of individual reflective essays which are compiled to create the ELAP Portfolio. The following is an excerpt from one of Alexandra's essays that she completed during her program in Meknes, Morocco.
"At this point in my life I am designed as a critical thinker. It would be folly to say that while here in Morocco, academia is not precisely as disciplined as I am used to, but the critical mentality still remains. My days are filled with adventurous memories big, small, with everything in between. This is the appeal of a semester abroad; Yet I am ultra-aware of my effect or possible effects whilst I’m here. My being in Morocco has a ripple effect of consequences through being a student, a tourist, and a volunteer.
While abroad, I try to see things from as “local” a perspective as I can. I do not desire to violently enforce my western background to the new cultural circumstances I’m surrounded in. However, I know I will never be completely void of my past and the influence it has in shaping my thoughts. I will always carry around this “backpack” of everywhere else I’ve ever been. Yet, I do not believe this pack needs to weigh me down. I, like many, need to make sure that I’m honestly taking the time to learn, absorb, and genuinely obtain an objective and human perspective to shove into my pack...This is what I want to understand more of; I want to leave as someone who has tried to take many different aspects of Morocco into my backpack not in trinkets but with meaning beyond what I initially carried in."