Tiara Patton '14
Majors: Sociology and Africana Studies
IES Abroad in Rabat, Morocco (Fall 2012)
Wooster in Northeast India (Summer 2012)
As a freshman at The College of Wooster, I knew I wanted to study off campus but I had no clue how to start my journey, let alone the destination(s) I would soon explore. I was first attracted to "Wooster-In" programs because of the mix between classroom experience, cultural immersion, and the bonding of Wooster students and faculty. I could interact with members of the College's bubble in a way I would have never experienced in the United States. Wooster in Northeast India allowed me to explore a part of India that has a very non-traditional, eclectic vibe: While roaming tea plantations in the Himalayas during the day, we were able to eat Chinese food and visit monk monasteries at night. It was a study abroad experience that gave me a chance to explore two new avenues; Indian culture that is intertwined with the differing Asian influences it is surrounded by and the opportunity to learn more about my fellow Wooster students.
My experience with the IES Abroad program in Rabat, Morocco was a very exciting challenge compared to the Wooster lifestyle. I was immediately immersed in Islamic tradition, culture, and religion, which proved to be a difficult, yet invigorating, study abroad experience. While abroad in Morocco, I learned much about North African politics, gender and race within a sociological context, Islamic principles and teachings, as well as the Arabic language. This program allowed me to experience Islamic traditions first hand and offered a variety of traveling opportunities to learn more about the country in-depth.