AQB Students’ Reflections on Study Abroad Experience
Hadeel Awadallah, a Human Rights Student at Al-Quds Bard, during her study abroad at the Autonomous University of Madrid- Spain, 2022
Gaining the opportunity to study abroad is one of the greatest highlights of my journey at Al-Quds Bard. As a third year student majoring in Human Rights and International Law, studying at a foreign university enhanced my perspective on world politics and different cultures. My semester at The Autonomous University of Madrid was exceptional, as they made sure international students were given the same opportunities as all others. I was very fortunate to attend courses with Spanish and International students from various backgrounds which diversified and broadened our discussions beyond any national borders. It was also a great opportunity to challenge my own beliefs by being introduced to new perspectives. This was made possible because of the eagerness of students to share their opinions. I believe it’s important to learn and hear from other communities in order to build bridges based on shared values, so it was interesting to study in a European university. We were routinely asked to work in groups which also encouraged cooperation and helped me immerse myself in academic conversations with students. One accomplishment I am especially proud of is being given the opportunity discuss water grabbing under occupation in a course titled “World Regions, Natural Resources, and Environmental crises.” During the presentation, I discussed the weaponization of water and indigenous water justice in occupied Palestine. I am proud of that moment because it was a chance to represent Palestine as a study case that incorporated the issues we were learning in lectures to a classroom full of people who were not informed of this ongoing crisis. The professor later asked if she may use my presentation for future courses. Another accomplishment was completing a Literature course in which I read and analyzed various novels in a classroom full of juniors and seniors specializing in American Literature.
On a personal level, my time studying abroad increased my independence and strengthened my social and survival skills. Being in Spain also encouraged me to learn a new language because I realized just how much potential it has to connect me to many people on a more personal level. Overall, studying abroad is an experience AQB and Al-Quds University made possible for their students. I would encourage all students to aim for without fear.