Mar. 29, 2017

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Kalamazoo, MI

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Est. 1877

Humans of K: Bianca Delgado

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Bianca Delgado K’17 has been taking the reigns of her own K Plan by finding her own study abroad opportunity. Delgado planned to apply to Clermont-Ferrand, France as her Junior year study abroad of choice, but felt it was out of traditional necessity and decided to stay at K.

“I came to K because they had the Cairo program in Egypt, but they ended up suspending it during my first year here. That program was supposed to be my opportunity to get the Middle Eastern studies curriculum that K did not have,” Delgado said.

With the help of Professor Anna Swank, Delgado was able to find a program through Birzeit University in Palestine to embark on this summer. But becoming a scholar of Arabic proved no easy task: Delgado felt discouraged after Arabic 102.

“I was set on quitting at the end of 102, but my professor assigned us an oral presentation where we were each assigned a country that spoke Arabic and had to present its history through time up until today. Yep…in 102,” Delgado said, “while preparing it, I realized how much I could express and explain in the little Arabic vocab and grammar structures we had learned.”

Now that many of her friends have returned from abroad, Delgado is excited to share her passion for the language of Arabic with them.

“So many Americans will see something written in Arabic and become alarmed when it could really just be an ad for a 50% off sale. It’s my hope to be an example to people that it’s just another mode of communication for so many people living here,” Delgado said.

Delgado says studying abroad during her junior year might have meant missed opportunities in Arabic, and she encourages underclassmen to take the decision seriously. “Don’t feel discouraged about your decision to not follow through with what’s “expected” of you and keep your genuine interests at heart,” Delgado said.

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