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My name is Lindsay Holt, and I am now a junior at JMU majoring in Anthropology. I am currently preparing to study abroad during spring semester 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. I'm going there as part of a student exchange program with the American University in Cairo, and also plan to use my time there for researching my honors thesis on modern Egyptian culture. Because of my family's recent economic situation, such an experience would not be possible without financial support such as the Carl L. Harter Scholarship I recieved. This scholarship will help fund my plane ticket (without which I would not even be able to go), and in turn help me pay for official AUC transportation within the city of Cairo to get to my classes safely during the five months I will be there.
This semester, as I take classes, study ethnographies, learn the language and talk to immigrants from Egypt, I am beginning to understand the importance of this endeavor - to my academics, to my post-graduate future, and to my life. This experience and my own passion for cultural exchange and humanitarian causes will allow me to pursue a career in research for non-profits and international NGOs like International Justice Mission or the Global Health Corps, to help their projects and raise awareness and support for neglected areas of the world. In the long run, I hope to use my skills and experiences in the field of diplomacy, working in an embassy to bring peaceful understanding into political deliberations. Regardless of where I end up, I aim to make a positive impact in the world. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity this scholarship gave me to reach for those dreams. Thank you!