Middle East Studies

Jessica Murphy `19 furthers her interest in global politics with a regional focus on the Middle East

Jessica Murphy

Middle East studies, development studies 

New York City

Why did you decide to concentrate in Middle East studies?
I started studying Arabic my first year at Brown because I wanted to learn a new language, especially one with a new alphabet. I also wanted to study global politics and decided that Arabic might be relevant to my intended concentration in International Relations. I ended up concentrating in development studies with a focus in the Middle East but after taking my first "regional" requirements for DS, I realized that the two required "area" courses were insufficient to developing a greater understanding of the region. I decided to concentrate in both departments to learn more about the Middle East while learning Arabic and studying international development (another interdisciplinary concentration with courses in sociology, anthropology, political science, and economics).

You’ve studied abroad in Amman, Jordan through Middlebury College? What was that like for you?
In the fall of my junior year, I studied abroad in Amman, Jordan with Middlebury schools abroad. I had an incredible experience and really appreciated the language immersion aspect of the program. I loved visiting a region that I study and really interacting with people and places that are geographically far from the U.S.

What advice would you give underclassmen?
Be open to changing your concentration and/or academic focus, especially to smaller departments or concentrations you haven't heard of. Also, speak to professors! They are an incredible resource and care so much about their work and the topics they teach.