My name is Phoebe, and I am currently completing my Masters in the Theory and Practise of Clinical Psychology. I was part of the IWLP Arabic family during my first and second years of my undergraduate Psychology course here at the University. I am originally British but plot twist… I have lived most of my life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. When I came back to the UK to start university, I missed home so much, so I thought that studying the Arabic language would cure my homesickness – to fast forward, it really did.
Although I did grow up in the Middle East, I couldn’t read or write in Arabic, so when I first started the module, I was pretty nervous since everything is so different in Arabic compared to English! But with time and practice, I eventually got the hang of it, and all of a sudden Arabic wasn’t as scary as I first thought it would be. What I loved about the module was that the Middle Eastern culture was intertwined into the classes, giving so much more meaning to the words we were learning.
I think one of my proudest moments was during one of our final year speaking exams, when we were given the opportunity to describe a full scenario in Arabic to our lecturer. I chose to talk about a travelling experience. I remember finishing what I had to say, and I couldn’t believe that I spoke fluently in Arabic, and just how far I had come!
If I had to say one thing to someone starting an IWLP module is: don’t be scared, and you can do it! It may seem near impossible, but I promise you that, with the support you are given and some hard work, you will go far, and learning a language is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done.
Ma Salama and good luck!