Study Abroad this Summer 

Recent alumna Ermida Koduah works in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Emily Cammille) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 6, 2018) – Recent UAlbany alumna Ermida Koduah, B.A. ’17, works in Washington, D.C., as a program assistant for secondary school programs at the American Councils for International Education.

She is also the founder of Being Black In, a blogging platform that encourages black travel through personal travel experiences.

Koduah credits the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) in 2016 with giving her the opportunity to study Arabic in Tangier, Morocco, the summer before her senior year.

The deadline to apply to a Summer 2019 CLS program is November 27 at 5 p.m. Contact Jacqueline Ledermann for more information: [email protected]. Her office is part of the Center for International Education and Global Strategy, located in the Science Library.

“Participating in the CLS program greatly improved my ability to speak and understand Arabic,” said Koduah. “Before starting the program, all I could said in Arabic was ‘Hello, my name is Ermida.’ By the end of the program, I was able to hold lengthy conversations about my daily activities and how to navigate myself around the city of Tangier.”

She lived with a Moroccan host family, ate Moroccan food and even learned a bit of Darija, which is Moroccan Arabic.

Of Ghanaian descent, Koduah was born in Italy, raised in the Bronx, and also studied abroad in Dubai while a student at UAlbany, where she had a double major in Globalization and Political Science with a minor in International Studies.

Being an alumna of the CLS program even led to her current job. “It helped me start my career in international education because I now work for the organization that CLS is a part of, American Councils for International Education,” she said.

“I encourage students to apply for this program if they are looking to learn a new language or improve on a current critical language they are studying. CLS is a unique program that will fund your chance to learn a critical language, practice it and retain your skills,” said Koduah, a former Chancellor’s Award winner and recipient of the Spellman Award.

“My UAlbany education helped me learn about scholarships and programs to assist my study abroad experiences,” she said. “Without that, I wouldn’t have been able to work in a field that requires its employees to have that international experience.”

CLS is a fully funded language immersion program that provides selected students to spend eight to 10 weeks abroad during the summer learning a language deemed critical by the U.S. State Department.

In addition to Arabic,languages include Korean, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Indonesian, Urdu and Turkish, said Ledermann, assistant director of distinguished international scholarships and fellowships.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.