CASA Alum Seth McCombie: "I Feel Privileged to Have Studied Here'

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McCombie (center right) with members of the 2018-2019 CASA cohort
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McCombie (center right) with members of the 2018-2019 CASA cohort
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McCombie (center right) with members of the 2018-2019 CASA cohort
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McCombie (center right) with members of the 2018-2019 CASA cohort
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McCombie (center right) with members of the 2018-2019 CASA cohort

For more than five decades, AUC's Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) has served as the world's premier full-immersion Arabic language learning program, having trained more than 1,500 upper-level undergraduates, graduates and professors who complete the program gaining a greater understanding of Egypt and the Arab world.

For Seth McCombie (CASA '19), applying to CASA program stemmed from his love of the Middle East and Arabic. "Studying as a CASA student has been a dream of mine for years, and I wasn't disappointed," McCombie said.

Read more about why McCombie came to AUC, what he got out of it and what his future plans are.

Q: What made you originally apply to AUC?

A: I think the biggest influence was professors who had done this program before. There was a big difference in their teaching and language skills. I applied to CASA because I love the Middle East and Arabic, but also because I felt like I needed it to teach Arabic well in the future.

Q: What are some of your goals for the future?

A: I will finish my undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University and after that, I’ll hopefully go to graduate school to study linguistics.

Q: What is your favorite part about CASA?

A: Some of the best parts were the visiting lectures we had. At one point, our director brought in the director of a TV drama we’d been watching. I also got to take a class on teaching Arabic as a second language. There were a lot of chances for us to teach and get recorded. The quality of the feedback we got back from our professors got us to think more critically about teaching.

Q: Do you feel satisfied with what you've learned? 

I truly feel like I got what I came for at AUC: things like a survey of Arabic literature and film, professional connections, research opportunities, an amazing experience and a much better language ability. I feel privileged to have studied here.

Q: How was your experience at AUC overall?

A: I've been nothing but happy with my academic experience here. I feel like both my semesters helped me work on the skills that were important to me like public speaking and Arabic teaching, and the teachers here were always willing to make adjustments in the classroom based on our feedback.