Matthew Cronin: Meet the Middle East. One person at a time.

Matthew Cronin is a 21-year-old student majoring Foreign Policy at Boston University. He is expected to graduate in May 2016.

Matthew and I met at Inna’s Kitchen in Newton, MA, where he works part-time. Through a casual conversation over a year ago, I found out that Matthew would be studying abroad in the Middle East as part of his study-abroad program. I couldn't wait for his return and learn more about his experience. 

Although study-abroad was not a requirement for his major, Matthew chose a path to learn more about the Middle East through people and culture.  To prepare for his trip, Matthew took extensive courses in learning Arabic, a language he finds artistic and beautiful. 

In this short 30-min conversation with Matthew Cronin, we discussed: 

  • His earlier life, as a high school dropout, before Boston University 

  • Learning Arabic: a beautiful language (by its sound and construction in a root system) 

  • First impressions in Jordan and Morocco 
  • Getting to the people in the Middle East 
  • "A high-contact society" in "a system with no system" 
  • Study-abroad in the Middle East and a social life away from home 
  • Life skills for immigrants, travelers and students from Place A to B
  • A growing appreciation for social networks and human connections

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