Alumni Spotlight: Jeanette Lam

By Lexi Reich

Unsure of which study abroad program to choose, Jeanette Lam, 21, left the decision to a coin toss. Through that chance and the SIT journalism program in Morocco, she found herself in Paris last summer working as a cinematographer and editing assistant on a feature documentary.

“France’s Children,” directed by Aida Alami, advisor to the SIT program, follows the story of an immigration activist in France, and other activists who, fueled by the desire to empower their community, reject victimhood.

“This experience was one of the most unique opportunities I’ve ever had,” Lam said.

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MOJ student doc in Film Fest

Willing to Break, the powerful story of a veiled Moroccan break dancer, will be featured in the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival on April 14. American students Sutton Raphael and JP Keenan produced this doc with their Moroccan partner Loubna Fouzar. I will be present after the film to talk about our program and answer questions from the audience. With an annual attendance that exceeds 40,000, the MSP International Film Festival is known as the largest film event in the Upper Midwest. Very proud of our students!

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Eat. Tea. Eat. Tea.


The water boils and is poured atop tiny rolls of dark brown, gunpowder tea pellets. A handful of freshly picked, vividly green mint leaves are stuffed inside of the teapot. Instantly, the aroma rises: a minty fresh scent makes its way throughout the traditional Moroccan household, greeting the guests with hospitality, generosity and a refreshing ambiance.The tea is poured back and forth between glass cups: a routine of cooling, making the temperature just right for the perfect warmth to seep through the fingertips. The Ougaamou family sits comfortably at the dinner table: television on, bread in basket, but most importantly, tea at the center.

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McDonalds: A Taste for Conspicuous Consumption in Rabat


Modern fast food in Rabat offers customers a polar opposite experience from the bustle of the medina. Restaurants give way for budding teenagers couples and cheerful families. Greasy aromas of “McNuggets” and “Big Macs” compete for space in an atmosphere of anticipation, where the wait can take up to 15 minutes. However, customers will also find food triple the price.

“It’s the culture.” states 33-year-old local chef, Hicham Radi. “The rich people go to famous places like McDonalds”

According to the World Bank, the average Moroccan family can be identified as lower middle income.

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Alumni Update: Devdharm Khalsa

This summer I was fortunate enough to be a multimedia development intern for Bering Land Bridge National Preserve in Nome, Alaska. As there was no permanent multimedia specialist at this park, I was pretty much in charge of designing and carrying out all multimedia projects for the park. Over the course of summer, I produced several youtube videos, informational posters for the visitor center, social media and blog posts on backcountry trips and junior ranger programs, and was published in Alaska Dispatch, a regional Alaskan news source ( Additionally, my image of the Serpentine Hot Springs area of the preserve was chosen as the 2014 Passport to Your National Parks passport stamp for the Alaska/PacificNW region. Read more