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Laine Hunt Video Transcript

[Interviewer] Welcome to the University of North Georgia Political Science & International Affairs department's YouTube channel, where we present interviews of our students, past, present and future, to highlight their accomplishments and insights. In the coming minutes you'll get to meet Laine Hunt. In early April of this year Laine received the news of her selection to receive a grant from the Boren Institution. First off congratulations Laine on receiving this prestigious award.

[Laine Hunt] Thank you.

[Interviewer] Before we get into the details about the award itself let's meet Laine. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

[Laine] Well my name is Laine Hunt. I am a senior here at the University of North Georgia. I'm from Macon Georgia and I am an international affairs major with a concentration in the Middle East.

[Interviewer] Laine, what what brought you to UNG in the first place?

[Laine] When I was first looking for colleges I realized that I wanted a more community-based school. I didn't want something where I would get lost or feel too small. And so when I came and visited North Georgia I fell in love. I'd always loved the mountains as well and just being outside and the nature. And so when I came here I immediately knew that this was where I wanted to go.

[Interviewer] Okay, well you've made your home here last couple of years in the Political Science & International Affairs department. Why that department, and more specifically, why international affairs?

[Laine] Well I realized that I wanted to have a job where I could serve a wide range of people and be able to travel as well. And so when I was researching the kinds of majors that would allow me to do that I stumbled onto international affairs and I realized that it would be the best course of action for me. And I decided that I wanted to work in government. And when I started taking the international affairs classes I just fell in love with the ideas and discovering why different cultures act the way they do, why different countries govern the way they do, how different people and different leaders and different cultures and countries interact and decide to create the world around them.

[Interviewer] That's, that's awesome. Why.  You mentioned earlier Middle Eastern concentration. So why specifically that? With the entire globe to pick from, what caused you to focus to that section of the world?

[Laine] Partially it was for my marketability purposes. I believe that the government sees the Middle East mostly as a security threat for most of its existence or the US' existence. And so I felt like that would help me stand out having studied that region as well as the fact that as someone that lives in a small town in the north of Georgia I had very little understanding of what the Middle East would be like and what it actually, what it was actually like. And so I wanted to study it and become more familiar with that kind of thing that I had actually never, never had much experience with.

[Interviewer] Okay thank you. Well, let's turn now to the Boren Scholarship itself that you've picked up. What can you tell us about the purpose of the scholarship, a little bit about the foundation or the institution as you know it.

[Laine] So, the Boren Scholarship is scholarship for students that are pursuing rare, trying to learn rare languages critical to the security of the US government such as Russia, Mandarin and Arabic. And so they fund, unless you're a STEM major, they fund a semester or a year, an academic year-long study abroad for you and your concentration wherever you want to go, and you study that language. And in order to repay the scholarship you sign an agreement to work for the US government for a year following your graduation. And if you need to push it back for grad school they allow you to go to grad school but eventually at some point you have to spend a year working for a security, a national security institute. 

[Interviewer] Okay. Is that a guaranteed job then?

[Laine] Almost guaranteed,

[Interviewer] Ok

[Laine] and it looks much better. You do have to put yourself out there. You got to, like, go onto the job boards and find something, but for you to have the Boren Scholarship, it makes it a lot more accessible than if you don't.

[Interviewer] Well awesome. Well, what made you seek out a study abroad experience in the first place? Why, why do that? Why not just stay here in Dahlonega? 

[Laine] Well, for one it's required for me as an international affairs major I do have to go abroad and my concentration, and you know, experience that. But also...I felt like the best way for me to become an asset to the job arena that I wanted to I needed to have more experience in different cultures, in assimilating in different places. And so when I was applying for the scholarship I decided that I wanted to go to Oman. Oman seemed like the best option, it seemed to stand out and it was something for me that just felt right as a more...I don't want ...It's a little bit different than other Middle Eastern countries, and I felt like that would make me stand out when the people looking over the scholarship saw that that was where I wanted to go to study.

[Interviewer] Ok. So what specifically will you be studying? 

[Laine] I will be studying Arabic. 

[Interviewer] How's your Arabic currently?

[Laine] shwayya [قليلا ; a little] .I can speak a little bit, but I'm really hoping to learn more and I felt like it would greatly, greatly... That's all I've heard, it's very difficult to study a language when you're surrounded by people that don't speak that language, you don't really have people just go to and conversate with in that language.  And so I felt like submersing myself in that would make it so much easier but also it would, it would stick. 

[Interviewer] Yeah, cool. Laine, thank you. In closing, what do you have to say to our viewers, especially those who are either prospective or even former students of either UNG or more specifically, the Political Science & International Affairs department?

[Laine] I would say that if you want a job that allows you to see the world for what it is and study it and to get outside of your, your own viewpoint and your own experiences in life and to experience something into, look into other cultures and other worlds, then international affairs and political science are for you. And that it is an amazing thing to study and to continue to learn about, the way that the world works outside of just the small or big towns that you grew up in.

[Interviewer] Well that's just, sounds well and good.  And we appreciate your time Laine. Thanks again, congratulations again, and all the best in the upcoming adventure. And we look forward to, if I can, put a reservation in to talk with you again upon your return from Oman here in a bunch of months. 

[Laine] [laughter] Yep.

[Interviewer] And we'll talk and see how you experienced, and what you, if what you did at the front end here matches with what you've actually experienced while you were there.

[Laine] Of course. 

[Interviewer] Thank you and again congratulations.

[Laine] Thank you.

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