AMIDEAST Education Abroad is happy to introduce our new intern, De’Jia Long-Hillie!
De’Jia was born and raised in the Detroit Metropolitan area of Michigan and moved to Maryland at the start of high school in 2015. While in Michigan, she did not have access to many cultural activities like she does in the DMV (Washington, DC-Maryland-Virginia) area, but the few she did have were impactful on her life trajectory. De’Jia’s elementary school introduced her to Chinese, Native American, and African cultures. In middle school, she had the opportunity to visit Japan for a week with her schools' culture club. It was these early childhood experiences that allowed De’Jia to see beauty in the worlds numerous cultures.
Posing with fellow Ishara: Classical Indian Dance team members. Photo credit: Long-Hillie, 2018
De’Jia’s interest in international affairs grew during her time at one of the most ethnically diverse high schools in Maryland. At Montgomery Blair High School, she participated in the International Studies and Law academic track, taking classes in international relations, Japanese language, and cultural anthropology. De’Jia also participated in the National Japan quiz bowl throughout high school, Jewish culture club, and African heritage performances. She continues her cultural exploration at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) where she takes advanced Japanese, is the treasurer of the classical Indian dance team, and is a member of the Jewish culture club.
Posing with her staff team and volunteers in the Culinary Arts Pavilion at the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Photo credit: Long-HIllie, 2018
Since she was young, De`Jia has been naturally attracted to cultural exchange and that is reflected in her decision to major in Global Studies on the International Affairs track with a Political Science minor. She seeks to deepen her understanding of the MENA region through her internship placement at AMIDEAST Education Abroad. De’Jia looks forward to learning what it takes to thrive in a non-profit NGO. During her internship, she is also enhancing her cross-cultural communication skills in The Washington Center program in Washington, D.C.
After interning at AMIDEAST, De’Jia plans to graduate from UMBC and apply to the Japanese governments Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) program to become an assistant English language teacher before going to graduate school.