Author Hannah Langlie on her visit to Paris. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Langlie)

Author Hannah Langlie on her visit to Paris. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Langlie)

What do I pack? Where will I stay? Do I have to learn a foreign language?

These are just some of the questions that many students who study abroad are left to ponder when deciding to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But what happens when you add questions like these:

Is the hotel accessible? How will I get support services in my host country? What happens to support services at home if I’m gone for an extended time? What happens if my wheelchair breaks down or I need to go to the doctor? Will I be allowed to fly alone? Will my host family accept me for who I am?

Nowruz 3

Nowruz dancers perform in a new year’s parade in Astana, Kazakhstan. (Photo via Flickr by Ken and Nyetta)

Growing up as an Iranian-American, Nowruz, the Iranian/Persian New Year, is one of the most important times of the year.

I’ve never visited Iran to experience the holiday, but my memories of it here are very vivid. Every year is a special time to spend with family and friends and eat extremely delicious food.

Coinciding with the Spring Equinox, this year the date falls on March 20th at 9:57am on the west coast and marks the first day of the Iranian calendar.

Massive protests on January 25, 2012 called for elections and an end to rule by the Armed Forces. Both the Muslim Brotherhood and liberal elites expressed support for military rule. (Photo by Jonathan Rashad via Flickr )

A conversation with Egyptian youth in Seattle about Egypt’s politics and future.