Internationalization is both an internal and external phenomenon for higher education institutions. Because of our globalized world economy and the increase in international opportunities, this impacts everyone no matter their interests of study and research. Whether or not you study physics, education, law, business, or psychology, our worlds are becoming more and more international. That is why it is important to consider how international your institution is when deciding where to attend.
IU is international. Along with its international strategic plan and its new School of Global and International Studies, IU’s alumni reach all corners of the world. The programs here allow for study, research, and travel abroad to learn about your area of discipline in another country. Experiences like these can only help you in your pursuit for a job.
For those who enjoy large, bustling cities, Chicago is only a short drive away. On a recent trip to the windy city, only over three hours drive from Bloomington, I enjoyed a dinner, theatre, shopping, and cultural! Firstly, I enjoyed dinner at Russian Tea Time before laughing out of my seat watching The Book of Morman at the Bank of America Theatre around the corner. After a wonderful night of music and food, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile has all the shopping to offer plus the Christmas spirit at the ice-skating rink in Millennium Park. Thank goodness the weather wasn’t too cold, windy, or snowy … Chicago can be brutal with all three. My day was also accompanied with culture with a dim sum lunch in Chinatown and tacos in La Villita. With only a short drive from Bloomington, Chicago offers a change of pace to students who are looking for a weekend away. Don’t forget to stop by near by Indianapolis along the way!
This semester, I am diving head first into new territory: Arabic. Well, I should not say new territory. As an undergraduate, I studied abroad in Dubai for one semester. During this time, I studied Arabic, but did not retain much after my return stateside. A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to revamp my Arabic studies, but did not know when I would have the time. I was just starting my coursework, and did not have the time nor mental energy to place on learning a new language. So, I waited…and waited…and waited…and now the time has arrived.
Studying a foreign language as a graduate student has been very different from my experiences as an undergraduate. As a first-year, I did not see myself traveling abroad. I had no connection to the language. However, now, I see the importance of being multi-lingual. Communication is a very powerful tool, and vital to being /becoming a global citizen.
I am just in the first few weeks of study, but I can honestly say that choosing to study a foreign language in graduate school has been one of my best decisions. It is a lot of work. Somedays are great…others, not so great. However, I keep trying. I enjoy going to class everyday (yes, I have a class that meets Monday through Friday), but I love every minute of it. If you get the chance to study a foreign language, take it! You will not regret it.
Ma’as salaama! (Good-bye!)
On my first year as a PhD student, I took some time off for spring break and flew back home for 10 days. While it was great to see some of my family and friends, it turned out to be a bad idea. Not only, did I accumulate a ridiculous amount of work, (it took me about a month to catch up and get back on track), but I also manage to upset the rest of the people that I did not have time to visit. I learned that, it is better to go home once a year for 3 weeks than going twice for 7-10 days each.
During second year, I decided to treat spring break like any other week. Besides, the nuisance of planning around the campus shuttle limited schedule, spring break turn out to be much more productive than I expected. Comparing my experience against other grad students’ experiences it seems that what made my experience such a pleasant experience was the fact that my expectations, although ambitious, were not completely out of reach. I just put together the workload I expect to accomplish on a typical 2-3 week eriod into one week.
This year, I traveled to Seoul, South Korea as part of an IU-AGEP delegation. During the professional development tour, we had the opportunity to learn about their higher education system, share our research, meet with faculty and graduate students, and experience some of South Korea’s culture. It was a great trip!!
I know Canada doesn’t sound too exotic, right? I was recently in Vancouver, Canada attending the Society for Research on Adolescence’s Biennial Meeting. This was the conference’s 14th gathering to date and the first time it was held outside of the United States. I attended in part, because I was selected as a 2012 Junior Mentor–an honor that pairs current doctoral students with selected talented underrepresented undergraduate students whom are about to transition into graduate studies. As a Junior Mentor, I attended an all day pre-conference, served on a panel having to do with graduate school funding, and I primarily spent my time mentoring and networking. Overall, participating in this program was the highlight of my trip.
Although I’m originally from the Pacific Northwest–this was my first time visiting Vancouver, Canada. I will admit, Vancouver, Canada is a beautiful place. My trip was a reminder that when I complete my Ph.D. program, I would love the opportunity to find a faculty or university position in my home region.
I highly recommend that you do visit your potential graduate school institution, it is a smart decision. Simple put, a visit can go a long way in your own personal ranking of a program.
When you schedule a visit: 1) be sure to take a tour around campus, 2) meet with faculty in your intended program, 3) come prepared to ask questions and seek out opportunities to meet with current graduate students, 4) keep in mind what the cost of living will likely be, and 5) do as much research ahead of time to give you a head start & also make time to have some fun on your trip.
Hey friends it’s that time again. That’s right you guessed it. It is time for your FREE TIP OF THE DAY.
This week’s FTD is sponsored by our good friend Billy Shakespeare, who was so gracious as to provided us the wonderful existential quote from Hamlet that we’ve slightly modified and made way less morbid. So the time is coming (if not already here) for you to make a decision. You’ve applied and have been offered acceptance to several schools, and now you are making the decision as to whether to visit the school or not. How do you make the decision? Well I’m glad you asked.
The answer depends on several factors. The most important being financial, if you have the money (and time) I’d encourage you to visit as many schools as possible. There is nothing more helpful than to be on campus and to get the feel of the faculty, the city, and the students. But if you don’t have unlimited finances I encourage you to think strategically about where you can afford to go. Some institutions will offer “virtual visits,” take advantage of those visits and if you like what you see. Spend the cash and make the visit.
And this brings me to my FREE TIP OF THE DAY. Some universities have funds available to bring prospective students out for the weekend to visit. I’d encourage you to investigate both the program’s website as well as the university’s graduate school office. Don’t be afraid to call either. Most offices are looking to help you out. Take advantage of it.
So, your grad school applications are in, and now it’s time to anxiously wait to see which schools will invite you to visit their campus. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether you should visit or not:
1) If it is the school of your dreams, of course, VISIT!
2) If it is not the school of your dreams, but it comes close, VISIT!
3) If you got invited to MANY schools, don’t feel pressured to go to all of them (especially if there are time/money constraints). Decide which ones you are REALLY interested in visiting (and it might end up being that you do visit all of them).
4) If you got invited to a FEW (2 or 3) schools, it might be worth it to visit all of them. Even if one of them is your dream school, you should give yourself at least another option to look at.
5) Did you get an early invitation and they want you to make a decision now?– Most likely you want to go ahead and say YES, especially if you are still waiting for others to contact you. Some schools/professors organize early visits so that they get to be the first to meet with you. If they contacted you before anyone else, they most likely really want you.
When you visit, make sure to pay attention to the feel of the department, the happiness of the graduate students, and the community that surrounds the university. Remember that you will be living and working in this place for at least 5 years.
And finally, and most importantly, enjoy the visit. It’s a new place you are visiting, new people you are meeting, and most likely you will be fed lots of free food. If there is one thing form the grad school application process that I would do again, it would be the campus visits
This month we’ll be talking about visiting grad schools – either before or after you apply – and I have a little story to share. Yes, it’s one of those “When I was your age” stories, but bear with me.
When I was applying to grad schools in 2007-2008, I only had three on my list. That’s a small list, but it ended up being sufficient. I was able to plan a single trip that would allow me to visit all three – via three flights and a few hours on a train. Two days before my trip, I was doing lunges in the gym (did this story take a weird turn?) and I dislocated my knee. My kneecap popped off to one side, and a piece of bone chipped off. I went to the hospital, and eventually they put it back in its proper place and told me I should have surgery and cancel my trip.
Seeing the Baltimore Museum of Art... in a wheel chair!
But I didn’t cancel the trip, and I am very glad I made that choice. Visiting schools gives you a perspective that you won’t be able to get via their websites or email. I discovered which departments had a sense of community and which ones had commuting students who spent much less time together. I found out which professors were best aligned with my interests and had compatible personalities. And I found out (and please excuse my personal bias) that a small town in the middle of Indiana was actually a beautiful, dynamic, welcoming place. I might not have given it a chance if I had never visited in person.
So is it important to visit the grad schools on your list? YES! It’s very important. If you’re applying to a PhD program, you might spend the next five to TEN years of your life there, so you better make sure you like it. Should you put your health or safety at risk to make it happen? That’s not the message I want to send. Do what you can, and if circumstances or finances prevent you, put that much more effort into getting to know the school and the people you might be working with.
In closing, I’d like to say: practice good lunge form, and always get a second medical opinion!
For 28 years of my life I spent Thanksgiving with my family in Texas at my grandmother’s house. Last year was the first time I EVER spent Thanksgiving away from home. It was a great experience. This year I did the same. I spent it in Tennessee with my significant other, and we went to this wonderful place call SWIRLS.
It is BYOB painting, and I absolutely love it. They provide you with wine glasses, canvas, and paint. Then during the course of about two hours you they take you step by step through a painting. I constructed the master piece below. The whole session was very relaxing… And this brings me to my FREE TIP OF THE DAY.
The tip for today is take time to relax. The pressures of being a grad student often times can leave you feeling as though you can’t take time for yourself, but you have to. If you don’t your body will break down, and then you will have to stop. That’s all I got for today friends… take care (literally).