2022 is expected to remain a jobseeker’s market. That means many Americans are looking at entirely new and exciting career changes. They are willing to take a step back, look at market demand, and do the things required to enter that field – even exploring a master’s or graduate degree.(more…)
Juniata’s Center for International Education (CIE) is an office that maintains and administers international programs including Study Abroad, International Student Services, Intensive English, and exchange programs. I have been working in the office as a student worker since the summer of 2021. What I have done so far includes: making a podcast for incoming international students, managing international student orientation at the beginning of the semester, creating study abroad information by country, and organizing various on-campus events for international education. The workplace is very comfortable, and I love the people I work with.
Working in the CIE, I have made a lot of connections on campus. At international student orientation, the CIE welcomed about 70 new students from all over the world. During 3-day orientation, I talked with all of the students, and, thanks to this opportunity, I still hang out with them or have a talk whenever we see each other. Some of them knew about me before coming to the campus through the podcast that I made in summer, which was surprising and made me happy. As the CIE runs various international events on campus, I see a lot of the international students at those events. We have been trying to create a space for anyone to come and enjoy the international/intercultural community. At the International Music/Dance Festival, one of the events that one of my co-workers and I hosted during International Education Week, the participants were dancing, singing, and listening together to appreciate music as a tool to connect people. They enjoyed learning about other cultures.
The CIE supports multiple events throughout the year. Multicultural Story Fest is one of the biggest events, an annual cultural celebration of art, music, dance, poetry, and more. This event showcases students from around the world and all of their talents and passions. We also have a fashion show, where you can see beautiful, colorful, and traditional clothing. As an international student from Japan, I participated in this event last year. It was a great opportunity for anyone to appreciate the diversity and cultures all over the world.
Another big event that the CIE runs is Study Abroad Fair. Usually held in September, international students and study abroad returners promote the programs to the students who are interested in studying abroad at Juniata, sharing their own experiences. Even if you do not have any plans or interests, just stopping by the event and talking with other students is great inspiration to make a first step toward studying abroad.
In the future, the CIE is going to run more events for the campus community to learn and enjoy international/intercultural communication and cultural exchange, while providing students with various opportunities for study abroad. In working to create a more globalized campus community, we are always open to any voices and participation from the students, faculty, and staff.
I know my way around a Homeric epic or two. Having picked up ancient mythology as a kid with both hands and having yet to let go, I love not only reading these tales over and over again, but also interpreting, analyzing, and seeing how they apply to myself and all of us in ways we don’t really stop to consider most times. Looking back over last year, my first year as a college student here at Juniata, I realized how closely my own journey to where I am now corresponds with Odysseus’s in the Odyssey.
Graduating from high school in 2020, I don’t think I’m far off in comparing the period from March of 2020 to August as a parallel to Odysseus’s challenges before his long journey home. No war was fought, and while it was no ten-year enterprise, it certainly felt like it at some times. Not only was I beginning to find my way as an adult and preparing to truly take care of myself for the first time, but I was also learning how to t adapt to a quickly shifting world and a reality that was new to everyone.
Voyage to the Phaeacians
Moving from Pittsburgh to Huntingdon isn’t what I would call a journey, per se, but for places merely two and a half hours apart, they certainly feel like different worlds. Coming from a sizable suburban area to such a small town was jarring, yes, but also incredibly comforting. Like Odysseus, I was uprooted from what I knew for years and placed somewhere new, but the place in which I found myself was a place where I felt like I was valued, appreciated, heard. Here, I was introduced to a group of people that would grow to become my greatest friends and support system.
Odysseus Recounts His Adventures
Here, we move into the meat of the Odyssey, and likewise the bulk of my freshman year. Navigating classes, living by myself, building a routine, and establishing relationships and their dynamics occupied most of my time from August 2020 to May of 2021. Not all of it was fun, just as not all of Odysseus’s adventures turned out great—there was stress, a breakup, mental health to parse through, growing pains—but I’d say all of it was necessary.
Returning to Ithaca
Much like the Fates requiring the son of Laertes to return to his kingdom, the end of the second semester of freshman year meant it was time for me to move back out to Pittsburgh. Homecoming was bittersweet for me as well as Odysseus—I couldn’t wait to see my family, friends, and cats again, but I knew how desperately I would miss the new family I had built at Juniata. I would have to go downstairs for food, rather than just reaching under my bed for a bag of chips; I couldn’t walk across the hall and wander into my friends’ rooms on a Tuesday night.
Defeating the Suitors
While my homecoming wasn’t exactly like Odysseus’, there were still the metaphorical suitors to deal with: adjusting my newfound independence to being home again, old friends moving on, missing Huntingdon and my friends, creating a new at-home schedule. Those had to be slayed (symbolically) before I could find home again. Or, at least, the home I had left to make another.
The Odyssey, as I see it, is a long story about going home. I guess that’s where mine separates from the king of Ithaca’s—I came home in the end, yes, but I also found a home here at Juniata and with the people I love. One that I’m very glad to have returned to.
Introducing: Language in Motion
Over twenty years ago, Juniata College stepped up to cultivate cultural curiosity in Central Pennsylvania by providing enrichment opportunities to local schools, whose teachers craved such experiences for themselves and their students. Over twenty years ago, we founded Language in Motion (LiM) to embody that mission. Using our students and their educational experiences, we crafted a program to diversify the cultural knowledge base of the surrounding area. And we have succeeded.
Through Language in Motion, Juniatians from a variety of backgrounds share their experiences in local classrooms, celebrating their multicultural identities and furthering the cultural competency of local students. Study abroad returners, those with diverse heritage, language enthusiasts, international students, and future teachers, biologists, environmentalists, diplomats, provide an interactive, multicultural lesson. Topics range from Japanese Collectivism to Vedic Math to comparing the United States’ systems to those in other countries. Evaluations from students, presenters, and teachers have highlighted the incredible impact our program has on the education of students across Central Pennsylvania.(more…)
Whether you’ve already made up your mind to apply or are in the consideration stage, chances are you have some questions or may even feel like you are on an island, wondering should or why did I.
We understand. Years of speaking to students have taught us that sometimes our minds are the most significant battle in deciding to attend or getting through grad school. And chances are, if you’re considering grad school, you’re probably a reader. So, we’ve decided to give you some options for your holiday gift list this year.
Our first recommendation is bound to have you laughing and grateful that you made the purchase. While published in 2004, it’s still considered a must-read for grad students. According to the description, Playing the Game: The Streetsmart Guide to Graduate School simplifies even the most complex aspects of grad school.
“Authors Frank and Stein have broken down Playing The Game into three hilarious and straightforward sections. In whatever stage of graduate school you find yourself, rest assured that you will never again grumble, “If only I had known!”
We think that sounds like practical advice, and who can’t use a laugh these days!
We know you will be writing a lot in grad school, so getting some help is always good. According to several studies writing apprehension is a very real thing. Our second recommendation, How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing (2018 New Edition) Second Edition by Paul Silvia, seems to make a lot of must-have book lists for grad students.
“How to Write a Lot covers bad habits, common excuses, and practical strategies to help students, researchers, and professors become more prolific writers.”
We don’t need a study to know that writing assignments are often delayed to the last moment. Whether in grad school or not, this book sounds like it would help. No more excuses!!
Our final recommendation goes beyond pleasure reading (humor) and writing and tackles that fear that (for many) is greater than death itself. Yes, you guessed it – group presentations!!
Whether you plan to teach or not, most graduate students will find themselves presenting at some point along the way. Teaching College: The Ultimate Guide to Lecturing, Presenting, and Engaging Students, by Norman Eng, is a must-have.
We love the fact that Teaching College is described as,
“an approachable blueprint for learning the necessary graduate school skills of presenting, lecturing, teaching, and engaging.”
Those are skills we can all use along the way regardless of what path we walk down.
If you haven’t decided to apply yet, that’s ok – these books will give you some fun (and practical) advice and motivate you to go after your dreams. And, if you have applied, consider them part of your arsenal for success.
Graduate school isn’t for everyone, but no doubt, differentiating yourself in the job market is becoming increasingly important. Whether you are doing it for personal reasons or because it’s required in the field you’ve chosen, many have walked the path before you. These authors are just a few.
Ready to apply? We’re here to help.(more…)