Of two minds: study at home or abroad?

I came home from Explore last week, pensive.

Thinking Man Statue

Thinking Person

I was happy to be home. Truth be told, I did not enjoy Explore as much as I thought I would, and so, coming home was a relief. I also came home from Explore with a massive to-do list, and on the list: graduate school applications.

When I returned to school in 2012, it was with the intention to pursue graduate studies – a Masters and a PhD. I wanted to apply to the top schools in the UK, i.e. Oxford, Cambridge and LSE. I thought I would apply to Canadian schools as well, but I would pass up American schools as I did not want to write the GREs.

In April 2014 I was certain I would follow my plan to apply to graduate schools in the UK and Canada. But, after coming back from Explore, I am uncertain as to what I will do. This summer, I will be preparing my graduate school applications including my personal statements, reference letters and research proposal, but, I am now unsure of where I want to end up.

When I enrolled for the Explore program this spring, I found it difficult to be away from my husband. It was difficult to concentrate, enjoy activities, and appreciate the culture and people around me. I struggled with my decision to leave my family in order to study each day of the Explore program.

I am (now) concerned that if I choose to study overseas that my family and I will be miserable apart; and I will compromise my ability to study and to excel. But if I choose to study at home, I may also compromise my ability to get a job after I complete my Masters and PhD.

Where you decide to go to school matters, especially when you are thinking of a career in academe.

If I go to a university closer to home, I will save money, but more importantly, it will ease the stress of being away from my family for a long time. This may make a significant difference in my ability to concentrate and enjoy my time at school. I haven’t decided what to do yet. This chapter is still in progress.

I would love your help. If you are a mature student and you have happened to come across my blog, please do let me know what you think. I would love to have a conversation with you.

Ttyl,
Neena

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Explore Jonquière

Actuellement, je suis à Jonquière pour la programme Explore. C’est ma deuxième jour. J’ai choisi de rester avec une famille d’hôte.

Explore

Explore

Je suis heureuse que j’aie une place dans la classe avancé. Je prendrai l’avantage d’améliorer mon français. Avec ce bon esprit j’ai décidé que j’écrirai tous mes postes en français pendant que je reste à Jonquière.

Bien que je suis heureuse de participer dans la programme Explore, je suis nerveuse aussi. Je connais avant d’arriver que je serai l’aîné de la groupe, alors je m’inquiète à comment je m’identifierai avec les autres étudiantes. Au présent, tous va bien. J’ai une colocataire et nous nous entendons bien. Je suis rencontrée des autres étudiants adultes aussi.

L’expérience d’apprentissage est différente comme une adulte. Je ne me sens pas le pression d’être compétitive ou de faire des choses que je ne veux faire. Mais, je pense que c’est plus difficile d’être parti de sa famille. Je veux rentrer chez moi. Mais, c’est seulement le deuxième jour. Tous les chose sera mieux tôt.

S’il y a des autres étudiantes qui participent dans la programme d’Explore, j’aimerais de vous entendre.

À la semaine prochaine mes amis.

Neena

Symposium Wrap Up: Part II

Picture of Rosanna Furgiuele, Neena Sethi, Susan Bibler Coutin at Symposium Dinner

(Left to Right) Rosanna Furgiuele, Neena Sethi, Susan Bibler Coutin

 

As you may have read in a previous post, I was a team member of USA Symposium 2014. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know many of the panelists who participated. Many of our panelists were referred to us with the help of Fulbright Canada, who administer the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program; a program that supports educational exchanges of Canadian and American scholars.

On April 25/14, five (5) of our panelists contributed to a post on the Fulbright Canada Blog. I feel their comments have further confirmed the tremendous success of USA Symposium 2014.

On a more personal note, the comments made by the (5) panelists on the Fulbright Canada blog validated the work I put in ensure our panelists had a rewarding experience. It feels good to have my work recognized!

I hope you take a moment to read our scholars comments on the Fulbright Canada Blog. 

Ttyl,

Neena

Symposium Wrap Up: Neena Sethi, Panelist Coordinator

5 Panels, 12 Panelists, 5 Moderators, 7 Coordinators, 1 Supervisor, 20 + Volunteers.

USA Symposium 2014 Program and Name Tag for Neena Sethi

The United States: The Neighbour You Don’t Know

USA Symposium 2014 was one of the most amazing experiences I have had as a student to date.

It was also the most exhausting – but well worth it. Continue reading

I don’t work 9 to 5, but you get the idea

Hi Friends,

Apologies up front- I am late in my post. Last week I promised you a post USA Symposium 2014 wrap up. I am all excuses this week as there is simply too much to do for the end of term – I have essays, exams and presentations – you name it, I got it. It’s crazy! My post-symposium wrap up will come next week. Promise.

This week, I am going to leave you with the classic song, 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton, in salute of my G7 team. Thank you ladies for coming together – our event was truly successful all thanks to our hard work and dedication.

Salud!

I’m in the home stretch!

 

picture of the statue of liberty

Statue of Liberty

USA Symposium 2014 is one week away!

This year, I am a member of the Symposium Team at Glendon College. Symposium is a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to conceive, organize and host an academic conference featuring a country of their choosing. This year, we chose to showcase The United States.

We have a strong group of panelists speaking about a wide range of topics, from Obamacare to the Yes Men. We have scholars from the Fulbright Centre and scholars from the  International Studies Association.

Continue reading

Under Pressure -dum dum dum da da dum dum

dum dum dum da da dum dum , dum dum dum da da dum dum…

Hello Friends,

This week I leave you with the classic song by Queen and David Bowie, Under Pressure. Things are really intense for me right now with USA Symposium 2014, classes, tests and exams. This really sums up how I am doing.

Hang in there team, we are nearing the finish line!

No one is perfect, that’s why pencils have erasers

picture of people attending the undergraduate research fair in 2013

Ungergraduate Research Fair 2013

This week I found out that a paper I submitted for the York University Undergraduate Research Fair has been accepted! I will now have the opportunity to present a paper I wrote in 2013 at the Research Fair on February 25th and have the opportunity to win an award for Best Upper Year Project. I am excited about this as a young researcher. I will pursue my Master’s after completing my BA in International Studies – participating in this research fair has given me confidence; I am on the right track! Continue reading

The colonization counterfactual

Rachel Strohm

One of the questions I’m often asked by friends who haven’t studied African history is what might have happened to the continent if it hadn’t been colonized.  It’s interesting to look at the following map of African politico-tribal units circa 1844 by Swedish artist Nikolaj Cyon in the light of this question:

Alkebu-lan[click for full size – it’s worth it!]

I haven’t been able to find any firm documentation on the origin of the name Alkebu-lan, although a variety of questionably sourced websites suggest that it’s an Arabic phrase meaning “land of the blacks” – supposedly an original name for Africa.  Cyon notes in a presentation that the map represents the culmination of an alternate history where the Black Plague killed significantly more Europeans than was actually the case, presumably reducing the amount of early colonization which would have occurred.  Thus, while many of these territorial groupings appear feasible to…

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Balancing Life, Staying Focused

Last night, we had dinner with a friend of my husband’s. We were all talking about the need for passion in anything that you want to accomplish. Passion is the thing that keeps you going  in the face of adversity, when any other rational person would have called it quits. I agree. But this type of single minded focus does have consequences on your day to day life. Continue reading