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About zrzka

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  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
  • Program
    Speech-Language Pathology

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  1. For anyone who is interviewing at Emerson--I interviewed there last year, and just want to offer some encouragement: the experience is not meant to be tricky or intimidating. The faculty members are welcoming and want to get a feel for who you are as a person...not grill you on your SLP expertise. If any of you will be there Sunday morning, I'll see you then!
  2. Letters of recommendation were the bane of my existence during the application process. My last full-time semester was Fall 2008, and I took one class in Spring 2009 to finish out my degree--so I haven't been a student in FOREVER. Though one of my professors remembers me, it's primarily from playing Words With Friends in the intervening years...not really the stuff good letters are made of, so I can relate to your situation. When I chose graduate programs, I went through my list of prospective schools and perused the websites looking for the types of letters they wanted--in one case, I emailed the program director for more information. If they absolutely required academic references, I crossed the school off my list. Thankfully, there were plenty of programs to choose from. In the end, I came up with the following three recommenders: (1) A PhD candidate who was my supervisor in an audiology research lab. We had stayed in touch on facebook, so she remembered me well. (2) and (3) Teachers who had supervised me during the two years I was a Fulbright TA. They were not in the CSD field, but they were able to testify to my people skills, organization, professionalism, creativity, etc.--all things which are required as an SLP. All that to say, I had zero professor references, and I got into all 4 schools I applied to--and I think that was largely due to doing my research beforehand and applying to programs where I could supply letters which fit their specifications. I'd recommend choosing the people who know you best from any academic or professional context and are able to tie who you are to the job description of an SLP.
  3. I lived in Vienna, but I taught at three schools in a town called Tulln which was about 25 minutes away by train. Most of the young teachers also lived in the city and commuted out to Tulln, so we often ended up commuting together. I was given a great deal of autonomy. Usually I contacted the teacher of a class about a week in advance to get the lesson topic, and everything after that was up to me. The teachers weren't technically supposed to leave me alone with classes, but many (particularly at one of the schools) did after asking me if I was comfortable teaching alone. I had three years of experience as a full-time teacher in Czech schools before I started, so that may have been a factor. I think the level of autonomy depends mostly on the TA's experience and confidence in the classroom. One nice perk: It is common (though not required) for schools to schedule the TA for a four-day work week, which was great. I had two four-day weekends each month my first year (alternating Mondays and Fridays off) and a three-day weekend every week my second year. My German proficiency...ahahaha...oh man. I passed a B2 level course at Uni Wien, but I think that WAY overestimates my skills. My receptive knowledge is strong (C1-ish) because I absorbed a lot while living with an Austrian family for two years, but I'm really timid about speaking (B1-ish). I rarely had conversations in German, as most of my colleagues, even the ones who weren't in the English department, were eager to speak English with me. I know one of the previous assistants was nearly fluent in German, even picking up various dialects, but I didn't feel like that was expected of me either professionally or socially. Please let me know if you have any more questions about the experience! Three years ago, I opted for the USTA program over a master's program in linguistics (+ tuition waiver and living stipend) in the US, and I still remember how difficult it was to make that choice. Die Qual der Wahl
  4. I was a Fulbright USTA in Austria for two years, and it was a phenomenal experience...but you have to go with your gut. I spent six years after getting my bachelors teaching English in Europe because that was without a doubt what I wanted to do--it's definitely not for everyone. As far as Fulbright goes, I was originally waitlisted for the spot. I don't know who the first choice candidate was who gave it up, but I'm eternally grateful that they did!
  5. Has anyone else finalized their decision for Emerson? I made my deposit last week, and I can't wait to start in the fall! (Also, I requested to join the general accepted students' group, and no one has approved my request--anyone else have this problem?)
  6. I got an email with an acceptance to the distance program today. I will be declining my spot tonight, so hopefully it goes to someone else soon!
  7. On the creatures of Dallas: Cockroaches-yes Snakes-very rare in the city Scorpions-saw only a few (and they were very small) But by far the strangest thing I ever found in my Dallas-area apartment was a flying squirrel. I have no idea how it got there. At first I thought it was adorable, but then it started climbing the walls and launching itself off of cupboards and high ledges. I didn't sleep for 48 hours because I was paranoid about it nesting in my hair. Eventually I opened both doors and chased it around, waving my arms and yelling "NO SQUIRRELS NO SQUIRRELS NO SQUIRRELS" until the poor thing fled in terror. It was an unhappy experience for both of us.
  8. I'll be moving from Montana to Massachusetts for grad school, and I'm trying to navigate the ins and outs of the health insurance scene. Is it possible to enroll through the Massachusetts Health Connector website and get coverage before I am physically in Massachusetts (so that I can make sure I have documentation in time to file the waiver paperwork with the university)? Also, the fees for the three schools I am considering are as follows (each for one full year): Northeastern: $2,159 Emerson: $2,795 Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions: $5,925 Is it just me, or is the fee at MGHIHP exorbitant? I even had someone else look at the website to make sure I was reading it properly. I have this fear of messing up the waiver process and getting stuck paying for their plan...yikes!!! I would welcome any advice about how best to handle this! Thank you!
  9. As @EESpeechie and @PinkSpeech noted, ASHA requirements plus the lack of English clinical placements would make an English-taught program in one of those countries impracticable. However, if you are interested in speech and language disorders for the purpose of research rather than clinical practice, you might have a few options. I haven't looked into it extensively, but I did find a Masters program in Clinical Linguistics at the University of Potsdam. https://www.uni-potsdam.de/studium/en/what-to-study/masterstudium/master-a-z/european-master-in-clinical-linguistics-master/. Unfortunately, I doubt it would translate into a certification in the US, but it would certainly make you stand out from the crowd if you later chose to apply to US grad schools.
  10. I grew up in the Dallas area, and as a general rule, it's hot, sunny summers (95-100 degree highs) and cool, cloudier winters (lows in the 40s). It's very rarely truly cold. Humidity is not anywhere near as bad as Houston, but it's humid enough that lows in the summers can be in the mid-to-upper-80s. Spring and fall are have some glorious days (not a cloud in the sky and 75 degrees), but they can also be unpredictable. There will be a perfect t-shirt and jeans day and then 24 hours later, a random ice storm will roll in and shut everything down because no one knows what to do with freezing precipitation. For me, the heat was uncomfortable (my dad hates air conditioning, so that didn't help), but tornado warnings were the only thing that really scared me. Basements are uncommon, almost unheard of, so there's nowhere truly safe to go! But overall: unless you absolutely despise heat or adore winter, it's not bad!
  11. Hi everyone! I was just wondering if anyone has talked to current or former MGHIHP students. The program seems phenomenal, and I'm excited about the prospect of more in-depth classes and the possibility of choosing a concentration. All that said, it would be great to have some reassurance that the program is as good in reality as it looks on paper. Also, I've heard that getting adult/medical clinical placements within the Boston area is competitive because of the multiple SLP programs--does anyone know if MGHIHP students have an advantage because of the affiliation with the hospital? Any information would be appreciated!
  12. It's good to hear that the professors are with it! That's what matters in the end.
  13. I have an "S" last name and interviewed at 4 o'clock on Sunday, 2/28. Emerson posted my acceptance on Wednesday and fellowship offer late on Thursday. However, I wouldn't worry about it yet--it took them a week after they started interview invitations to send me one (believe me, it was a week of panic and despair). It seems like they tend to do things bit-by-bit...who knows? It could be that they receive decision lists from different pairs/groups of faculty at slightly different times.
  14. I have not had much success communicating with the CSD program at UM. I called multiple times in January and sent an email to the department's general email address, but I received no response. I finally reached someone by phone when the spring semester started in the first week of February. I asked about the supplemental application mentioned on the website, and the woman said she wasn't sure about that--her best guess was that applicants are invited to fill out the additional UM application only after they have been accepted. I also asked if I could come up to Missoula for a visit sometime, and her response was, "Uh, I am not sure. I just started this job. I don't know if people visit before they're accepted." She gave me the name of a professor to contact but warned me that this professor would be traveling in February. I emailed the professor and received nothing--not even an out-of-office auto-response. Does not seem great, if I'm honest.
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