Monthly Archives: September 2014

Amy Rader, Paris, France

On top of Notre-Dame

Bonjour toute le Monde!

I have been in Paris almost three weeks and I am loving every minute of it! So far, I have started my program, moved into my apartment with my roommates, and started classes. It definitely has been adjustment but I am enjoying the differences between here and home, and here and Spain. The biggest difference so far from Spain is my living situation. Here in France, I live in an apartment in the 13th district. It is 2 bedrooms and there are 3 other girls living with me. For an apartment in the city, it is pretty spacious. It has a really great view of a park that is right down the street. With this choice of living, we each get a gift card with 70euros a month for food shopping at Carrefour, a very common grocery store in Europe. So that means we cook our own meals. I never thought I liked cooking until I started doing it with my roommates. It is a very interesting way to be immersed into French culture. Since we have to figure out our way through the grocery store, we are learning more words and interacting more with locals. All of my roommates get along great so far!! It is interesting to live with strangers but we are bonding very quickly.

My Bedroom

Living room

I have been in school a little over a week and I really like my classes. It is a little different because I am going to the Institut Catholique de Paris. There are many students who are from countries all over the world and trying to learn French. In one of my two grammar classes, I am the only one from the United States. It is totally weird but really awesome. I am learning so much so quickly. I am also taking a French culture class and a French literature class. So far, so good.

I have visited some really incredible places already. It is nice to have so much time here because I can take my time to see everything. I have seen the Eiffel Tower (obviously it was the first place I went), the Louvre, Notre-Dame, Sacre-Coeur, Moulin Rouge, and I took a tour of the city on the Seine. I have also taken time to sit at cafes and sit in the park near my apartment and just be a local. However, this past weekend, I went to the most magical place on earth, Disneyland Paris. And it was amazing. Many things are different from Orlando, and many are the same. But the joy of Disney was totally there. It was an unforgettable experience.

Eiffel Tower lite up at night



Paris from the top of Notre-Dame

Moulin Rouge


Decorated for Halloween

This coming weekend, I am going to Roussillon, a city in the south of France on the coast of the Mediterranean. I am so excited, the weather is supposed to be beautiful. Tonight I signed up for an event called Franglish. It is always at a different bar, and as a student, it costs 6euros. I am paired with a French speaker and we speak in French for 7 minutes, and then we speak in English for 7 minutes. Then, we switch partners. I am very nervous to go. But I know it will help improve my French and give me the opportunity to talk to native speakers.
“Do one thing a day that scares you” –Anna Huddle


Amanda Kopil: My next steps after graduating from Albright


This is my desk! Where I do all of my very important work/school work on! It feels good having a space to my own 🙂

Amanda Kopil: My next steps after graduating from Albright


Graduate classes take up A LOT of my time! Well, to reflect on my past 2 weeks I must acknowledge the little time that I have now to myself. I am driving an hour to get to work on campus everyday (was 45 minutes but traffic is always present) and an hour back. I am not used to that at all, Albright was only roughly 15 minutes away from me! As far as work goes, I really enjoy everything that I do so far. I am slowly putting together the Science Olympiad event that is in the spring. I have to constantly be in communication with my supervisor and other professors that run the event as well. I never did event planning before but it is a lot of work and takes a lot of organization and communication with all parties. I enjoy learning new skills like this, however.

My classes are going very well. My favorite is, naturally, my environmental sustainability course that I am taking on campus. We have awesome discussions and the class is actually very small so the interaction with professor to student is ideal. I am noticing that in graduate school, the professor does not give as much stress on homework or rarely any tests. What they do expect is for you to understand quickly and know exactly what we are talking about.

As for my two online courses, they are going smoothly. It is very difficult to “communicate” or get an understanding for the professor when you don’t get to meet them. Sometimes you can get to drift of how a professor likes the class to flow or what he/she expects just by face-to-face interactions. I have learned to use ALL of my resources to solve this matter. By communicating with the other students on a separate “Questions” discussion board, it gives a way for all of the students to relate to your questions or concerns and the professor acknowledges your input.

As for managing your time in graduate school, keep calm and keep a well-organized planner. I write everything down and make sure that I check it a couple times a day. Another tip that I have learned is to make your assignments “due” on paper a day or two before they are actually due. This tricks yourself into ensuring that homework and readings get finished and maybe you will end up with a day or two free! Time management is a skill that is crucial to acquire in graduate school.

Starting the Debate of Graduate School

This semester, our office is doing many new things and carrying out a few new events. We’re very excited that on September 30 we will have Dr. Donald Martin, author of “Road Map for Graduate Study,” here to talk with our students about graduate school and the many decisions that come with it. Throughout the year we will post relevant articles about graduate and professional school considerations, and today is just a general overview courtesy of our friends at Petersons. Petersons is renowned for their undergraduate and graduate school rankings, and many students don’t realize they also post articles regarding factors to consider, application tips, and financial resources. In their article “The Graduate School Decision: Basic Considerations,” they touch on a few of the things a student should take into account when determining if graduate school is the right choice.

According to Petersons, there are eight points to think over while making your decision:
1. Why do you want to go to graduate school? What are your professional goals, and how does graduate school tie in with your success?
2. What do you want to study and where? Are you studying an aspect of your undergraduate degree much more in depth? Or are you trying something new? Do you want to complete your degree in a classroom, or online?
3. Are you willing to be a student in a graduate program? In undergrad, a student is traditionally with fellow students their own age, and with a few things in common. In graduate school, age ranges are across the board, with various life experiences to share.
4. What are the benefits of graduate school? Will you advance in your field? Will you be eligible for higher positions?
5. How far will you need to take your graduate school education? Is a Masters something that is just nice to have in your field, but not required? Or will you eventually need to get a doctorate?
6. Are you ready for competitiveness in graduate school? The application process is very selective, because typically graduate programs are much smaller than undergraduate programs. Even once you are in, you will be required to work harder and do more to get better grades.
7. What will be your workload and lifestyle in graduate school? With this heavier course load, you have to decide if you will be working full time, part time, serving as a graduate assistant on campus, or not working at all. Will you be able to see your family and friends as much?
8. What are the costs of graduate school? What scholarships and awards are available? Will the school accept federal loans? What will your work status be like?

What are other points you feel are important to consider as you decide whether to pursue graduate school? Going to graduate school is a big step professionally, and it is not a decision to be taken lightly. However, almost every student I have talked to that opted to attend graduate school has truly enjoyed their graduate school experience, felt it was worthwhile, and gained a lot of knowledge from their courses!

You can read the full article from Peterson’s here:

The End of Freshers’ Week at the University of Edinburgh

Hi everyone,                                         

Wow what an adventure so far. It’s so weird to think that only about a week and a half ago I knew no one in this country. Now I’m here and I’ve made so many friends and so many connections. I have to say coming off the plane and the summer before I was so worried about making friends and meeting people. I had that whole freshman feeling all over again and I’m a junior now ha ha! But things have been better than I could have ever expected. I found a great group of guys that are so diverse. I arrived at my accommodations after an extremely tough walk that lasted 2 hours. The whole time I was dragging two 50 lbs rolling luggage bags, a huge Swiss backpack, and my laptop bag that kept knocking my knees causing great discomfort. I finally made it too my Sciennes accommodation area and I was greeted by some very nice RAs who brought me to my room.

Now I was the first one in my flat and everything was pretty dark, when I came to my room it was dark and smelled like mildew. And I was like “Oh no here we go, not a year of this.” But after a while of unpacking two of my flat mates arrived. One was Oscar Newlands, a very fine gent hailing from Cambridge, UK and the other was Pierre Park, a very chill and laid back Korean born guy who has lived in London for most of his life. These two guys literally brought the light into my new life here in Edinburgh. We all instantly became friends and shared a drink of Whiskey to our new friendship. Since then we’ve met up with three other guys from our residence hall: Lukas Kvedas, a Lithuanian born guy who now lives near Aberdeen, Scotland and who loves his basketball, Miguel Angel Montesino Benitez, a really comical athletic guy from Malaga, Spain who loves to meet new people, and lastly my main man Jamie McLaren who’s the tough guy who has a real gentle side to him who was born and raised in Edinburgh, and who also helps us around the city as out personal guide.

–The cheers to our new friendship–

–The first time gong out and hanging–

I feel so fortunate to have met these guys, because they really helped me transition. We’ve already been on so many adventures this Freshers’ Week, going to pubs and clubs, hikes and other events. We’ve cooked great food together, like Miguel teaching me a Spanish disk called “Tortilla de Patatas.” This week closed with an awesome Freshers’ Ball that we all attended dressed in our finest suits, the night included partying, socializing, gambling at our mock Casino, and much more. I can’t wait to spend a year with these awesome lads!

–From left to right its: Lukas Kvedas, Miguel Benitez, Jamie McLaren, Me, Pierre Park, Oscar Newlands–

Cheers, Alexio

Amy Rader, Paris, France

So, I have been home 6 weeks, and it has been incredible. But now my journey continues to Paris, France!
This place has a little bit more meaning to me than Madrid. I have been dreaming of visiting Paris since I was a little girl. It is absolutely a dream come true to have this opportunity. However, it was a hard process to be able to accomplish everything.

Choosing the place was a piece of cake. Getting there, not so much. Unlike Madrid, I need a visa to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days. Which basically is the bane of my existence. There is a huge laundry list of documents needed to obtain a visa and a very strict appointment process. Many documents need to have a copy, some need to be original documents, and if you show up without something, they send you home empty handed. Which is terrifying. Three weeks ago, I, very nervously, took the train with my mom into the Big Apple trying to get the visa. I, unfortunately, was missing a few things that I didn’t think I needed. Luckily, I was told I could return only days before my departure without an appointment, and if I had the missing documents, I would be given my visa that day. Literally stomach churning. However, all is well and I was able to get it. That was the very last thing on the list of things to do before I was ready to go.

As I stated in earlier blogs, trying to get all my paperwork done before I left for Madrid was exhausting. I have never done anything so stressful in my entire life. But it is absolutely worth it. When I tell people that I went to Spain or that I am going to Paris, the usual reaction is “oh my gosh, you’re so lucky” or “I’m so jealous!” however, it is a long and tiring process. Now I urge EVERYONE who has the opportunity to study abroad, but do not be fooled by how glamorous the idea is. It is work, before you go, and while you’re there.

I got all my bags packed (finally under the weight limit), my boarding passes printed (yes, more than one) and I was ready to go. For reasons out of my control, I ended up taking three flights into Paris. It was very exhausting. Since my program doesn’t start until Tuesday, I am staying in a hostel for the next few nights. So far, all I have done is slept. I am very jetlagged and because I don’t have anything that I have to do, I have decided to relax and get as much rest as I can because I know once my program starts, I will be going non stop for a few days.

Welp, that’s all for now, I will continue posting of my Parisian adventures to keep everyone updated!

ACRE 3D Printing: Milca Mendez


I feel privileged and honored to have been able to take part in such an amazing program such as the ACRE program. I had a great time learning about dentistry and 3D printing, while also learning more about myself. In the months leading up to my ACRE I was so excited, and looking back to such a great summer now I know why. The ACRE program is the perfect combination of independent research with collaboration. Though I was able to design my ACRE and map out my goals, I knew I had a great support system to help me and answer any questions. For this reason, I think that anyone who is considering the possibility of doing an ACRE should approach a faculty member and look into the program.

I always enjoyed art as well as biology, in particular anatomy. However, I never really thought how the two could fuse. My ACRE has helped me learn that as I recently read, a dentist is part dentist, engineer, and artist. With my ACRE I was able to experience this. Not only will my research help me as a future dentist and contribute to advancements in the field, but my ACRE has also allowed me to enter my synthesis piece in an art exhibit. Whether my Maxillary Brooch is accepted in the show or not I am very proud of what I have created. I am very excited to see what the future has in store for me. However, one thing is for certain I will treasure what I have learned and be forever grateful for such a marvelous summer.

A Completed Project… The Beginning of a New Chapter!


Long time, no talk… I am sorry I have left you in the dark about my summer, but that is simply because I have been one busy student! As most of you know I have was at Albright this doing an ACRE (Albright Creative Research Experience) Project entitled Drama Therapy, A different way of theatre. Lets just say this project has taken me on a whirlwind!

A little earlier this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to New York City with classmate Madeline Selder, and Professor Julia Matthews to attend a Playback Theatre workshop.
It was such a great time, and we all were able take something good away for our project. We also learned a lot about one another. My favorite part of the trip had to of been when Professor Matthews took us on the ferry to Staten Island! It was a blast!!! 

On August 3rd, 2014 Maddie Sedler and I workshopped our summer ACRE project ! 

With the help of 25 participants, we were able to lead a successful workshop on trust and ensemble building, and Playback Theatre. (Some of our participants were the friends we made at the NY Playback Theatre Conference… How awesome, right?!)

We say that this is just the beginning, because we will be hosting more and more workshops like these around Albright, and other areas of Reading, and Philadelphia! So be on the lookout for dates near you!

I STILL CANNOT BELIEVE THAT WE WERE ABLE TO PULL IT OFF. It was such an amazing experience! I wouldn’t change this summer for the world. I have not only learned about Drama Therapy this summer, but also myself, and how to collaborate with other students and professors.

Posted below are some photos from our workshop!






If you have any questions about ACRE projects, or Drama Therapy! Please reach out!!! I would love to talk to you about it more, and share my experience!


Don’t Be Just the Intern- Stand Out!

Many students had internships over the summer, and many more will spend time at internships during the semester.  Internships are a wonderful opportunity for professional development, for gaining insight into a potential career, and even earning college credit.  However, internships have a long-held stigma of being a time where students make copies and pour coffee.  Thankfully, students are seeing their internships as something more- an opportunity to network and make a positive image in the working world.  Business Insider posted an article on 15 things an intern can do to stand out.  This will not only end the negative portrayal of interns, but also help interns develop skills and create a professional image for themselves.  Some of the suggestions from Business Insider include:

  1. Dress for success- not only will your supervisor see you as more of a professional, but you will feel more professional.  In turn, you’ll have more confidence in your abilities and new skills.
  2. Practice good time management- Your supervisor will have more respect for you if you take on less, but give high quality work, than if you take on too much and either miss a deadline or submit poor quality work.
  3. Ask questions- this shows you have a genuine interest in what you are learning.
  4. Ask for feedback- typically, you will only have an evaluation at the end of your internship.  By asking for regular feedback, you’ll be able to take initiative and make changes to ensure success.

 Now it’s your turn to share! If you have already done an internship, what other advice would you share to stand out?  Students who plan on interning, what do you plan on doing to make sure you stand out?  Employers, what are you looking for in a stellar intern?

Go here to read all 15 tips and read the full article:

Alexio Barboza on the road to Edinburgh, Scotland

Hi everyone,                                                    

I’m going take you back several months now and tell you of my road to venturing to Scotland to study abroad for the 2014/15 school year and all the preparation that was involved in it. I’ve wanted to study since we had to choose what college we wanted to attend in High School. Even at that time I was asking to go to University in Europe. The main place I wanted to go was Scotland. All my life I’ve had a fascination with Scottish culture; it was in 1st grade where I did a project on heritage and I found out I had Scottish descent from the Thompson Clan. Since then I joined the Gordon Highlanders Pipe Band of Locust Valley and I march in many parades during the year playing the Bagpipes.

While in my Sophomore year at Albright College I found out about a chance to get a scholarship to study abroad at Scottish Universities. I went to speak with the Director of Experimental Learning, Kimberly Justeson. She is an amazing woman ad it is because of her that I will be in Scotland fulfilling a dream. She worked with me every step of the way in applying for this Scholarship and handling all the paperwork. There was still a lot of paper work though, I think in life you can never escape it ha ha!

This funding I found was the St. Andrews Society of Philadelphia Scholarship. They send five students from the Pennsylvania area to study at four of the oldest Universities in Scotland, including St. Andrews University, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Glasgow, and mine the University of Edinburgh. First step was to see if the college you are attending will nominate you, because each college can only nominate one student. Albright nominated me, but I got off pretty easy since I was the only one this year who wanted to do this scholarship lol. The next step was the application process which included personal info, recommendation letters, transcripts, an essay, and finally the interview in Philly. That was one of the most relaxed and best interviews I’ve ever had. The St. Andrew’s Society is filled with wonderful Scottish-American men who are so welcoming and kind. A few days later I received a call telling me I was got the scholarship and I was going to Scotland. I was given the second position out of the five to choose what University I wanted to attend, so I chose the University of Edinburgh. A few weeks after that during the school year I went to one of the Society’s quarterly dinners where of the five position holders came to meet the whole St. Andrew’s Society. We had a wonderful dinner where I got to play the pipes with a few of the lads and then there was a ceremony where they robed us with the shrouds of the Society and gave us a Society beer mug to take over there.

Now it was time to actually apply for the University itself. This was mainly just a formality because the Society ensured your acceptance. Then requesting courses came, along with the big headache of figuring out what you could take to fulfill credits at Albright and running around to different teachers to get those approved. After a couple weeks of that there was a great relief felt when that was over.

Now came the summer. This was filled with the essential paper work to get over to Scotland. First was making sure my passport was up to date. Next I began my VISA process which involved going to the UK Immigration website and figuring out first what type of VISA I needed. I figured out I needed a Tier 4 VISA since I was staying for a year, and this cost close to 600 dollars. Second was the application for the VISA, which included a lot of questions and tasks, like TB shots and loads of other paperwork. In the mail to the UK embassy in New York I placed my identification, passport, Biometrics (which I got done locally), and a passport sized picture for them to put in your VISA. It took 3 weeks for my things to come back with my accepted VISA. Then came the accommodations hunt, where the University contacted me to choose where to live. This took a week or so because I researched the dorms over there. Then floating over the summer where many small tasks that the University asked me to complete, like website and email sign ups, freshers week sign up, and others. I also spent the summer contacting people in Scotland making connections with friends and family of members of my Bagpipe band. Also my Half-sister is married to someone in the airlines so I’m taking a standby ticket to Edinburgh for only 220 dollars (Thank God, because that can get expensive). Now with everything complete, including the essential things bought and everything packed, I leave in 2 days and I am so excited to begin my journey after a lengthy process and much preparation. I’ll be boarding my plane at 9 pm on September 3rd and I’ll be keeping Bilbo Baggins’ quote from the Lord of the Rings in mind as I go: “It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.” So Cheers all and I’ll be updating you soon!!!


Respectfully, Alexio Barboza