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Open house is a great way to share the SIT experience

By Stephanie Brown

In early June, I took students in my Hampshire College TESOL certificate program to the SIT Graduate Institute open house in Brattleboro. Our goal was to learn about different professional development and academic opportunities within the field of TESOL, but once on campus it became apparent that our trip would be about much more than that.

Open house groupAs an alumna of the SIT Graduate Institute, I often think back to my experiences at SIT and attribute my many career ventures to my time in the TESOL master’s degree program. So when brainstorming activities to share with my students, SIT was the first day trip to come to mind. I knew that to best represent the field of TESOL, I should bring my students to my SIT home.

Back in 2014 when I applied for the TESOL program, I did not attend an SIT open house. I thought I knew enough about their programs. But after visiting an open house, I realized that I missed out on a great learning and networking opportunity. I am pleased to have shared this opportunity with my TESOL certificate class as they begin to navigate the field.

Admissions Officer Maira Tungatarova planned an amazing day of activities that included an overview of programs and opportunities, financial aid, and other campus information. We had the opportunity to participate in an SIT class and meet with faculty member.

During lunch at the International Center there were more opportunities to interact with faculty, staff, and students. At one table, SIT President Dr. Sophia Howlett talked with students.

The visit was a great reminder that I’m proud to be a member of the SIT family. The best way that I can honor that is by sharing my experience with others, and especially with students looking for the best TESOL master’s degree program

I would like to encourage all alumni to find ways to connect with SIT. Bring your students to an open house. Have your class Skype with a professor. There are countless ways to shape your students’ education and the work that you and your students do in the world, and help continue to build our SIT family.

open houseWhen teaching students who are new to the field of TESOL, I find it invaluable to share the history of and opportunities in TESOL. Both of these avenues lead to the same destination: SIT Graduate Institute.

Here’s what some of my students had to say about the visit:

“It was invigorating to see how purposeful learning can be and I found it inspiring that social justice is a critical component of every program.” — Avery Lussier

“After listening to the faculty and staff, their passion to share their knowledge and expectations because apparent. I don’t know what direction I’m heading, but my visit was very informative about the many interesting opportunities here.” — Tetsu Zhao

After going to the open house and sitting in on a demo class I actually began considering, and will keep in mind, SIT and the TESOL program as an option.” — Dan Turnbull

“I appreciate how welcoming all the faculty/staff were. They were all smiling and happy to talk and answer questions. — Adeline Grant Skovronek

“Before visiting SIT, I was unsure if I wanted to attend graduate school or not in the future. But after visiting SIT, I saw all the programs and opportunities that there are and hope to be able to continue my education in an interesting field like the ones at SIT.” — Catherine Hosman

“SIT is definitely somewhere I want to be in the future. The Sustainable Development program is the perfect degree for me to combine my food science degree with TESOL to be able to teach English and science in developing countries.” — Amy Chou

“After visiting SIT, the experience affirmed my ideas about traveling to other countries. I am very interested in traveling and experiencing new cultures. I am seriously thinking about traveling as much as I can in the future with my TESOL certificate.” — Amirah Leigh Mahdy