TESOL MA Students

Elizabeth Eastman

Elizabeth EastmanEmail: eleastman@usfca.edu
Program: TESOL MA
Hometown: Washington D.C. 

Why USF?

USF has an excellent reputation. I was also impressed with Dr. Popal and knew that he was someone I wanted to learn from.

What has been the highlight of your program thus far?

Two things: My new friends, and that I am learning things I can apply right away to my teaching.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

This is a program where you can learn, explore interests, be inspired, and meet people who will be long-term friends and colleagues.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:

La Bogedita Del Medio

Hande Yildiz

Hande YildizProgram: TESOL MA
Hometown: Turkey
Email: hyildiz2@dons.usfca.edu
Campus: San Francisco 

Why did you choose USF?

Obtaining a higher degree in the field of Education was a goal of mine that I wanted pursue for many years. After working as an English Language teacher, I have had the opportunity to observe some of the challenges in the educational field and I wanted to take leadership to create solutions for them. In order to become an effective change agent, I needed to be in an effective learning environment and learn from the experts. USF's School of Education consists of excellent professors that have deep scholarly expertise in the field who do their best to prepare powerful teachers for the future. USF's School of Education curriculum was distinctive from many other universities, which indeed shaped my decision to be at USF. It offers a progressive curriculum that is geared towards 21st century needs where students can practice, communicate and broaden their understanding of education. The innovative learning environment at USF makes knowledge accessible and creates an ease for further research. In addition to its excellence in academic background, since the day I've arrived, I always feel welcomed here and I call it 'home'.

What has been the highlight of your program thus far?

USF has an open communication environment with the professors. They make themselves available for their students. The shared knowledge setting in the classrooms allow us to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and learn from each other. The different learning engagements make the learning less conventional and more interesting. The professors do their best to deliver us the best quality education. They are extremely supportive especially when sharing their knowledge and expertise with their students.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

When choosing which university to go, try to meet with the program faculty and get a feel of the school. Professors are extremely important since they will be the ones to guide you throughout the process and even after when you graduate. It is great to actually know that you will be in a good place and get the support of your professors in this journey.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant?

Kuma Sushi and Kitchen Istanbul.

Sabrina Alvarez-Schoenmeyr

Sabrina Alvarez-SchoenmeyrProgram: TESOL MA
Hometown: Southern California
Email: saalvarezschoenmeyr@dons.usfca.edu

 

Why did you choose USF?

I love the community dynamic of the University of San Francisco, and the school’s motto, “Change the World from Here, has always appealed to me. Coming from a large, highly populated public university, I knew that I wanted a more personalized, welcoming environment for my graduate experience, and I knew that USF could offer that to me.

What has been the highlight of your program thus far?

My professor is great! I love the small class size, and I really appreciate how approachable the entire faculty is. It makes me feel welcomed as a student, and since the classes are small, it almost feels like a small family. I also really appreciate how I'm always kept up to date (usually via email) about any events within or outside my program because it motivates me to become more involved as a student.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

While I’ve just recently started the graduate program, I’ve already realized the importance of establishing connections with peers and teachers. At the graduate level, it’s incredibly important and beneficial to foster these types of academic relationships. This not only applies to graduate students, but it’s also something to keep in mind as an undergraduate. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the faculty or to your own teacher. Remember: they’re there to teach and to serve you, and while they can be intimidating, never hesitate to ask them for advice. As for the application process, I would suggest looking at any current research that’s being done at the university you're interested in to see if it’s relevant to your own interests. It’s also very helpful to look up the faculty in the department you're interested in and see if their educational background and interests align with your own. You want to make sure that you vibe with the teachers, faculty, and mission statement of whatever school you're applying to!

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant?

Street Taco on Haight Street, San Francisco. It reminds me of the taco stand that's close to my grandma's house in Mexico! If you're looking for a tasty brunch place, Boogaloos in the Mission is where it's at!