Finishing up at Penn

I’m officially done with the coursework required for the M.S.Ed. in International Educational Development at Penn! Even though I won’t technically receive my degree until 2014, I walked in the graduation ceremony this May. The ceremony was long and boring, but I’m glad I was talked into participating in this rite of passage. It was fun chatting with friends from my cohort “backstage”, and it felt good celebrating the end of this life stage: it helps me with the transition process, I think.

Graduate School of Education's graduation ceremony.

Graduate School of Education’s graduation ceremony.

A year ago, I was looking for a supportive program that would provide me with the foundation I need to work in the field of education in developing countries. I’m pleased that I made the right choice when I decided to come to Penn. I’ll really miss my fellow cohort members: I couldn’t have asked for a more encouraging group of very smart, very passionate classmates.

The IEDP 2012-2013 Cohort

I have a week to enjoy Philadelphia before I leave for Amman, Jordan to complete the international internship as required by my program. I understand that I’ll be working at the UNESCO Amman office on non-formal educational initiatives with Syrian refugees: I won’t really know what this means until I start work there. I also received the Boren Fellowship to support me for a full additional year, which means I will be in Jordan until May 2014. I’ll be blogging about my experiences here, so be sure to check back often!

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About Laura McAdams

Laura McAdams is a Master’s student at University of Pennsylvania studying International Educational Development. Her experience in the MENA region includes 15 months as a Fulbright student researcher to Fez and Ifrane, Morocco in 2010 and 2011. Her project was interested in understanding the disconnect between the policies of technology usage in education and the reality of how these policies unfold in the classroom. Summer 2012 she returned to the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco to work with a women’s weaving cooperative. She is excited to learn more about other countries in the MENA region and issues involving education policy and reform, technology usage in curriculums and gender equality in education. One of Laura’s lifelong goals is to one day be able to sit down and leisurely read a newspaper in Arabic.
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