Hello from Boston, Massachusetts!

Hi everyone:

Just a quick hello from Boston where I am currently located!  I’m back at Elon by the end of this week and look forward to hearing from everyone!

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One Busy September

Am I the only one who is wondering where the ENTIRE month of September went?!

While I try to comprehend the fact that it is already October, I thought I might give you a quick update on where Elon has already traveled to this fall (outside of the continental United States):

ASIA:  Myself and four of my colleagues at other schools (Chapman University, Villanova University, Lynn University, and Babson College) spent two weeks visiting 9 different countries and visiting a variety of schools in each of the countries.  To give you a quick snapshot of where we visited, here is a

Hooray for Pocari Sweat!

country-by-country list of schools that we visited:

  • South Korea:  Seoul International School, Korea International School, Seoul Foreign School
  • Taiwan:  Taipei American School, International Bilingual School of Hsinchu Science Park
  • China: Shanghai American School – Pudong, Shanghai American School – Puxi, Concordia International School
  • Thailand:  International School of Bangkok, Ruamrudee International School
  • Malaysia: International School of Kuala Lumpur
  • Philippines: International School of Manila
  • Singapore: Overseas Family School, Singapore American School, International Community School
  • Hong Kong: Island School, Canadian International School, South Island School

As I mentioned earlier, we technically visited 9 countries – my travel group and I had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia and spend the weekend there.  However, we did not visit any schools during our 1 1/2 days in the country!  Overall, it was a fantastic trip and I had the opportunity to meet so many students while traveling!  The schools we visited were eager for us to visit as we were to visit them.  We even managed to have a bit of fun – as you can see our from our photo above!  (We love the Pocari Sweat drink!)

EUROPE:  The Dean of Admission (Greg Zaiser) returned to his international-traveling roots and visited several European countries in the month of September.  (For those that may not be aware, Dean Greg Zaiser was instrumental in beginning international recruitment for Elon University.)   Here is a quick list of some of the places that he traveled to – maybe you had a chance to meet him?

  • United Kingdom: ACS Cobham, ACS Egham, ACS Hillingdon, TASIS England, Marymount International School, American School of London, US College Day London
  • France:  International School of Paris, American School of Paris, CIS Paris College Day
  • Belgium: International School of Brussels, St. John’s International School

As you can see, Dean Zaiser was a little bit of everywhere – in little over a week!  I know he enjoyed the opportunity to travel internationally – he’s already asked me to travel again next year!  In addition to doing school visits and some college fairs, Dean Zaiser also took part in an alumni/ parent/ currently enrolled student event held at the house of a Parents Council members’ house.

PUERTO RICO: Mrs. Zaire McCoy traveled to Puerto Rico on behalf of Elon during the month of September.  She spent an entire week visiting 3-4 schools per day as part of the Caribbean Counselor’s Association Fall College Tour program.  And was she busy!  From my conversation with Zaire, she was constantly busy at each of the various schools that she visited (Colegio Marista, Dorado Academy, TASIS Dorado, Baldwin School, Academia San Jose, Academica Maria Reina, Robinson School, to name a few) – which is FANTASTIC because we had never done this program before!  I’m pretty confident in saying that continued to travel to Puerto Rico is definitely in store for Elon University.

Well, this was a quick recap and hopefully some of the readers had a chance to meet either myself or my colleagues this past month!  I’m heading out on the road again very soon – in one week, I will be traveling throughout Latin America with a colleague from Roger Williams University.  Countries we will be visiting include:  Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Ecuador.  Hopefully I will see some of you at your schools!

Service & Culture Experience in Morocco

You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca…”

from the movie Casablanca

Hassan II mosque

and in Sale and Azrou as well!  As many of you may be aware, I recently returned from a unique opportunity in the country of Morocco.  From May 24 through June 4, I was one of 12 people from Elon University who traveled to Morocco to participate in both a service and cultural experience.  Sponsored by Elon University’s Kernodle Center for Service Learning as well as the Truitt Center for Religious & Spirtual Life, I was fortunate to be selected as one of two faculty/staff advisors for this trip.  And it was both professionally and personally enriching – not a day goes by without me thinking about the places I traveled to, the foods that I ate, and most importantly, the people who are now my friends.

To give you a quick idea of what we did and where we went, here is a quick run-down of some of the activities that we participated in:

  • Casablanca:  visit to Hassan II mosque and quick city tour
  • Sale:  Host family stay; worked with children in a school and cleaned up schoolyard; went to a free concert
  • Rabat:  Visited Mohammed V mausoleum, Chella, and a medina (market)
  • Azrou: Host family stay; worked with young people at the Bridges of Culture center; cleaned up local schoolyard;  visited caves where people lived until 1962
  • Fes:  Toured the city; visited a medina with local artisans and saw the Medrassa Bouanania, Mausoleum of Molay Idriss
  • Meknes: Visited various monuments and the local medina
  • Volubilis:  Visited the ancient Roman ruins of this city
  • Azrou:  Returned back to our host families; screened a cross-cultural documentary made with the assistance of our guide, Lotfi
  • Sale:  Had a cross-cultural discussion between the Elon University students and Moroccan university students about cultural differences (based upon the the documentary previously screened); reunited with our original host families; had the opportunity to go to the beach
  • (You can see many of these places in my Flickr photostream on my blog!)

And thus you can see, it was an incredibly busy trip!  What I found to be quite interesting on this trip was the experience that I had learning more about the Moroccan culture compared to other international trips that I have made.   For example, when I usually travel to recruit for Elon, I am literally making quick stops into countries to visit schools.  While there is certainly value in the experiences that you can obtain just by being in ANY country for ANY

In Rabat

amount of time, it only gives you a quick snapshot of what the actual culture is like.  This experience, however, was more like a movie (to use the above media analogy).  Our group experienced the language (both Arabic and French), the food (breads, olives, meats, etc), the medinas, the various climates, the people, etc.  We were truly immersed in the culture, particularly with the opportunity to visit local schools, meet with a local politician to ask questions, and stay with host families.

And thus my quote from the movie “Casablanca” at the top of this entry… it was an amazing experience to not only get to know 11 other Elon people better, but also to meet many people in Morocco who I now feel privileged to call friends.

I am looking forward to when I can return to the country!

Distinguishing Yourself in the Admissions Process

Happy Tuesday ETA readers:

While the first deadline for Elon University is literally less than two weeks away, I wanted to share with you even more tips for your application.  As many colleges and universities can attest, we are all fortunate to receive many applications for a relatively small number of spots.  Thus, what are some steps that you can take to distinguish your application from the other thousands that are received every year?  One of my colleagues in the Elon Admissions Office wrote a helpful article that shares ideas of how to make your application be a standout application.

Happy reading (and viewing – I have updated my Flickr photostream in the top right hand corner with few photos from my trip last month through Asia.)

Asia and MA/RI Travel Recap

Hello ETA readers:

After about four weeks of travel, I have finally returned to the beautiful state of North Carolina for a little bit.  Since I was a mathematics major at Elon University, I thought it would only be appropriate to offer a rundown of my travels by the numbers:

26:  Number of days that I was away from Elon, North Carolina

14:  Number of flights that I took in that same 26 day period

29:  Number of other U.S. colleges and universities that I traveled with in Asia.

14:  Number of high schools I visited in southeastern MA and Rhode Island

3:  Number of alums/currently enrolled students that I met with while traveling

27,125:  Number of miles I traveled via airplanes

20:  Photographs I took while visiting the Great Wall

1:  Number of times I ate stinky tofu (It didn’t have a bad taste – despite the name!)

Immeasurable:  The number of fantastic students, guidance counselors, and other people who I met along the journey!

While I am currently working on setting up a site for all of my pictures, I thought I would include a few in this entry for you to see.  I brought alon g Elon’s mascot (ThePhoenix) and took pictures of him at various places.  Enjoy!

Stephanie from Emmanuel College and I getting ready for a fair.

Stephanie from Emmanuel College and I getting ready for a fair.

Ready to talk with prospective students!

Ready to talk with prospective students!

The Phoenix at the Forbidden City

The Phoenix at the Forbidden City

Getting ready for a college fair in Kuala Lumpur.

Getting ready for a college fair in Kuala Lumpur.

Update from Bangkok

Hello ETA readers:

I am reporting live from a bus in Bangkok as we just left a great fair at Ruamrudee International School and are now heading to the International School of Bangkok. Unfortunately, we have less than 24 hours in Thailand as we got in last night to our hotel around 9:30p.m. and are flying to Taipei later this afternoon. Quick trips, but at least we had the opportunity to meet students from Thailand.

Believe it or not, but this is my last week in Asia! I will be flying back to the States this Saturday. We only have three more countries to visit – Taiwan, Hong Kong, and then a quick trip to Shenzhen, China. I will definitely be posting some pictures in the near future so you can see where I have been and some of the schools I have visited.

Hope all of you are doing well! More from me at a later date!

Asia Update

Good morning/ good evening ETA readers!

I know it has been a bit since I have updated my blog and my apologies for that! To give you an upate, I am currently in Shanghai on the way to our first visit at Shanghai American School in Puxi. I have already traveled to Seoul and Beijing, and we are heading out to Singapore tomorrow. To give a bit more insight into my travels, it is helpful to know that I am traveling with 30 other colleges and universities as part of the Council of International Schools (http://www.cois.org). One of the interesting parts of our travels is that we often do presentations on the American higher education system – which means that I have already presented on topics such as “The Application Essay” and “How Colleges Evaluate Applications”. I will post helpful tips on these subjects (and more) in coming days.

If you are interested, I would encourage you to check out my Twitter updates (to the right of this blog post) to see what I have been upto. You can check out some photos as well – including photos from our (brief) trip to the Great Wall of China!

More posts to come – off to a college fair in Shanghai!