Saturday, June 30, 2012

Starting to Say Goodbye: Saturday 30

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

.      I thought this would be the easiest blog to write, but it’s actually turning out to be the hardest. I never expected to get as much out of these past two weeks as I have. I want to say hvala to all of the new friends I have made for their hospitality and sincerity. I can definitely say that this has forever changed me as a person and will be something I will never forget. I am very sad to be heading back home, but that just means I need to come back to visit again.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thursday 28/Friday 29

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

.     I am really enjoying my time at the EAN conference. The second day of the conference I saw two very interesting paper sessions about access to higher education. While being here, I have been challenged to think about issues and barriers that students face and possible solutions to these problems. The third day of the conference involved a panel comprised of people from many different counties. On this panel was a good friend of ours, Alen. After the panel we made a visit to the U.S. Embassy to tour the facility and meet with diplomats to learn more about their jobs and experiences abroad. I really had no idea of what to expect while there, but I found it to be a beneficial experience and I leaned a lot about the many purposes of an embassy. The day ended with last minute shopping and of course ice cream. I am getting comfortable in Croatia and am really sad to be leaving so soon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day One of European Access Network Conference: Wednesday June 27

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

.      Today was the first day of the European Access Network Conference. In the morning, myself and the other scholars attended the international student forum. I really didn’t know what to expect from this, but it turned out to be a very beneficial experience. I had the opportunity to talk with students from Croatia and Germany about their personal experiences and barriers in higher education. Through this exercise I realized that the problems with accessing higher education are very similar everywhere in the world. After the forum, I visited the Institute of Social Sciences where I was able to see the facility and learn about the broad areas of research that are done there.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Weekend Excursion: June 21st – 25th

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

This weekend we had a wonderful excursion and got to see many beautiful places in Croatia. We visited Krka National Park, Sibenik, Split, Dubrovnik, Trogir, and Zadar. The nature trail at Krka was amazing and had the best view of the waterfall. Midnight swimming in the sea at Split was a lot of fun and I was surprise at how clear the water was even at night. My favorite town that we visited this weekend was definitely Zadar. The sea organ was so wonderful and something that truly amazed by it. I also felt so tranquil while spending time with my fellow students at a restaurant overlooking the water. After lots of souvenir shopping, we headed back to the dorm in Varazdin to spend our last night there. Although I am sad to have left, I am enjoying my time in Zagreb and am excited for the European Access Network Conference to begin tomorrow!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Last Full Day in Varaždin

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

Today was another busy day. We visited a local high school where we leaned about the different programs offered there. Afterward we met with the Varaždin county government followed by the last of the presentations. The closing ceremony of the research conference was very touching and we all received certificates. We also had a little free time today which I spent in the entomological museum and a long Croatian coffee break. I am very sad that today was our last full day in Varaždin, but I am excited for what we will be doing next. Now I need to pack and get ready for our weekend at the coast.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 3 in Varaždin

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

.   Today was definitely the best day so far in Varaždin. This morning we visited a kindergarten and the presentations were extremely interesting. I was especially interested in the fact that the children learn a foreign language at a very young age. I think this is something that the United States should implement for elementary aged children. After the presentation, the children performed a song and dance for us and it was so adorable! I appreciated the gifts the children made for us. The visit to the museum in the old castle was also great. I was surprised at the amount of original furniture that was preserved. The best surprise of the day was at night when a group of children performed traditional song and dance for us. I am so excited to see what tomorrow holds for me.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Presentation Day

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

Today was my day to present! I presented on the U.S. Education system and UCF structure with Raven. The students seemed to be interested in just how large UCF really is especially with an estimate of under a thousand students at FOI. Near the end of the day, we were rushing to catch a performance, but didn’t arrive until the end. The performers were so sweet that they did the entire performance over again just for us. It really meant a lot to me that they were willing to take the time out of their day just so we could see their performance. Afterward, Alen had a get together at his place and he made the most delicious pancakes. That recipe will certainly be something that I will bring back to share with everyone. We also taught each other dances from America and Croatia. My time here is going by so quickly, but I am cherishing it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day one of the conference.

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

.     After some much needed rest last night, I woke up feeling very energized and ready for today! This morning our students had the privilege to meet the Dean and board members of FOI. It was very interesting to learn about their university and I am so thankful that they were able to take time out of their day to talk with us. Afterward, the student presentations begun and students from UCF, DePaul, and FOI presented their research along with some information about the city of Varaždin, the Croatian education system, and student organizations at FOI. All of the presentations were wonderful and I found the differences between Croatian and US education systems to be very interesting. Our traditional Croatian meal during lunch was absolutely delicious! After lunch, we took a bike tour to see the city’s athletic center and the river. It was really fun and I enjoyed bonding with the other students by playing a word game while resting by the river. I can not wait to see what the rest of my time here will be like!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day one in Croatia

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

.     I finally made it to Croatia and it is just as wonderful as everyone has been telling me! After ten longs hours and three flights, we were kindly greeted at the airport by students and faculty members. Everyone here has been so hospitable towards us; from buying us a coffee at the airport to the lavender and food provided to us in our rooms. I am so appreciative for everything. The short tour of Varaždin along with a visit to an art museum was beautiful. I am looking forward to seeing more of the city and engaging in the various student presentations this week.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bags are packed ……

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

.      I am finally all packed and ready to go! I’m more excited than ever to be leaving, but I will surely miss my family, friends, and dogs. I can not believe that in two days I will be in Croatia! I hope I will be able to sleep tonight since I have to stay awake our first day to get my sleeping schedule synched.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Next stop…..Croatia

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

I am so excited to be leaving for Croatia in a few short days! Today I began  preparing myself by packing and saying goodbye to family. I am so thankful to be presented with this experience and I look forward to meeting many wonderful people.

Monday, June 4, 2012

14 Days and Counting….

Posted in Jennifer Walsh |

.     I am extremely excited to visit Croatia and to be going outside of the United States for the first time! I am looking forward to many things such as meeting other students and eating a traditional Croatian meal, but I am most excited about seeing the natural beauty of the country. I cannot believe that I will have the opportunity to visit Plitvice Lakes and see waterfalls! I am in awe just looking at the pictures online. I am a little nervous about getting homesick because I have never been away from home for an extended period of time, but I know I will be having a great time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

McNair Scholar Spotlight: Jennifer Walsh

Jennifer Walsh is from Daytona Beach, Florida. She is currently studying psychology and is a member of the Psi Chi National Honor Society of Psychology. For years she has had a deep curiosity for the differing personalities of those around her and always had an interest in their interactions. Her research interests include children, marriage, and the intricate relationships within a nuclear family. After obtaining her B.S., she aspires to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, so that she may, later on, open her own private practice.