Mónica Vidal

Screen Shot 2012-03-16 at 12.34.28 AM

In March of 2010, I was ecstatic to receive news of my admittance into the SLS department to commence the MA degree in Fall, 2010. My plan was to learn the ins and outs of how people use, teach, and learn languages and aimed to be well-trained on the research methodologies that the academics in my field are so well-versed in. The ultimate aim was admittance into a doctoral program. After 6 semesters, I am happy to report that I have done all of the things I have set out to do and have not only been admitted into a PhD program, but I will commence my studies here in the Fall of 2013!

I feel quite fortunate to be learning from the professors in our department, who set the bar high and expect the best from their students. This rigor that is expected of the students as researchers means that I am constantly surrounded by peers whose experiences, hard work and dedication ensure that we are always learning from each other; we go to the top conferences in our field and keep our fingers on the pulse of the research being done in our field.

I have learned so much about the field of applied linguistics, about presenting at conferences, from attending presentations and workshops put on by my peers and the faculty. I have learned a bit about life as an academic, a lot about publishing, and about teaching. Of course I’ve learned about being a scholar and colleague. Our department is lucky to have a strong student association (SLSSA) who puts on academic workshops and monthly social events. They raise funds and sell t-shirts and delicious baked goods to raise money for our annual retreat. I have made some really nice friends here and learned about collegiality. I can’t imagine being anywhere more welcoming or more demanding yet absolutely exciting for my PhD. Each semester leaves me always wanting to learn even more, apply what I have learned and explore new research topics. What an exciting time this is for me!