Category Archives: Liberal Arts

Taking a Foreign Language while Abroad

Hi everyone!

This past semester when I was studying abroad I continued to work on my Japanese minor. While I really enjoyed taking the class in a different country and getting a different perspective, there were some unexpected challenges along the way! Here are some things to consider if you take a language class abroad.

1. Different pace or syllabus
I found that the class I took as a comparable class to Japanese 4 at FIT was a bit behind in grammar, but way ahead in vocab! I knew all the grammar concepts we covered, but definitely had to hustle to catch up on vocab we were expected to know. I would recommend checking the syllabus to see what will be covered, as each teacher has a different teaching pace.  Additionally, we were using a different textbook.  In a language, where everything builds upon itself, knowing where you stand in the classes comprehension is really important!

2. Similarities to local language
Japanese and Cantonese (the local language where I studied) have a lot of overlap in the characters used! Thankfully the professor understood that I hadn’t been writing in the system since primary school, and allowed me to use other systems of writing. I did try my best to study as many characters as possible while there, even though we were not tested on them like we are at FIT. If you find you’re behind in an area, be sure to discuss with your professor and do your best to catch up.

3. More opportunities to practice!
In NYC I barely get a chance to speak Japanese, but while I was abroad I got to travel and test my speaking abilities! This was by far the most beneficial experience for me, I learned I still have a long ways to go when it comes to numbers- which is good to know. I can now focus more studying on that.

It can be really difficult to take a language where local students have more experience in it.  My friends taking Mandarin ran into a lot of issues, since Cantonese and Mandarin are a lot closer than English and Mandarin.  They definitely had to work even harder to make sure they kept up!  Once you get past the first level of a language, the classes do get more challenging, but I think learning a second (or third!) language is worth the extra effort you have to put in.

Overall, I would really recommend taking a language as a minor at FIT, and working on it while you are abroad if you have the chance.  It is a lot of work sometimes, but it looks great on your resume, and being able to communicate with someone you might not have been able to is incredibly rewarding.

What language would you minor in?

Sam

Online Classes at FIT

Last semester was my first time trying online classes. I had never taking an online class before, so I was definitely not too happy to be taking two online classes and in another time zone. However, I had no other choice because I was studying abroad, and these classes weren’t offered there.

Class #1 was an Intro to Biology

Class #2 was Organizational Communication and Workplace Relations

For starters, the professors were great! They were clear and posted everything so that we had enough time to complete all assignments. Not only theirs, but also spend time in our other major-related projects. Overall it was a fair amount of work.

The assignments went had-in-hand with the textbook and resources provided by the professors. If you aren’t able to purchase a hardcover textbook, like I wasn’t, you can either rent or purchase the online version of the textbook.

Throughout the semester, the professors made sure we were keeping up, sending emails, reminders, making sure we participated in the class discussions, etc.

One of the reasons I liked taking these online classes was that I can complete the assignments in my spare time, after coming from my other day classes in Florence. I did not think that I would enjoy taking these online classes, especially with the time zone difference, I thought I would have issues to upload everything on time. I actually found myself registering for another online class for this upcoming semester, which came in handy because I had already chosen my main courses and did not want to rearrange it so much.

There are many courses at FIT that you can take online, from liberal arts to major-related. Check out the FIT Website for more info.

Have a great weekend,

Maria

Listen and Learn- Podcasts to Check Out!

Podcasts are popular in New York City, especially if you commute in any way!  I love listening to podcasts, and subscribe to a lot- some purely for fun or personal interest, and a few that have helped with my major and general education classes.
Here are my top picks for learning on the go!
Planet Money/The Indicator – An NPR podcast duo that translate economics and international trade into relatable and tolerable bites.  The Indicator comes out almost every weekday, and has helped me keep up to date with all the changing trade tariffs and duties- a big part of Production Management, my major at FIT!
Freakanomics Radio – Another economic podcast, but this one is much more goofy- a recent episode is solely dedicated to Trader Joe’s grocery stores.  I’ve also enjoyed series they have done on what CEOs actually do, and their unconventional approaches to solving the world’s problems.
How I Built This – The host, Guy Raz, interviews founders of all kinds of companies, from Eileen Fischer to Kate Spade, Bobbi Brown to Glossier.  Hear how they built their companies, and get inspired!  FIT offers a bachelors degree in Entrepreneurship, but graduates and students of many programs at FIT have gone on to build their own companies.
Every Little Thing – Got questions about every little thing? So does Flora, who won’t rest til she finds the answers. Why do we keep goldfish as pets?  What do the laundry symbols on your clothing tags mean?  Listen and learn tidbits of trivia that can start a conversation or answer a question you’ve never even known you wanted to ask.
These are just a few edutainment podcasts I subscribe to! Have any suggestions?  Comment below!
Best,
Samantha

FIT Writing Studio Event

Hey Guys,

FIT offers many resources to assist any student during finals season. One of the resources available at FIT is the Writing Studio. Located in room C612 of the Feldman Center, the Writing Studio provides a place where student can receive advisement on their writing, papers, and projects. Professors and tutors can provide feedback, proofreading, and research methods in order to You can make an appointment with someone at the studio, or simply walk in for feedback. The studio offers many different events that encourage students to stop by and bring their work!
With finals just around the corner, the Writing Studio is offering a Late Night Against Procrastination event. Students are welcome to get started on any papers or projects as the semester comes to a close. The hours of the event are 9pm-12am on Wednesday, April 25th. Pizza and snacks will be served, so be sure to stop by! If a late night of work doesn’t fit your schedule, the Writing Studio is open Monday-Friday from 10am-9pm, and Saturday from 1pm-4pm. Stop in and say hi!

Annmarie X

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Aaaaannnd BREAK!

Hello Everyone,

It’s that time of the semester where we are granted a much appreciated week of (hopeful) rest and relaxation! Although I fully support taking time to decompress and catch up on your favorite TV shows… it’s always a good idea to use some free time to get ahead. Here are just a few helpful tips on how to stay ahead of the game when break rolls around!
Get Ahead of the To Dos: After a few days of unwinding, I always check my to-do list on while break. Not only do I check for what I had assigned over the break, but I like to see what projects I will have to tackle in the next few weeks. This helps me get a head start to the tasks I will have to take on. I can use my time to create my personal portfolio for job applications as well. In the end, I have more time to relax and feel less stressed completing my work.
Get Ahead of the Job Hunt: More recently as a final semester senior, I have been using my break and free time to consider my future (eep!). Whether it be an “end-goal” career or internship to get a foot in the door, it is always good to keep updated with positions currently listed in your field. Spending some of the free time I have to prepare for my post-college life has allowed me to explore my options and decide what I want to pursue after undergrad. Of course, FIT’s Career and Internship Center that is a useful tool for this process as well.
Get Ahead of the SLEEP! As silly as it sounds, I have been using my time to catch up on more than emails- break allows for the necessary recuperation time to finish the semester on a high note. I been able to enjoy time with family, friends, and map out a plan for my last weeks of college.
How do you spend your breaks? Hopefully some of you have been able to unwind, and maybe even hit the beach… I know that’s my first stop during summer for sure!

Best break wishes,
Annmarie x