The next topic on which current Fletcher students supplied advice for incoming students was:
What do you wish you had known before coming to Fletcher? What would you recommend incoming students do in the summer before their first semester (eg., go to the beach, read novels, take statistics, travel around the world, sleep, etc.)?
Responses were wide-ranging! Today, I’ll start with some of the nitty-gritty suggestions. PhD student Tom McCarthy focused on your IT needs: “If you do not already have a lap-top computer with word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet programs that you are familiar with, buy it now and have it set up before you arrive. This helps you jump into class without fighting the computer system during a time that you need to be minimizing other distractions. Most people do not take written notes, everything is done on a computer.”
Lesley Young, who just completed her first year in the MALD program, thought about pre-semester prep, and suggests preparedness as a way to fight nerves. She said, “I wouldn’t stress out too much about the language requirement. If you’re rusty like me and have a few extra weeks free this summer, look into language courses at local community colleges. They’re cheap and can provide a good brush-up before Fall semester.”
Non-native speakers may be thinking about their English language skills. Norwegian MALD student Hana Ryba Cervenka suggests you learn from her experience: “Personally I had no problems with the English language until I took Comparative Legal Systems in my second semester. All of a sudden I was studying complicated legal matters in different countries and I just found my legal vocabulary was too weak. My advice, if you plan on emphasizing law at Fletcher, is to find an article in English about your own country’s legal system. That way you can develop your vocabulary by reading about something that is familiar to you.”
And Filipa Jorge provides a general suggestion that, “If you’re not fully comfortable with English, then some classes or increased familiarity with the language through movies, music, books, etc. may help ease anxiety at the start of the semester.”
There’s still a little student-offered advice coming up. And then…the professors provide some reading suggestions.
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