Last Semester of the TI MA Program: Reflections from a Student


Below is a reflection piece from one of the second year TI students about their last semester:

As surreal as it is to imagine, my final semester at MIIS has taken off, and the countdown to commencement is in full force. When I first arrived in Monterey, I reassured myself that two years was plenty of time to figure things out; after all, it’s enough for an immobile, wailing newborn to learn to walk and talk. Little did I know how quickly time would pass, how precious every single day would prove to be. Now that I only have three more months left in this breathtaking city, its perks seem more enticing than ever before.

Here are some things that I will cherish in my memories as my top favorite aspects about life in Monterey.

  1. Fresh air – During every trip abroad, I am reminded of how lucky I am to reside in an area with such high-quality air, and Monterey may have the best air yet out of the many places I’ve called home. Its location on California’s Central Coast gives it a front-row seat to the tangy ocean breeze, perfect for anyone who has a penchant for the outdoors.
  1. Monterey Bay Aquarium – One of the largest manmade troves of ocean life in the world, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a haven for any T&I student looking to forget about class for a moment. My personal favorite exhibit is the school of anchovies, a glittery circle I consider a metaphor for life.
  1. Fitness – The flexibility of a student’s schedule is perfect for one who wants to get in shape, and Monterey can’t make it any easier. Not only does the city have some of the best hiking spots in the area, but it also has excellent indoor facilities such as the Monterey Sports Center (complete with cardio machines, weights, and swimming pools) and local zumba/yoga/barre studios.
  1. Farmer’s market – One of America’s largest agricultural capitals, Salinas is only half an hour away from Monterey and allows fresh, organic produce to be readily available here at phenomenal prices. Every Tuesday, every type of whole food you can possibly imagine is sold at the farmer’s market on Alvarado Street, and it’s a good idea to take advantage of it – think of all the vitamins, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids your body can drink up!
  1. Opportunities – The time you spend at MIIS and in Monterey will seem endless and exhausting at times, but your days as a graduate student in a beautiful coastal community will never come back. I’m grateful for the chances I got to meet my fellow Korean translators and interpreters as well as those with other language combinations, to discover new passions, to learn from my mistakes.

Now, it’s time for me to take a good look at this list and make the most out of what I have left of my time here, as I hope you will when you get here.  

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