Northeastern University

Emma Miller - Class of 2012

Why did you choose this major, and does/did it seem like the right major for you? Why?

I was an English major my first year, but after I took the Intro to Sociology class freshman year it seemed like a much better fit. Sophomore year I took an environmental sociology course and it really helped shape what I was interested in studying for the rest of my time at Northeastern.

Why did you choose NU? Was/is this the right school for you?

I chose Northeastern for many reasons, such as the coop program. I knew that I would need real experience in whatever field I decided to go into, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. I also really wanted to come to Boston and Northeastern was the best fit.

How many co-ops have you completed?

I did two coops, one local and one international.

If you participated in co-op, can you list give a quick synopsis of what you did?

My first co-op was at the Environmental Health Fund in Jamaica Plain. I had done a part-time internship there during school the year before, as a part of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. I returned for coop and had many interesting projects, such as working on a national campaign for chemical safety and policy change, as well as organizing a film showing for hundreds of local activists for a film on the links between chemicals in our environment and cancer.

My second co-op was at the Bali Global Foundation. I taught English, but in the context of environmental awareness. My high school kids didn't speak English very well, but instead of just doing basic grammar and vocabulary, we were learning about things such as plastics, pesticides, coral reefs, etc. I had to develop the curriculum from scratch; it was definitely a learning experience.

Did you have any other "learning from outside of the classroom" (service learning, student leadership, study abroad, research, or volunteering) that also enriched your time here?

The summer after my second year I went to the Seychelles for two and a half months as part of a volunteer conservation project. We went diving five days a week, monitoring coral/fish regrowth since the coral bleaching over a decade ago. When I returned to Boston in the fall, I worked with the environmental science department doing an independent research study on the environmental and social impacts of coastal tourism, which really developed my academic interests. I also did study abroad in Dakar, Senegal for a semester before going to Bali, where I studied French and took classes on public health, gender and development, etc.

Have you Graduated from NU?

I graduate in January of 2012. In June, I will be moving back to Bali for a fulltime job. I will be working on expanding the school's opportunities by bringing in more volunteer teachers, and ultimately reaching out to other schools in the area. This school, Bali Global High School, provides nearly 150 teenagers who wouldn't be able to afford high school with housing, food, a high school diploma, as well as experience in a hotel or restaurant so they have jobs when they graduate.

Questions Answered as of 11/22/2011

Emma refelcted on her co-op in Bali at this link. Enjoy!

She also kept a blog while she was there. Read here.