Alumni Spotlight: Joe Meringolo

Joe works as an admissions counselor for an international education company based in Maryland, USA after almost five school years of living abroad in Italy, England, Spain and Peru.

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to legitimize my level of Spanish after two years of living in northern Spain. I wasn't a Spanish major or minor, and didn't have an education background from my undergrad. I had taken intermediate-level classes through a private Spanish academy.

When I went home after two years in Spain before the masters, I had a hard time explaining my level of Spanish and legitimizing my time abroad. I looked at other Masters in the U.S. and I didn't want to go in debt 20,000+ dollars.

The Masters helped me show that I knew the Spanish language and culture.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

When you're looking for a place, you should text or call the people on the apartment pages. Emails will fall through the cracks.

The professors at Instituto Franklin are amazing with great lectures and projects. If you communicate any conflicts or issues with them ahead of time, they'll be more likely to give you some flexibility if you need it. Lulia, Carlos and the Instituto Franklin team are amazing and they'll help you if you ask them.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average day/week varies on the location of your house and your teaching practicum school. Find your housing based more on that and less on the location of the university because your classes are only in the afternoons/evenings on Fridays.

Travel obviously varies on location of your practicum school compared to where you live. The university now allows students who are currently teaching from the Ministry of Education program to stay at their schools if they desire while they do the Masters program.

What do you want professionally after this program is done?

I knew that it would legitimize my level of Spanish and it would guarantee me more options later on in either international education or teaching. I've negotiated higher pay in two separate job interviews because I had this masters.