SIP Thoughts

The Senior Individualized Project is something that is pretty unique to K College, and though there are moments that I cannot wait for it to be over, I certainly spend the majority of the time being thankful for the experience and enjoying the opportunity to deeply educate myself on a topic I am interested in.

Connecting more with recent alumni and graduate students, it has been nice to hear that their SIP has been beneficial in some way – whether that be help with getting into graduate school or help in learning that writing large research papers is not their thing!

Whatever the topic may be, I think the process of writing it is a good test in self motivation and organization. I didn’t believe writing a 50 or so page paper in French over the course of a quarter would be that difficult given that I have done a similar amount of writing for other French courses (if you put together all of the papers for the course…) BUT I definitely have been tested. In my particular case, I am completely in charge of the breadth my topic, along with any deadlines along the way. I also am in charge of the amount of research that goes in to each page, which, since I have minimal background in the topic I am researching, has been A LOT.

The process is about to get much more rewarding for me, however, as I travel to France over winter break to conduct interviews that I will include in my final write-up and analysis. Depending on the department and on the topic of your SIP, there are quite a few opportunities to get funding for your SIP research. I am so thankful to be one of those people who has received funding to continue their research in the field. It will be such a rewarding experience and I will definitely make the most of my time there!

Lately, the idea of the trip has been motivating me to get through the bulk of my writing and editing. I can’t wait to synthesize everything that I have learned through my research and interviews. It will feel so good to turn in my project in a little more than a month, and eventually to present it in the Spring!

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About Alexandra Smith ʼ16

Alexandra is a Junior from Corvallis, Oregon who is currently studying abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She is a double major in French and International Studies with a minor in Economics. Sophomore year, Alexandra led a program for the Center for Civic Engagement at K and was a Co-President of the club Zookeepers. She loves dancing, painting, writing, eating, and travelling.