Prior to Stanford, I went to Swarthmore College, and graduated in 2006 with a Special Major in Educational Studies and Sociology/Anthropology. At Swarthmore, I had conducted research in Moroccan schools on the implementation of a minority language education program to teach Tamazight as part of my Honors Thesis.
After graduating from college, I had a Fulbright grant to Morocco, where I conducted survey and interview research on the growth of English education, and the growing importance of English in many young Moroccans' lives. My experience conducting research with young people in the Middle East region really solidified my desire to get a PhD in International and Comparative Education, and still shapes my interests today.
In addition to the eminence of Stanford's faculty and the high quality research it produces, there are a number of practical reasons I chose SUSE, that might be of interest to others interested in applying:
My dissertation will examine the growth of private higher education worldwide, and the sources of cross-national variation in higher education systems. I am also interested in how education shapes young people's lives in the MENA region -- I have spent 2 summers in Syria examining youth responses to new higher education policies, and their perceptions of access and labor market security. Additionally, I am involved in some other research projects on representations of globalization in textbooks, and the potential of mobile technology to solve educational problems in the Middle East, and promote peace in Israel and Palestine.