The GoGlobal Blog

Tag: Loyola study abroad blog

About to go off to a new land

About to go off to a new land

Well here I am, in limbo between Winter break and the Spring Semester. All of my friends at Loyola are already almost half way through their first week of classes, and I am procrastinating packing for a semester in Vietnam.

I leave on Thursday for the grueling trans-pacific flight and have hit the “what am I doing with my life” stage of packing. What do I bring? Am I forgetting anything? Quick! I have to go pick up something at Target! With one more full day here in Wisconsin, I am gallivanting around with my thin rain jacket, freezing while convinced that pulling out my winter jacket from the basement closet for a couple days is far too much work.

I am really excited and cannot wait to meet all of my new classmates. I have been emailing back and forth with my Vietnamese roommate, but still feel like I have not even scratched the surface of getting to know him. I actually think I am getting more nervous than excited to go, or maybe it’s just because I have an empty suitcase and a starving mind for all of the new experiences that I will have starting in less than a week.

I’ve been abroad before, but from what I have been seeing in movies, videos and reading about, Vietnam is going to be a totally new experience for me. I was at the John Felice Rome Center for both Summer 2012 sessions. That was a blast! So far while preparing for this semester though, all I can do is remember all of the memories from last summer. I cannot wait to make more.

I will check back in once I get settled into Saigon, until then, I hope everyone is having a great week!

A Waiting Game.

A Waiting Game.

Stephanie Morrow, World Traveler…well not yet…it is more like Stephanie Morrow, American Mid-West Traveler; BUT that title is too long so I am going to stick with the first.

I have spent the majority of my life in the mid-west region of the United States, living in a secure Kansas City suburb.  Most of my preteen travels included vacations to Colorado and Iowa to visit the grandparents and to partake in many family bonding activities.  In my teen years, I began to branch out to the far ends of our country, California and Washington D.C. to name a few, for mission experiences. As college approached, I boldly chose what very few choose to do from my high school and that was to go out of state for Undergraduate school.  So, my recent college years have involved bus, plane, and train rides from Chicago to Kansas City and back again; wherever I could find the cheapest deal.

On August 23rd, 2012 I will begin the international chapter in my life and ignite my Fall 2012 semester in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  Many inquiring minds have asked, “Why Vietnam?”  I just tell them, “Why not!” or if it is a close friend or relative I say sarcastically with confidence, “Because I CAN!”  But in reality I was encouraged by a high school teacher (Mr. Gatewood I hope you are reading this) to go ANYWHERE in your undergraduate experience if you get the opportunity.  This is my opportunity and I have very few expectations.

I know when my plane takes off and lands.  I know what classes I will take.  I know where I will be living.  I can look at other student photos and imagine the surroundings.  I know I will become accustomed to the cockroaches (thanks Anthony for the heads up).  But, as I know all of these things I really have no idea how I will feel or react to a drastically different environment and culture.  I am anxious and excited and COMPLETELY freaked out.

The game of waiting has begun.  It is the slowest game I have ever played.


Justice Aid to promote the rule of law

Justice Aid to promote the rule of law

About the blog

In this blog, we shall post our opinions on various issues related to the initiatives designed to promote the rule of law.   We shall emphasize the opportunities and challenges of the rule of law especially when we use the concept as a tool or means for development.  As this is a forum for free exchange of views on rule of law and development issues, we call on interested individuals to get engaged by putting forward their opinions.

Justice AidTM1 to promote the rule of law

Rule of law is a concept we ‘feel it but not define’ it. We all understand it intuitively, but we have a hard time defining it. However, there have been many attempts of defining the concept. The purpose of this first comment is not to define the concept.  Perhaps we can come back to that later.  The one thing that seems common to rule of law definitions is that there is a fairness or justice element which should be included. Today, I would like to focus on this element.

Inspired by an article2  from one of the PROLAWTM3  courses, I would like to forward an opinion of the possibility of setting up an institution which would be called Justice Aid. Its purpose would be to bring about better justice and bringing solutions to problems through the rule of law.

Justice Aid is not the same as legal aid. Legal aid is a corrective mechanism devised to reduce injustices which seem to occur when there are inequalities between various parties; the weaker party normally suffering the injustice.    Such inequalities could be related to gender, age, level of income, social status, etc. The nature of legal assistance ranges from providing legal advice aimed at resolution of a particular problem or provision of representation in a court.   Legal aid seeks to help the assisted individuals, but it has its limitations.

In many places lawyers are costly and scarce, and providing enough formal legal assistance to meet demand would be implausible. Conventional legal aid is also ill equipped to deal with the plural legal systems prevalent in most countries. Perhaps most significantly, the solutions afforded by litigation and formal legal process are not always the kinds of solutions desired by the people involved, and they do not always contribute meaningfully to the agency of the people they serve.4

These shortcomings can be corrected through a more holistic service which can be referred to as Justice AidTM. As relieving someone of the burden of some unfairness may go beyond the use of legal services, a Justice Aid institution would provide more than legal aid services.  I believe a group of lawyers along with their paralegals and social science experts can come together under this institution to help people pursue solutions which reflect the multi-faceted nature of most problems. Justice Aid practitioners would be looking for multi disciplinary solutions for victims of injustice.

This is just a concept.  I would like to see how this concept might be developed further on this blog.

1. The author is not aware of the usage of this terminology by others in the sense I use it here. However, some terminologies such as ‘justice service’ used by Vivek Maru in his article do convey similar meaning.

2.  Maru, V., “Allies Unknown: social accountability and legal empowerment”, in Stephen Golub (ed.), Legal Empowerment: Practitioners’ Perspective, (IDLO, 2010), Chapter 5, pp. 82-92. Available at: (February 15, 2012)

3. PROLAWTM is an LL M program on ‘Rule of Law for Development’ in Loyola University Chicago, Rome Campus

4. See Maru, V., supra n.2 p. 82

Snow in London… and much more!

Snow in London… and much more!

I checked the weather everyday for about a month before arriving in London so I would know what to expect. And everyday it said the weather was about 50 degrees. Since being here in London, it has not gotten above 38 degrees and it has snowed… twice (Oh and snow in London is a big deal! Even if it snows just an inch everyone freaks out!)!

I have officially been across the pond for over two weeks now, and I gotta say the time has just flown by! I am now living in student housing, as my other housing arrangement wasn’t working out. I am loving my new home, as my friends live on the floor below me and it is much closer to London Met, where my classes take place!

So a run down of my classes: on Mondays I have Cognitive Psychology for two hours in the morning, followed by an hour of a psych lab. I had my first lab today and it seemed pretty neat, as we did memory experiments and I learned how much my short memory fails me! On Tuesdays I have Journalism and Employability, where we learn how to become desirable future employees and get jobs when we graduate. In fact, in two weeks I have an “official” interview where we apply for a job on a student run website and then we work on the website the rest of the time. This is by far the neatest class I have here in London! On Wednesdays I have history of Victorian London and then on Thursdays I have Personality Psychology.

I really like the teaching style of the Professors here. They are so conversational (except for my Personality Psychology class, because there are about 75 people in my class) and friendly and they insist on you calling them by their first names. The one thing I’m still trying to get used to is figuring out how to get around campus. London Met has two different campuses, a Center campus and a North campus. I have two classes at each campus, but the north campus is so confusing because basically all of the classes take place in this giant building called “Tower Building” and it is so complicated to find your way! Even faculty get lost as my journalism professor said! I had to ask someone for directions on just how to get out of the building (haha that was embarrassing!).

Fridays are my days off which is quite nice! After a busy morning of moving my stuff into my new room, me and Christina decided to see Platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter. Actually, the platform to Hogwarts is at the same train station that I use everyday, Kings Cross Station. People were lined up to get pictures of themselves getting ready to leave the muggles behind! Yes, I was one of those people 🙂

On Saturday, my friends and I decided to adventure out to see Buckingham Palace. It was so pretty! The guards looked silly with their big, fluffy hats and their unique way of synchronized marching. I had always imagined many guards outside the Buckingham Palace fence, but there were only two, and they were inside the fence. My dreams of making a guard laugh were destroyed (haha). It was especially neat because the Queen was inside the Palace, evident by the flag being raised while we were there. After taking many pictures, we decided to walk to Parliament (because, being true Londoners, we walk everywhere!). It was pretty cold outside though so we had afternoon tea in a small restaurant in Hyde Park. I also indulged in my sweet tooth by having an “orange chocolate” cookie. It was interesting to say the least!

After arriving at Parliament, we were so cold we decided to go back and get ready to celebrate our friend Kathryn’s birthday!

Sunday was filled with doing Sunday chores and getting ready for the next week 🙂

Random fact but one of the days I was traveling using the tube (London’s underground subway system) someone, who hardly spoke English, had a list of English vocabulary words and he asked me what “journey” meant. It’s so neat to be surrounded by so many different cultures and having the opportunity to interact with so many people.

London, I’m obsessed!

Until next week, cheers 🙂

Oh, why “ello” there London!

Oh, why “ello” there London!

Well, I have arrived in London… Finally!

Getting here was quite the adventure, to say the least. After giving my mom, aunt, and boyfriend a million hugs goodbye, I crossed the point of no return 🙂

My flight left Chicago/ O’hare at 6:05p and I arrived in London at about 7:28a.

Not that the plane ride wasn’t an adventure in itself- experiencing airplane food for the first time, sitting on a plane for over 7 hours, and attempting to sleep while snoring and other airplane noises filled the plane- but the real adventure began after gathering my belongings, going through customs, and wandering around trying to find the “tube.”

After being that girl with all the luggage blocking the walkway in between seats, I got off at my stop. The public transit system over here seems amazing so far. It’s so clean and there are so many workers on each platform to guide lost, wide-eyed visitors like me.

So side note, I decided to stay with a host family instead of staying in international housing because I figured why not take a chance and integrate myself in the English culture?? The person I’m staying with, Chika, wanted me to call her when I got to the train station so she could pick me up. After putting in my 60 pence to make the call and dialing her number, the phone wouldn’t work.

Welp, this would be the first time I would start crying… So I asked one of the workers, James, if he could help me (in tears mind you) and much to my surprise he gave me a hug and let me borrow his phone. I got in contact with Chika, but unfortunately it would be about two hours until she could come get me.

James told me I could wait with him, given there is quite a chill in the air (England is experiencing a severe weather alert, with it being so cold) and that I had my giant suitcase, heavy backpack, and purse filled with everything that wouldn’t fit in my back pack.

As I waited some other public transit workers came over, Steve- from Scotland, Josh, and Ian who would all make me laugh and feel much better.

Eventually I went out to the street to wait for Chika, but she was no where to be found… so after 45 minutes of waiting out by the street, I called her (again using James’ phone) and it turned out she had been there for over 30 minutes, looking for me! She was literally behind the building! Funny how that happens!

Anyway long story shortened, I have arrived safely at my new home for a little less than 5 months, I have tried my first British meal- roasted chicken which was a much different meal than I am used to, and I am trying to adjust to my new life here in London!

Until next time!!