Olivia Schum

Olivia Schum
Assistant Director
Transfer Student Services

Transferring is the new norm.  As an Academic Advisor in Transfer Student Services, I help incoming STJ transfer students with all their academic needs- registering for classes, reviewing transfer credits, and answering any last minute questions. Follow my blog to get a more in depth look at how easy the transfer process is at St. John’s University.




Jump across the Pond with St. John’s!

February 26, 2013

Whenever a transfer student asks me if they can study abroad, they might get a little scared because my knee jerk reaction is to stand up and shout a resounding “YES!”  Study Abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I encourage EVERYONE to participate in during their college career.  With so many options available here at STJ in regards to semester, summer, or winter session programs, every student has the option to get a little taste of living abroad.   A semester abroad provides opportunities to sharpen a foreign language, develop independence, and thrive in an unfamiliar environment – not a bad set of skills to talk about at a job interview.

For me, I always knew I was going to study abroad.  In high school, I imagined myself studying in Ireland, Australia, or England but my study abroad experience brought me somewhere I would have never dreamed of: Moscow, Russia.   In high school, I discovered the Russian language after I came to the conclusion that my Spanish accent was muy malo (very bad- see I remember a few things from High School Spanish)!   In my Russian I class, I absolutely fell in love with the language and the intriguing history of the country.  In college, I was lucky to have the opportunity to expand upon my Russian language skills through intermediate and advanced classes. When it came time to decide where I would be studying abroad, the answer was clear.

My sisters and I in front of Lenin’s Tomb in Red Square, Moscow.

Lenin's Tomb









My study abroad was a semester long excursion that allowed me to not only study my favorite language but also take in all the sights of Russia and beyond.  Studying abroad has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my academic career due to the fact that it pushed me outside of my comfort zone, in a good way.   My experience was unlike anything else I had ever done in my life.  I gained a better appreciation for different cultures and languages, as well as for my mom’s home cooking (yes, I missed my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs like crazy!) But, you learn so much about yourself because some of your experiences will test your limits and you would be surprised at just how much you are capable of when put in certain situations.  I cannot stress how much I grew up after studying abroad and how it made me into the person I am today!

My friend Katie and I in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow.

St. Basil's Cathedral















Thus, regardless of transfer credits coming in or expected graduation dates, I encourage EVERYONE to look into at least one study abroad experience.  Through our Global Studies Office located in Sun Yat Sen on campus, we offer numerous programs around the world that will fit your specific interests.  Whether that be studying the Spanish language in sunny Seville, Spain or getting a better understanding of science through our research opportunities in the Galapagos Islands- we have a study abroad experience for everyone.  If interested, please feel free to check out the Global Studies Website below to start your amazing journey around the world!


Back in the Transfer groove!

January 15, 2013

It felt like just yesterday I was writing to you about all of our Christmas decorations that were being hung up in TSS for the holiday season.  Unfortunately, the season has come to an end and all of our beautiful decorations were taken down just this week.  While the TSS office is missing that certain Christmas cheer, we have plenty of new faces coming in through the door that brighten our days! With only a week and a half to go till classes start up again for the spring, we have been meeting more and more of our new transfer admits for the spring 2013 semester every day.   Whether we meet them in person or are introduced over the phone, we have been keeping busy advising new students from nearby and far away

Speaking to these students has been such a joy because they are so excited to start their new chapter at St. John’s University!  These students literally can’t wait to start their classes.  I know, some of you may be rolling your eyes but I am even anxious and excited for my graduate classes to start up again on Thursday, January 24th.  Even though that’s my sister’s birthday and I will be missing dinner (Happy birthday Lo!)  I am still pumped to meet my new professors and start reading about different communications theories!

If you are interested in joining the STJ family for the spring 2013 semester, it is not too late!  We are still accepting transfer applications and would even love to see you at one of our on-the-spot decision days below:


See you soon!

Tis the Season…to Apply!

December 12, 2012

It’s Christmas time in TSS!  My colleagues, Ann Marie and Kyle, decorated our office with beautiful garlands, twinkling lights, and a gorgeous Christmas tree to boot.  Walking into a Christmas Wonderland everyday makes me so happy!  Also, it has enhanced the atmosphere of our Instant Decision Days.  Here at STJ, we try our best to make the transfer process as smooth and easy as possible. Thus, we have Instant Decision Days where any transfer applicant can come to campus for an admission’s decision, credit evaluation, and registration appointment all in one day!  I call it the “one-stop shop” for transfer students!  We have been quite busy with our Instant Decision Days for November and December, and we can’t wait to meet more students at our events in January.  If you would like more information about these days, please consult the following website:   http://www.stjohns.edu/admission/transfer/transfer_events


Where did the fall go?

November 29, 2012

It seems that every year the fall goes by faster and faster and somehow we find ourselves sitting at the Thanksgiving Dinner table, celebrating Christmas or Hanukah, and then, in the blink of an eye,  ushering in the New Year.  This fall went by exceptionally fast for me, not only due to the fact that we lost a week of school because of Hurricane Sandy, but also because this was my first fall as an Academic Advisor and graduate student in STJ’s International Communications program.  We have been busy in TSS with advisement appointments for a new class of transfer students coming in for the spring 2013 semester. In addition though, the most exciting part of fall for me was watching my first cohort of advisees flourish in their 1st semester here at STJ.  Being an Academic Advisor is so much fun because you are constantly meeting new students through advisement.  But, the best part is watching these students grow and prosper socially, academically, and personally.  Although I have a couple of more papers to write and  a final or two to finish for my graduate program, the fall semester is almost over and I look forward to many more falls to come with TSS!

It’s that time of year again- Registration Season! 

October 2012

In Transfer Student Services, we are gearing up for our upcoming advisement appointments with spring 2013 incoming transfer students.  Even though it’s only October, we like to start planning early for January with our priority registration appointments specifically for transfer students.  In the appointment, we go over transfer credits, major requirements, admissions deposits, registration for spring and everything in between. We can’t wait to meet all of our news students next week!

In addition, I’m also excited to tell everyone about our new twitter account.  Follow us at STJ_transfer in order to get the latest news about where you can meet us on the road, happenings on campus, and other fun facts pertaining to transferring to STJ!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s