Student Lauren Turpin Is Earning her MLIS Degree While Living in Korea

Community Profile

An online MLIS program is the perfect fit for Lauren Turpin, who lives in Korea. Turpin was excited to enroll last year in the MLIS program offered by San José State University School of Information. It allows her to meld her love of books, children, and international travel — earning her degree while living in Jukjeon, Korea.

Turpin teaches English at Youngdo English School, located about 40 kilometers south of Seoul. “The online program made it possible for me to start my degree while living in Korea. I can continue it no matter where my world explorations take me, as long as I have an Internet connection.”

Earning her MLIS with a 16-hour time difference with San José has required a lot of flexibility and foresight on Turpin’s part. “It’s been a challenge, on occasion, to stay awake long enough to make it to live Elluminate sessions,” she said. “Every group I’ve participated in has been very understanding of the time difference, and I’ve made it clear that, excepting the times when I’m teaching, I’ll make it work.”

Turpin has long had a yen for exploring other cultures, double majoring in history and German at Stanford University as an undergrad. She spent a year in Germany as part of her studies, completing an internship in Berlin, where she worked with English-language learning materials. That experience sparked Turpin’s fascination with observing how people learn other languages from a publishing perspective, and after graduation she pursued overseas teaching opportunities.

Turpin, who started work on her MLIS in spring 2008, said books have “always been a cornerstone of my life” and library science seemed like a natural fit. The San Diego native is particularly interested in working in a public library, perhaps as a young adult librarian. One of her favorite courses so far was INFO 265 Materials for Young Adults, taught by Lecturer Beth Wrenn-Estes, where Turpin was able to explore how libraries can meet the needs of young adults.