Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler


I can’t believe I’m already in the fourth week of classes. I thought it would be appropriate to provide a quick summary of each, now that I’ve experienced them for a good while.

Psychology: Mind and Brain


This is a second year course, taught by a legion of psychology experts, each lecturing on his or her area of expertise. Though it is a second-year course, it is quite non-specific, covering a wide variety of topics in psychology. I was skeptical at first, as the course felt rather introductory during the first week. However, I am happy to say that nearly every lecture since has provided me with new knowledge, especially in the areas of psychology statistics and the psychology of language—two fields that I have not been able to study at Kenyon. The class meets for one hour at a time, three times a week, with a 3-hour practical session approximately every other week.

History of Instruments


This third-year music class is awesome. All lectures take place in museums containing hundreds of instruments from periods throughout history, from the Renaissance to modern times. The early keyboard collection is spectacular; it is the second largest in the world and contains several instruments worth over a million pounds. To hear my professor play a sonata on an 18th century Taskin harpsichord was absolutely breathtaking. Oh, and there are only four people (including myself) in the class. Definitely the most intimate class experience I have had to date. The class is a seminar, so it only meets for two hours a week.

Scotland and Orality


In a way, this is my favorite class. I am fascinated by Scottish culture, but I truly don’t know many specifics about it. I think that this class is helping me to realize why I am so intrigued. The course encourages us to explore the oral traditions (songs and stories) of Scotland from a historical and ethnological perspective. Even though it is based upon an entirely different culture, I find the material oddly relatable. For instance, we covered children’s song in week 1. Though I was unfamiliar with the songs that Scottish children sing in the playground, I was able to think of many of my own, some of which had the same melodies or stories as those from Scotland. I never thought anything could be gained from the study of children’s songs, but they really can reveal much about the traditional and popular cultures of a particular area. The class meets for one hour at a time, three times a week, with a 1-hour tutorial session every other week.

Until next time,



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