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

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Exam time is the worst! Sitting down and scribbling all of the knowledge that you have memorized over the past four months is not the ideal way I want to spend my final weeks here. Unfortunately, they have to be done. I am two-thirds the way done with my exams, and have my final one on Thursday before I am officially free for the summer!

My first exam was for my intro level Social Policy module. This was by far my least favorite class that I took while here in Belfast. The lecturers were very boring and did not do anything except read off of the PowerPoint slides (something we learn to not do in the 6th grade). I mistakenly signed up for the class thinking it was about policy development within the government but it ended up focusing solely on specific British policies. I did not spend as much time studying for the exam as I should have, but I got lucky. The exam consisted of six questions – of which we had to pick two and write an essay for each over the course of two hours. We were told to review eight different topics but I only focused on four. Lucky for me, two of the questions on the exam were the ones I actually prepared for. I am just glad that that class is over with.

My second exam was for Media, Politics and Conflict. I really enjoyed this class because we got to look at specific case studies of the media being used during different conflicts. A lot of the course was centered on the American media and conflicts involving the United States, and that really pleased me. The structure of the exam was the same as the first, but I actually studied thoroughly for this one. The two topics I knew best were actually on the exam (9/11 and citizen journalism) but I do not think I did a good job of getting my points across. I could not find an efficient way to get my thoughts into words so I am hoping that because I did well on my essay earlier in the semester, I do not get too low of a final mark.

My final exam is in two days and it is on my second year Security and Terrorism module. I am really looking forward to this exam because I am pretty comfortable with the material and it is more theory-based so the questions can be answered in many different ways. Unlike my other two modules, there were specific answers that were required and if you could not produce those answers, you were not going to do well. I still need to go over my notes a bunch more but I am not too worried about this exam. I did well on the essay I wrote for this module too, so ironically, I can use that for a bit of security!

After the clock strikes 11:30 Thursday morning, I will officially be done with my second year of college and the academic portion of my nine month venture abroad. The last half of this semester has just flown by. It seems like just the other day I was boarding the ferry for Wales over break (despite that being in late April)! I only have four full days left on this beautiful island that has been my home away from home.

As much as I am going to hate leaving, I know that this summer will be amazing. Within the first two weeks of being home, I have a friend’s wedding to go to, two best friends turning 21, and tickets to two baseball games up in Seattle. July will consist of me driving 2000 miles across the country to visit family and friends in Chicago. I also have tickets to see two different baseball games while there too. When I get back from Chicago, I have a couple concerts planned, a hike up to the summit of Mt. St. Helens, and I continue the baseball trend with another game in Seattle. The thought of all these fun outings relieves some of the sorrow I have about leaving Belfast. I simply cannot wait to be home.

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