Let the School Year Begin!!!
The past few days have been pretty hectic! It’s time for classes to begin at the university and for us IFSA kids to visit as many classes as we possibly can to see which ones we want to take. When doing this, there are so many aspects to consider!
First, there are a handful of requirements that must be met in order to take a class, such as no classes or final exams can overlap or they must have vacancies for additional students. It’s important to consider if you actually like/need the class for you major’s requirements, if the classes will in fact transfer over to your home university, and how many credit hours you want to take this semester on top of the 7 hours of mandatory classes through the IFSA program (7 additional hours are recommended, but they transfer as more credit through IFSA, so that’s good!). Lali, our resident director, also gave us some interesting advice: don’t choose classes that have many other “gringos” (aka non-Peruvians) in them. This way, we can challenge ourselves to experience a deeper cultural immersion by working and making friends with the locals our age.
But, alas! There is good news in the midst of this craziness! We only have to choose 2-3 classes on our own (Lali recommends choosing 2, one that’s 3 credit hours, the other that’s 4 credit hours) to equal a total of 14-15 hours This is a little less than the amount I would usually take at my home university, but I will have more work automatically since all the classes here are in Spanish. Luckily, no final decisions have to be made until Monday, August 25th, the day of international student registration! I’m praying that no one else takes my place in the classes I want!
Besides deciding our class schedules, the IFSA group has been on some really fun excursions this week! For example, last night we took a 3-hour long bus tour around Lima. We made a few stops, but my favorite one would have to be the “Parque de la Reserva,” which is the famous water fountain park in Miraflores. Admission is pretty cheap, only 4 soles (about $1.75)! In this park, there are about 20 or more beautiful fountains that are constantly running and accompanied by synchronized music and lights. It is more fun to go at night because the lights make these enormous fountains really stand out! What’s even more unique about these fountains is that they are interactive. Normally that sounds like a fun idea…but since it is winter here (not to mention we went at night) not so much! Still, some brave souls from my group ventured into the fountains trying to dodge the moving streams. Only a few were successful! Those who didn’t have a change of clothes were pretty miserable the rest of the chilly, windy night, but they say it was well worth it! I plan on going back once the weather looks up in November.
My favorite activity of the week, however, was team bonding games. The IFSA group is divided into teams of 3 or 4, each led by a Peruvian student from the university (PUCP). These activities, such as a scavenger hunt, footraces, and costume competitions, were meant to bring us closer together to each other and students from PUCP. The competition heated up fast, and my team was in first place all the way until the very end, where we lost by one point! Regardless of the score, it was so much fun to work together as a team to help solve the problems placed before us
I hope I learn a lot this upcoming week and have many adventures this weekend! I’ll post all of my findings within the next week or two, so stay tuned! Pictures are below!