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

Finally Going Back to Class

It had been two months since I was in classroom last when I started my first day of school at AUS. I have already met a few differences from the system that my home university employs and the “American” system that AUS has in place. Here is a short list of what are the differences;

  1. Class starts on Sunday
  2. The first week of school almost feels optional. At home, if you are not at class the first day you are dropped from the class, but here many students do not attend class for the first day and sometimes the whole week.
  3. Once professors start taking attendance, class is mandatory. If I miss or are late for 15% of class periods I will be dropped from the class without notice.
  4. The classes are very lecture based, but demand a certain amount of participation.
  5. All of my professors are against technology use by students in the classroom. All of my professors don’t allow phones, tablets or laptops while they are lecturing.
  6. All of my classes put a lot of emphasis on homework assignments. Many times at home, I do not have homework assignments. Instead of assignments I have readings and exams.

I would more closely compare the classes to high school styled classes back home. The daily role call and the mandatory attendance seems a little controlling. I am starting to find a groove for myself and that will be important to excelling in and outside the classroom. The differences don’t stop in the classroom, dorm life is also very different.

  1. I have to check in to my dorm by midnight on weeknights and 1 a.m. on the weekends.
  2. I can leave for the weekend, but only if one of my parents have agreed.
  3. I have an RA, but he is not involved like they are at home. I have not met him, and I don’t believe I will.
  4. I have my own bathroom, shower and kitchenette.
  5. My room is cleaned once a week

These differences are both enjoyable and difficult. The curfew is very annoying, but having my room cleaned once a week is amazing.

University sports are also very different than back home. All of the sports have open tryouts every semester and most have an A and B team. AUS offers partial and full scholarships for the athletes, but the commitment is similar to high school sports rather than university sports in the states (1 1/2-2 hour practices 4 times a week). I tried out for the football team and the volleyball team. I made the B football team which consists of practice two times a week. I also made the volleyball team which consists of practice four times a week. Both of these opportunities I am very grateful. I was even asked to travel to Morocco with the volleyball team for an international tournament. I had a major decision to make on what I wanted to commit my time to, and I decided that exploring the region and having new experiences was what I wanted, and not time spent in the gym.

It is definitely a different culture, but that is what I was looking for and so far I have definitely enjoyed it. More to come and hopefully the posts will be a little more detailed and less about my daily happenings.

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