New School System
I’m most of the way through my first week of classes now, I’ve attended lectures for 3 out of 4. It’s very different here, there is a lot less class time with mainly weekly reading and a single larger paper due at the end of term. It’s actually a lot lighter work load than I’m accustomed to in the US. It’s also a lot more self-motivated study, your lecturer will guide you to some extent, but you’re expected to direct your own studies and be prepared for the seminar portion of the class where you interact with smaller groups of students to converse more in depth about topics.
It’s also a lot different for me because I’m a short-term student. Normally, they give you a review session at the end of Spring term because they do all their examinations at the end of spring term to the beginning of summer term. As a short-term student, I’m only here for a semester, so instead of taking the exam for the classes, I just have longer or multiple essays for the class. It’s a little scary knowing that my grade is only based off of one or two assignments, but at the same time, that lower number allows me to focus more on preparing really well constructed papers.
Another major difference is textbooks. In the US, I always struggled to find the funds to pay for my textbooks at the beginning of term, and because so many assignments and information on tests came from those textbooks, you have to buy them. Well, over here, I only have to buy one textbook, and it’s only a little of $50, rather than the $100-$200 I normally pay for my textbooks back home.
Last week was a welcome week hosted by the school. One of the free events they offered for the new international students was a trip to Leeds Castle – and it was a real castle, not just a title. It’s really amazing that the school is as active in involving international students as IFSA-Butler is.