Adjusting to a new educational landscape
I thought it would be appropriate to write about the different educational landscape after taking my first round of exams for a number of reasons. First, it gives me enough time to adjust (kind of) to the different system, and secondly, it gives me a bit of time to reflect on the system as well.
I’ll begin with a brief description outlining different education system. First, most students do not live on campus. Some may live two or three hours away too, which makes me feel awkward when I say I live on campus because the two hours is too long to do two times every day. Second, most classes are only once a week, which can make it easy to forget about work and procrastinate. In fact, my only class that is two times a week is my Spanish class taught by a professor with IFSA-Butler.
In my classes, there is a lot less “busy work,” which is bitter sweet for me since busy work helps me stay on top of content but at the same time reduces free time. This also translate into less exams. In each of my three classes that have exams, there are only two. There is a lot of group work, usually including presentations, but in one of my biology labs, it means a lot of lab/field work. In the same course, called Evaluation of Habitat, we had two weekend trips (one to a refuge and one to a biological reserve) to complete small, independent projects.
Adjusting to this new academic system is difficult, especially with the language barrier. I also think that since there fewer numbers of classes every week, it is a lot harder to get a feel for each professor. It is difficult for me to point to few particular skills that I gained during my first year of college that I have used here because for me, I always need to experience it for myself and then I find my footing. It is hard to do it quickly, but I think that the best way for me to make the transition is to simply immerse myself in the system and my work.
IFSA-Butler’s main role, especially during orientation, was giving advice to all of us and letting us know that they are there to provide support to us, including offering free tutoring to anyone who wanted it.