Wednesday, March 5, 2014

STUDY abroad... Or study ABROAD?

So... I promise to blog more now!

Many people think of study abroad, and focus on the second word. ABROAD.Granted, being abroad is an experience all it's own. Living in a foreign country as more than a tourist, makes you feel like you belong. Then, as for living on campus, it is an experience I am glad to have. Here, at elms, we live on flats with 11 people total, each having their own room. Even though if don't share my room like I do at home, I have developed good relationships with my flatmates. We even celebrated 'Fat/Shrove/Pancake Tuesday' together  last night. 
(Photo courtesy of Rachel... The self proclaimed best flatmates ever!) 

It was 'great Craic' (that's Northern Irish for fun!
Being abroad comes with loads of opportunity for travel, but more on that later, once I actually do some. 

However, once you are abroad, you have to remember it is not going abroad, it is STUDY abroad. 
So, it is the fifth. Week of school. And it's been crazy! 
Here, a full time student is 60 units of class, which is 15 US Credit hours. So, even though that is the same amount of credit, it does not mirror the amount of class time. Each class at QUB is 20 units, or 5 US semester credit hours. Therefore, each student only takes 3 classes, as opposed to 5. And each class is approximately 3 contact hours a week, meaning I, personally, only spend 9 hours a week in class, devoting outside time to other work and papers. 
Then, there is the assessment system. 
In the US, the scale is as follows
100-90 is an A
89-80   Is a  B
79-70   Is a  C
69-60   Is a  D
59-0     Is a  F

However, here in NI, the scale is definitely different. 
100-70 is a 1st mark
60-69 is a  2.1 mark
50-59 is a 2.2 mark
40-49 is a 3rd mark
40-0 is a failing mark. 

The classes are structured differently too. At TLU, my.  Biggest class has consisted of 32 people, but here, my Geography class has over 150 students! It is a dynamic change. But it mirrors the school, having gone from a school of about 1,300 to a school of over 25,000 students. My sociology class has about 75, and THANKFULLY, my dance class, feeling more like home, only has 15 students! 
Overall, the school situation here has been a change in comparison to TLU, But it is definitely one I am glad to get to partake in. 

More to come from the rainy, chilly, yet beautiful city of Belfast.

Signing off, 

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