University:

city-banner

Hello friends!

Since being here, I have yet to talk about university, which is funny because I am after all studying abroad! It’s not that I didn’t want to discuss university, but rather I wanted to give myself some time to figure out how I felt about it all! — Four weeks in, and I can already tell some major differences, things that I like, and things that are just not for me!

First of all/in case you’re wondering, I’m studying at City, University of London! I’m taking a mixture of various classes, some for my major, Psychology, others to fulfill my last general education credits, and of course a “fun” class is a must when studying abroad!

I’d have to say the first thing that I noticed is the fact that City is a much bigger school than my home university, Chapman! Chapman has a population of just over 6,000 undergraduate students, whereas City has 18,000, that’s a major difference! But the amazing thing is that, out of those 18,000 students, 46% of them are international, which I love! If I’m being honest, I actually feel more comfortable here at City than my home university. The reason being, the diversity that City offers. I’m lucky enough to have grown up in a diverse part of California, so I never felt odd for being Indian, however going to Chapman, where there is a lack of diversity, made me feel so out of place. I’m lucky to have found a great group of friends, and an accepting community at Chapman through the Asian Pacific Student Association (APSA), but I still feel odd walking onto campus even three years later. Here at City however, I see others like me, I know that there are plenty of people who understand what I’ve been through and feel the same way as I do, and that is comforting to know!

Apart from class size the entire education system is quite different to that of the US to say the least. First off, there is so much more freedom with education in the UK than in the US. Here, there are no assignments per se but rather a long list or readings which is up to the student to decide how much he/she would like to read. Yes, this does make it extremely easy to procrastinate (which is not a good thing especially when you’re a study abroad student because I’d choose to explore the city over reading any day) but one good thing about that is, it allows the student to read and explore the topic in a manner that suits them the best! The scariest thing for me are the examinations! Unlike the US, in the UK there are only one or two things that you’re graded on. Therefore you must do well on the final exam/essay to pass the class! I’m not used to that, as in the US we usually have 3 exams, and a few essays and projects that contribute to our grade! — Speaking of which, the grading system is also very different to the US! In the UK a grade of a 65 is normal! Not because the courses are so difficult that the average grade is a 65, but rather, a 65 is the equivalent of a grade in the A range in the states! So if my parents are reading this, and if I get a 65 as my mark, please don’t think I’ve failed my module, because it’s actually quite a good grade!  — There are quite a few differences and some things that I am still getting used to, but I wanted to study in the UK to get the opportunity to explore a new and different education system!


I thought it’d be fun for you guys to see if you can understand the British equivalents to some of the American education terms:

British Terms:

American Terms:

module

class/course

lecturer

professor

reader

professor

mark

grade

term

semester

third year

senior

timetable

syllabus/schedule

Did you get them right?


 

It’s only been a few weeks, but these are my thoughts on uni so far, I’m sure some of my opinions will change by the end of my time here, in which case I’ll update you all on my thoughts then! — Hope you guys found this interesting, and make sure to check back in later on this week for an exciting post!

Cheers!

Varsha

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