There are definitely differences between the university here and at home. While at home we are required to do so many more assignments, essays, and readings, it’s a lot less rigorous here (not that I’m complaining). Almost to the point that I feel like I’m doing something wrong. I go to the lectures, but due to not having many things to do outside of class, I feel like I’m missing something. For every class, it is basically just one reading per week, one to two essays per semester, and a final exam. We also meet one less hour per week compared to all my courses back home. In a way, it is more stressful because my final grade is based off of only a few items, but it’s nice to have more free time to travel and explore.
In my one psychology lecture, my professor was talking about a research study which compared how Irish and American students behaved in the classroom. Apparently American students are much more interactive in the classroom by asking more questions and challenging the professor. Even though we have only had two weeks of class so far, I can see how this is true. Back home in most of my courses, attendance and participation counted as a small percentage of our grade — we were basically forced to be interactive, but here it is rare that a professor takes attendance or even appears to care when students just sit there mindless.
To be completely honest, I miss my classes and the psychology department from my home university. I miss the interaction with my professors and the fact that (at least most) of my professors tried to learn their students names. But at the same time, I’m not going to complain. It’s nice not having as rigorous of a school schedule while I’m here. I don’t know if I would be happy here for my whole undergrad (although I guess I wouldn’t know the difference if I went here since the beginning of university), but I am grateful to be here for one year.
And some random notes and experiences:
- One of my roommates had me try Marmite. Since I had never had it before, I just took a small spoonful and ate it like peanut butter…. Nope. Bad idea. For those of you who have never had it, it basically tasted like a very concentrated/thick soy sauce. Super salty. Apparently it is eaten (in a very, very small quantity) on toast. But I am not a fan. Not my thing. Sorry to those that actually like it.
- Last week when I attempted to do laundry, I discovered how horrible and ghetto the washer and dryer are in my building. Due to the dryer being completely broken (and only having one washer and dryer per building—so for about 60 people total) I had clothes hanging off of any possible space in my room… it was highly inconvenient. Hopefully they will fix that. Who knows.
- I am doing all of the boring “adult” things… Got a new phone number, opened a bank account, got my public transportation card (a LeapCard), and bought health insurance. On Tuesday I will register with immigration and then I guess I’m officially an immigrant… Woo.
- I know the Irish accent varies depending on what region a person is from, but honestly I still can’t tell the differences. They pronounce “w” and “t” in a very special way though. I like it.
Tomorrow I will be hiking in the Wicklow mountains, so pictures soon!!