Four weeks into my Aussie semester abroad and I am definitely noticing the differences in studies in comparison to back home!
There is less class time than what I am used to at UC Merced. Classes in Merced usually meet four hours per week and possibly even have an hour lab or discussion session to follow. Here it is only two hours of lecture, and maybe a discussion.
But less class time means more time to finish those required readings! There are more if not the same amount of required readings in my classes in Melbourne compared to back home. But it’s not too bad because at home I struggled with finishing the reading for the week before class or discussion, so no complaints about having more time to do that here!
However, something that does worry me is that there are fewer assignments during the semester.
“Why would this be a bad thing?!” you ask?
Well, fewer assignments means less things to get graded on, so if you have one bad paper, that can really harm your grade. Also, the assignments here can range from 10% to 60% of your grade – SIXTY!
Not to mention, those papers have word limits, not word or page minimums. Suppose you have a 1,000 word essay that is worth 25% of your grade (as I do currently in my Consumer Culture class), I will get dinged 10% if I go over by 100 words or more over! For a paper worth 25% of your grade, you would definitely want more than 1000 words.
Of course studying abroad would mean a different style of teaching, and studies in Australia are definitely a lot more independent! It’s all part of the experience of studying abroad.
This is what I came for!