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Classes in Poland, finally!

Posted by on Friday, October 21, 2011 in Academics, Professors, Study Abroad.

How exciting! I just finished my third week of classes in Poland, and I’m the happiest person on the planet! Yes, five months summer vacation was more than enough time for a break. I’ve needed this return to school. I’m academically driven, and fortunately enough, the courses I am taking are absolutely fascinating! Although, I have certainly noticed some differences between the teaching styles and the overall environment over here.

  • One class a week. That’s right! We have one class a week. However, to make up for this, the courses typically take 2 hours and 15 minutes as opposed to the typical Vandy three-times-a-week, 50-minute class, or two-times-a-week 1-hour-and-20-minute class. Yes, you sit through all of it, unless your professor gives you a break. Some do, others don’t.
  • Fewer grades. Through my short time at Vandy thus far, all of my courses have included at least 4 components to their grades. Over here, one of my courses only considers one grade, and some of the others only consider two, three at best.
  • Diverse classrooms! This experience is something incomparable to any classroom outside of a study abroad program. The amount of countries represented in each class is mind-boggling. Many of the people are from other European countries, but I have run into a few Turks, Australians, and even a Syrian, if I heard correctly. Various perspectives and upbringings abound! Plus, hearing the different languages is super cool.
  • Professors with accents! This one is just fun. One professor actually was born in the US to Polish parents, then moved to Poland to teach; she has an accent in both languages, which I find so interesting! Then another is a native Pole, and he has the typical accent and grammar issues I’m used to in Polish speakers. The third actually is a professor from Northwestern University! Australian/British accent.
  • Waiting on class...

    The Polish standard. This bullet point is different, because I’m not referring to the typical program I am studying under. I’ve decided to take one course in Polish, and through this course, I’ve learned most classes here have two components: the lecture and then a workshop. This actually applies to courses outside of the sciences as well! Therefore, in the lecture, you sit through and listen to the professor all the way out, and then in the workshop, you actually participate in discussion and it’s in this time that we will have our presentations. (I must say, I love the courtyard that I wait in before class!)

These are just a few points of the differences while studying abroad. I love the unique environment; it’s a brand new experience! So much excitement surrounding me, and these are just the courses!

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