Monday was my first day of classes! It was a breeze in comparison to the arduous task of actually choosing my classes. The college-education system is very different here than it is back home. In Spain, a student must choose his/her career field in high school! In college they take the courses that will specifically prepare them for becoming an expert in that field. For example, as an accounting major, I would have decided during my last year in high school that I wanted to be an accountant, and once I started college, I would have only taken accounting/economics classes throughout my four years. Hence, the students here have their curriculum very set and strict.
At Holy Cross you have the ability to choose courses from different departments; the university that is hosting us has implemented the same method for us within the rigid structure of the Spanish system. This was one challenge of choosing classes. The second challenge was getting these classes approved by our liaison here at the university. You proposed some courses that you wanted to take, and he would tell you whether or not you should take the course based on the professor, etc…..to put it this way, he was our real-life “Ratemyprofessor.com”.
Now to my first day. Very different from Holy Cross. Instead of a 5 minute walk from my residence hall to Stein, here I have to walk 10 minutes to the bus stop and from there take the bus- a 15 minute ride- to the university. Fortunately the whole process is not very confusing, and I enjoy the walk in the morning because it wakes me up. So on my first day I had a 9am class. I arrive to the building (the campus is huge, and each department has its own building, except for a few). One thing they don’t tell you is what do you do when you first arrive to a class. I was very confused, do I go in or wait for the professor to come in?
It turns out classes were not the bad because it was just the first day; so all we did was go over the syllabus. In my last class of the day, I even got to get out one hour before the usual end of class! The professors were both very nice; they introduced themselves to me and made themselves available for whatever I needed. Overall a good first week!
1. Bring your own printing paper! If you need to print something, the school asks that you buy your own paper. I think this is a brilliant idea because it discourages useless printing.