I’ve had three weeks of classes, so I’m finally getting used to it here now. You call university “uni.” You’d say “I have uni today.”
Classes are very different here! Some classes, I even have more than once a day. It’s very confusing. I’ll go into my daily schedule in more detail later. The grading scale is different too. You start off with 0% and have to earn your way up. In the US, you start off with 100% and get marked down for our mistakes. I like starting off with 100% better.
Professors are called Lecturers here and you call them by their first name. That’s really weird to me. I always thought that it was disrespectful to call anyone older than me by their first name, but not here.
Each class has tutorials. Most classes only meet once a week, so if you have homework due, you have a week to do it. Every class even if it’s the same class the same day has a different room. Confusing right? The tutorials are all small, so you get small group instruction on the lecture material. Here, there is only one class time offered for each class. An example, is Nutrition has one class with about 100 students and if you want to take Nutrition, you have to take it at the only time it is offered. At home, Nutrition would have about five options at different times, and sometimes with even different professors.
All of my classes count back at my home university, so that’s always good. Most of them are electives, but I’d rather be taking fun electives in another country than at home. Another thing here is that most of my classes only have a few grades. You won’t get any pop quizzes or anything. That means, everything you have to do well in, because if you mess up on one thing, you mess up the entire semester. Also, there’s no “busy” work. The syllabus is set in stone for the entire semester. I like that, because at home, the syllabus always gets changed!
The last thing different here is that there’s something called Lecture Capture. Every lecturer records with video and sound, their lecture. Then, it goes online. So, if you miss class, it’s not a big deal, because you can just watch it online a day or two later. I wish my school at home at something like this! Hey YSU, take notes!
Monday: Reconstructing the Aboriginal Australian 11-12:50 Tutorial 1-1:50. I really love this class!! I took this class, because I can’t come to Australia and not take some type of Australian history class. That’s why I’m here, to learn about Australia! My lecturer is an Aboriginal, so it’s really cool to hear what it was like back in the day, to be an Aboriginal. During the lecture, we learn about the history of the Aboriginals. Every hour, we get a ten minute break. In the US, I never get a break for even my two hour classes. Then, we start tutorial for this class in the same room. Tutorial is really fun. Every week, we’re given a list of about ten different readings to read for this class. We have to read two of them, and write a critique on one of them. During, tutorial we go over the readings as a group. I really enjoy that. The only grades in this class are weekly critiques, tutorial participation, and a final paper.
Tuesday: Lifespan Development Lecture 10-10:50, Physics Lecture 11-11:50, Lifespan Development Tutorial 12-12:50, Physics Lecture 1-1:50, Lifespan Development Tutorial 3-3:50. Yes, you read that right I have Lifespan Development three times in one day. I really like Lifespan Development. This class is also an elective. My lecturer is also pretty cool. She seems real easy going. They only grades in this class are a group project, a paper, and the final. Tutorial number one is also really great. Every week, we do group work. The group work to me, is always fun. It gets you thinking with everyone. The tutorial helps us to understand the lecture a little better. The lecturer puts us in different groups each week. I now know everyone in my lecture. It’s awesome meeting people! Tutorial number two also isn’t bad. The tutorial only lasts about 30 minutes, and all we do is go over our projects.
I hate Physics already!! When I signed up for this class I forgot that Australia uses the metric system for everything. So, I won’t be using miles or pounds in this class. I had Physics in high school, but this is already getting intense after three weeks. This is the one class that I actually need for my major, pre-pharmacy with Chemistry. This is part one of the class I have to take at home. It’s going to be so hard next semester too, because I’ll be taking part 2, and I’ll be so used to the metric system by then. I really don’t like my lecturer either. The grades in here are lab grades, 4 online assignments, and the final.
Wednesday: Physics Lecture 9-9:50, Physics Tutorial 1-1:50, Physics Lecture 3-3:50. Did I mention I hate Physics? I hate having Physics three times in one day. Though, the tutorial actually helps me. He goes over problems from class.
Thursday: Every other week I have Physics Lab 9-10:50. In the US, I have labs every week that are three hours long. So, it’s weird to have it only two hours, every other week. So far, the lab has been boring. Hopefully, they get more interesting later.
Friday: Nutrition Tutorial 10-10:50, Nutrition Lecture 1-2:50. I really like Nutrition. In the tutorial, we go over last weeks lecture. This class has two lecturers. One is teaching weeks 1-8, and the other is teaching the rest of the weeks. It’s weird because, instead of counting calories, they count kilojoules. I’m not used to that at all. I’m really excited about this class, because I’m really into being fit and healthy! The only grades in this class are weekly online quizzes, a group project, and the final.
Overall, I really enjoy classes here. I’m not sure if I should be enjoying them this much, because it still is school after all. This is the first time I can actually say, I can’t wait for the week because I get to go to classes!