Monday, September 14, 2015

The Origin (Orientations, or, Week 1)

(I'm so sorry!!! I meant to be updating this blog once a week, like I'm supposed to, but time just keeps slipping away here)

Something I should have expected, and yet somehow didn't, is how many orientations I would be expected to go to once arriving. I'm studying in Galway this semester, but flew into Dublin because... Galway doesn't have an international airport. Besides, my orientation for Arcadia University (who I'm studying through) was in Dublin, so I was supposed to arrive in a certain time window anyway and...

Anyway, being in Dublin was weird. On the one hand, it was fun and exciting to be surrounded by new people and they had us do lots of fun orientation exercises (I can now... still not play Gaelic Football or Hurling), but it was also frustrating. I just wanted to get to Galway, and unpack, and most importantly, figure out what my academic schedule for the semester would be.

Here's something they told us about 800 times: ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer System. Here's something else I heard about 800 times: because students here enroll in "Courses" instead of having "majors", the departments don't bother to publish time tables until the first week of school. Apparently, Irish students take some sort of test near the end of their school year, and how they do in each subject lets them apply to go to university in that subject as well. Instead of having general education requirements the same way the US does, they just take classes in the department of whatever subject they're taking, and that's their "course". Because visiting students are allowed to pick and choose "modules" (class means year level here, and course means your pathway, so module means a particular lecture/seminar/whatever you go to) from different courses, they have to work out their own schedule based on the time tables published by each department.
I got my timetables the Thursday before classes started (on a Monday), some of which I had to obtain by emailing particular people because there's no centralized location for them online.
I tried very hard to not stress about this.
I may or may not have a spreadsheet of potential classes I could take.

People I met who'd heard of Mudd in week 1: 2

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