Jenna Holeman is a CISabroad student studying in Ireland this semester, originally hailing from Ohio University. Read on as she talks about spending her senior year abroad and feeling like a freshman once again.
This week marked the start of my senior year! I actually felt more like a freshman with the Dublin City University map in my hand trying to locate the right buildings. Ahh, nostalgia. The first few days back are always a bit of a struggle. I’ve learned a lot this week, though. So here are a few tidbits from my experience:
Your courses will change, but don’t stress.
Being a senior, there are only so many classes I’m allowed to take, so when I saw my schedule a feeling of panic swept over me. Nearly half the classes my advisor approved weren’t offered or were full, so I was put into random filler classes. My biggest concern was not getting the transfer credits to match the classes I need at my home school. They offered timetable sessions to fix schedules and answer questions. The whole process felt a little unorganized and frustrating, but I made it through and got into the courses I needed. With the wide variety of courses offered, you’re bound to find classes that will work for you. Just be patient, and it will work itself out.
The grading system is very different.
Students who are only studying for one semester are required to take courses that are 100 percent continuous assessment. This means no final exam. Great news, right? Well…I am not convinced. Most of my classes rely heavily on 2 major grades: a final presentation and a final paper. That’s a lot of pressure to be graded on only two things the entire semester. We’ll see how this goes. I’ll report back.
At my home university, I wouldn’t blink an eye if I saw someone in sweats and a T-shirt with no makeup on. However, at DCU, the students dress very nice. Whether it be to class or the clubs, they don’t slack on their outfits. I had a false perception of what I thought Irish people wore based on the European movies I had seen, and I would say their going out attire is typically very club-y. Dresses and skirts seem to be in high demand right now. Thank God for Penneys – an amazing department store with great clothing options.
DCU is very much a suitcase campus, meaning students usually go home for the weekends. Typically, universities in the U.S. will have many of their social events on the weekends. In Ireland, students tend to go out to parties and clubs during the weekdays rather the weekends, which I thought was interesting and difficult for waking up for that 9 a.m. class. The weekends are a perfect time to travel to other countries or explore Ireland because you know you won’t be missing any campus parties. There are plenty of excursions planned through CISabroad to keep you busy!
Until next time!