Hello all! So, I’ve got a lot to catch you guys up on. I wanted to wait until after registration to talk about classes since we didn’t register for classes and get our student IDs until Wednesday. And then I’ve also gone on four day trips the past two weekends so hopefully I’ll start getting stuff on that up soon. The next few weeks will be interesting because I’ve got my meeting with GARDA (immigration) this Friday and two trips this weekend. Not to mention that I still have a post to do regarding my last little adventure or two in Angers so lots of stuff.
Alright, so, good news is that I’m now a registered NUIM student and I’ve got my classes figured out now. Bad news, is that I couldn’t do what I originally had wanted to. For international students studying at NUIM, there is something called the Certificate of Irish Studies. Because the certificate is only 20 credits, it’s possible to get it in one semester. That’s what I was going to go for originally since I couldn’t take any mass comm classes (I was told that the department was closed to international kids) which was fine, the classes for it sounded intersting. For the certificate, you are required to take Intro to Irish Studies and Intro to Irish Language. The other two classes you are to choose as long as they have something to do with Ireland so a history class for example. Well, when I was signing up those two classes filled up quickly so no certificate for me. But I’ll be taking care of the last of my gen eds besides a humanities credit or two.
Alright, let me think on how I want to do this. I guess I will tell you guys what classes I’m taking this semester and then take y’all through the registration process. First thing everybody needs to know is that the credits here are different. At home we have classes that are .5, 1, 3, or 4 credits and we take usually 15-18 credits a semester and 30-36 credits a year. Not here. Here, classes are worth 2.5, 5, or 7.5 credits and students typically take 30 credits a semester and 60 in a year. Bit of a difference isn’t it? I think that most of the americans are taking somewhere between 20 and 30 credits this semester which is 4-6 classes so the number of classes are about the same as what we’d take at home. The second thing that you guys should know is that there’s no schedule like there is at home where some classes are Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday–that doesn’t exist here. Classes meet, at most twice a week it seems. And those two meetings can happen in the same day. For example, one of the classes I’m taking is Philosophy of Religion and it meets at 10am Monday mornings and then again at 2pm Monday afternoon and then that’s it for the week. A few of the girls from my school and I didn’t realize that the philosophy class met twice in the same day; we thought that they were two different sections so the first day we missed the morning session. Others just meet once a week for an hour. So it’s really different here. But this semester will be really nice because I don’t have class at all on Fridays. So this semester I’m taking Philosophy of Religion, Ireland since 1800s, World Literature 1, Women in Celtic World, and Intro to Celtic History. And then of course Roberta’s class which is something that’s part of the program I came with. Monday is my busiest day by far because I have philosophy (twice), world lit, and a double period of Ireland since 1800s. And then after that it’s only one or two classes a day. It’s great.
Oh, and another thing that will take some adjusting on my part is that so many of these classes are in lecture rooms or small amphi-theatres. Even philosophy and english which I’m not used to. Last year, the biggest class I had was my bio lecture and at most it had 54 students. A few of the classes come with something called tutorials which, if you attended a big university, might know about. But for those of you like me who don’t know, a tutorial is a smaller group of students who meet once a week to go over the material discussed in class to make sure that you understand everything. I think only two of my classes have tutorials with them which I’m kind of happy about because there’s a separate sign-up for them and you have to work them into your schedule. Those of us here for just the spring semester haven’t signed up yet so we’ll see how that goes.
Okay, now that I’ve kind of talked a bit about classes and how they work and what I’m taking this semester, let’s move on to the actual registration shall we? To try and help the process along, they split the alphabet in three by last name. Each section had a separate time they were supposed to reigster. 10-11am, 11-12pm, and then 12-1pm. Because my last name is towards the end of the alphabet, I was in the 12-1pm group. I left a little early because I wasn’t 100% sure where to go but I ended up getting there right at 12pm. Good thing too because I was there for an hour and a half. There were two sections of chairs and so you sat in line and once there was enough room in the first section, you moved up. Once you reached that first section of chairs, then you were just waiting to go into an office to turn in the form with the signatures and register. The waiting is what took up so much time. Because I was in the last group, we had to deal with all the backup from the groups before as well as the people who should’ve gone earlier but forgot their passport or had class and didn’t go. After turning in the form with the signatures and getting everything logged in, all you did was take a picture for your student ID and when that was printed, voila! you’re finished. Like I said, it really was just the waiting that took forever. I thought I’d have a ton of time between registration and my class at 2pm but nope. I finished registration around 130pm (on South Campus) and a girl (who was in my 2pm class) and I got Starbucks at the library on our way to class on North Campus.
Did I explain that? There’s North Campus and South Campus. If you look up NUIM on google maps, I’m not sure that South Campus shows up as being part of NUIM. It was a seminary called St Patrick’s and is still in use today, it’s just that some classes and department offices are located over there. The International Office is on South Campus. It’s not a far walk seeing as it’s literally across the street. The library is kind of the liason between the two campuses as it’s smack dab inbetween the two.
I think that’s it for now. I’m going to try and start working on the next upload really soon. I apologize in advance because with all these weekend trips I might be a little behind for a while.