Thursday, September 20, 2012

On the first week of school, my teachers gave to me...lots of homework

First week of school has been different.  Let's start with when school began.  Last Sunday was the first day of school, so it is different that the weekend has shifted, but I now get out on Thursday.  Unfortunately I kept wanting to think that today is Friday.  The weather has also cooled down a little since I first got off the plane.  Lots of the girls in the dorms are out walking around during the evenings, when there's just a slight breeze and its the perfect temperature.  I'm told that mid-October it should be even more beautiful.

But back to academics and school.  Majority of my teachers wanted to get started right into class, so lots of homework.

Grand total includes, choosing research topics for a presentation in Arab Islamic Culture and Civilization and a research paper due completed mid November over any topic concerning The United States of America and the Middle East which is a very large choice.  We were asked just yesterday if we'd picked a broad area to cover.  Our proposals are due in two weeks, so I'd better get on top of that.  Then there was normal homework, like exercises for one math class and then a whole p-set for my other math class.

Some exchange students were slightly surprised by the amount of work, entailed in classes here, but then others including me considered this a suitable level for being third year students.  Being an exchange student is an interesting position, where we have had some experience with classes at the college level and in our respective majors, although like freshmen we are unfamiliar with things such as getting a student ID, using stuff in the library and/or booking rooms in the library, or being able to use blackboard ilearn.  It's kinda' split as to how many exchange students are use to blackboard or other electronic class systems.

Oh and my other big discovery this week was the transportation schedule.  There is a shuttle that runs to the Sharjah Co-op (Grocery store) on Mondays and Wednesdays.  There is also a shuttle that runs to Al Ain and the capital, Abu Dabi on the weekends.  The co-op shuttle is free and it's not too pricey to travel to Al Ain/Abu Dabi for the weekend.  That could be planned for future ventures.  Right now its good to start off on a good foot with the academics.

Clubs and on campus organizations will be starting up in about two weeks, with the Clubs/Orgs Fair in the campus center on the 2nd/3rd of October.  There are also other activities on campus, such as gym classes and sports at the sport center.  I've signed up for women's aerobics, but there are also just about any kind of sport(including cricket) as well as spinning and bootcamp and other classes.

So this week is busy with homework, but I'm sure time will only get busier as the semester proceeds.

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