course update

I’m supposed to be in Seoul to study but I haven’t even been talking about school much; I’ve been here for two months now so I thought it would be a good time to update on how I’m doing in school, and how it’s different from school back in Canada.

There are a lot of things that I like about school here… but of course, also a lot of things I like about school back in Canada. For starters, the way you register for courses here is so horrible. It really is – it’s first come first serve for everyone. I much prefer the way that UBC does it, where people get their time based on their grade and year standing. That way, there’s less stress while registering for courses.

But… profs here reply way faster than the ones back at home. Every prof I emailed answered me within 12 hours. Isn’t that amazing?! Back at home you can expect to wait at least a full day before you should even hope for a reply.

School here is also significantly easier than school at home. UBC is ranked the 50th university in the world, and even though Yonsei is ranked in the top 3 of the entire South Korea.. the level is just not the same. Granted, it’s also probably because I’m an exchange student (althoughI’m only taking 1 exchange course, and my other 3 are regular courses taught in English). 

Here are the courses that I’m taking:

CNT4115 Consumer Behaviour in Fashion (transfers back as SOCI 342)

FNS3109 Service Marketing in the Foodservice Industry (hopefully transferring back as COMM 3rd)

CFS4108 Family and Gender (hopefully transferring back as FMST316)

IEE3117 Media Communication in Korea (transfers back as SOCI 3rd)

Class life: it’s pretty chill. I thought Koreans studied super hard, but I can see  that a lot of people in my classes (especially the ones who sit at the back) play on their phones, even in the regular classes. I actually feel kind of bad because in one of my classes, almost no one listens..

My favourite class is FNS3109. It’s actually really interesting, and the prof is a good lecturer- she’s a no-nonsense type, but knows how to make jokes. She also tells a lot of anecdotes involving her family to keep the class engaged.

My least favourite class: IEE3317. The content is totally fine, but I really dislike the way the prof lectures. It’s like she’s sassing us all the time and I really dislike that. The midterm was also ridiculous (I’ll talk about that below), and though the material is easy to understand it’s not cohesive. Her slides are also not that great. Finally, it seems that people agree with me that this class is not the best because there are people who constantly talk during class and it’s distracting. Even though I don’t like this class, I don’t disrupt it!

CNT3109 is not a bad class – its just that the prof lectures from the slides and the slides are the same as the textbook. So I don’t listen all the time (shh).

Last but not least, CNT4115: the prof is extremely nice, and I really wish that the class was slightly more interesting or that she was better at lecturing. She doesn’t capture my (or anyone else’s) attention very well. However, she didn’t give us a midterm and she’s planning to take out the final too…

Midterm week just ended last Friday, and to be really honest they were a lot easier than I expected them to be. I had 2 in-class midterms, and one take home one. Both the in-class midterms were very straight forward, with ‘long answer questions’ (that the profs requested to be as short as possible…). They felt like high school chapter tests. Plus, for FNS3109, the prof literally looked over my entire midterm before telling me that I could leave. I saw that she did the same thing for someone who had wanted to hand it in before me, and she actually told him to go sit back down and fix one of the questions!

My take home midterm was probably the worst out of the three midterms I had. Not because it was hard, but because it was so ridiculous. I ended up sending in a 13 page assignment that sounded extremely repetitive to me – 13 pages was already short compared to my friends. Plus, she didn’t even tell us to cite anything nor did we have to hand it in on TurnItIn.

Overall, class is okay here. It’s not hard to adjust or anything. But unlike back at home, strangers don’t talk to each other so it’s hard to make Korean friends (not to mention the language barrier). South Korea is a group-based society, meaning it’s strange for them to do things alone. That’s why there are so many group projects in my classes, which is good (ish) for making new friends- unfortunately group projects are one of my least favourite types of assessments.

Just 2 more months until I come back! I like it here a lot but I also can’t wait to go home. But I’m not homesick yet. Just… excited to be back in somewhere that’s familiar. Seoul is slowly become familiar to me too!

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