My Research Program in Hong Kong

Hello again!

In case you have not read my last post, I shall introduce myself again: my name is Sarah and I am a biology major and psychology minor. I’m going into my fourth year this fall and this summer I’m studying abroad in Hong Kong! My study abroad is unique because I am not taking any classes — instead I’m doing research through the Undergraduate Summer Research Program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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What’s it Like Taking Courses in a Foreign Language?

I took it upon myself to learn another language during my academic year abroad. I have been living in Germany for 9 months so far, and my German is progressing every day.

My first semester here in Germany was dedicated to specifically learning the language, and I was able to get my German from A1 level to a B1 level in the time that I have been here. Due to the level of my language progression I was able to transfer to the University of Ulm, where I now take mathematics courses that will help towards graduation.

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Life at TUFS

I could talk about all the places I’ve visited while living in Tokyo, but for this post, I have decided to stay on campus and address my life at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

The school is a language school. In Japanese it is called 東京外国語大学; The literal translation is Tokyo foreign language university. The school teaches more than 20 different languages, and since the school is a language school, I’m not sure that math or science is even taught here.

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A Look at College Life and the Campus Experience in Chile

I wanted to devote a post to my college life and the campus experience here in Chile.

Let me start by telling you a bit about my campus. Universidad Adolfo Ibañez is a private university, so it’s a bit up-scale when compared to other universities in Chile. Also, there are about 11,500 students, including undergraduate and post-graduates.

This school has two main campuses. One in Viña del Mar, which is on the coast. The campus I am currently enrolled at is Peñalolén in the city of Santiago.

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Getting Back in the Swing of Things

After having two months of break, I finally started classes here at the University of Ulm this week — officially starting the second leg of my academic year in Germany. I just got back from the United States on April 12 and was lucky enough to recover from jet lag right before my classes began, so I was fresh and ready to go.

This week has been a very interesting for me in many ways, and I wanted to discuss this more in detail here.

First I want to talk about Ulm, and then what my university classes are like.

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SciencesPo and Reims: A Reversal of Expectations

At 7:30 a.m. the day before my flight to France, I registered for six classes that I was ecstatic about. My host university, SciencesPo, boasts prestigious alumni and small class sizes, which make it one of the most well-known universities in France. I was so excited to have been accepted into the program and looked forward to studying “the French way.”

On the other hand, the university was in Reims (pronounced rahnz), which is a smaller city about forty-five minutes outside of Paris by train. I had heard rumors of cold weather, unwelcoming people, and lack of things to do. But weighing the pros and cons, I decided that the school was worth the lackluster location. Now, halfway through the semester, reality has shown the reverse of my expectations.

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From Known to Unknown

I was really amazed by all the papers you need fill out just to graduate in the United States. Back in my country it is as simple as can be.

To say a bit about educational system in Russia, it is way different than here. First of all, all of our classes are mandatory. We could not arrange our schedule, or choose to take class in one semester or in another. Our schedule is made by our department and you must attend every class.

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