After the excitement of Rebecca’s visit and the Merce Festival in Barcelona – it was time for a different sort of excitement. Starting university here in the city!
This is what I came to do after all…
For some strange reason, I wasn’t scared or nervous. I have so far found everyone to be laid back, friendly and approachable.
My first class was Journalism specialised in Science and Health and I had absolutely no idea what that was going to entail until I went to the class. Turns out it is all about being a science journalist – so taking scientific research and being able to put it into words that make sense to the public. It seems to be all about using metaphors that the general public can relate to.
The lecturer told us that we will be given exercises and tasks to do each week over 7-8 weeks…and if we complete them all then they will cancel the final exam. At the time I took it at face value and just accepted it. It wasn’t until that evening that I realised how ridiculous this was! It turns out they have never actually run the exam because everyone has naturally done all of the work – so what is the point in scheduling the exam in the first place?! This is what I mean about the laid back approach…I don’t think the modules here are going to be very difficult…
However, despite the modules being relatively easy, I am going to have to take SEVEN different classes. At my home university, Glasgow Caledonian University, I am used to taking 3/4 modules a semester which all add up to 30 credits that I need for my final degree. Here, the modules are smaller and less difficult so I have to take more to make up the correct amount of credits.
At UPF they do trimesters, so the year is split into three – whereas at GCU they do semesters so it is split into two. At both universities you have to gain 60 credits per year (2o each trimester, or 30 each semester) This means that in one trimester at UPF I have to gain 10 more credits than everyone else at the university to match my peers back in Glasgow. Somehow I don’t think this will be too much of a problem.
Other classes I started this week were Communication Product and Project Management. It turns out this is all about being a freelancer – this is going to be a particularly useful module for myself and again, no exams. If this “no exams” trend continues then it may mean I am back in the UK sooner than I think. Not that I want to cut short my trip, but it does mean there will be less risk travelling home (or being prevented from travelling home) in the snow for Christmas (I live in the north of Scotland so this is highly likely!)
I have also started another class this week called Digital Media Analysis, this is an online course but we had one face to face meeting so we could meet the others in our class and set up pairs for group work. The lecturer spoke to us about the course and then told us to get to know each other, so much like the speed-friending I spoke about in a previous blog we went around the class and spoke to as many different people as possible.
Our pairs for the work we will do over the next ten weeks in this module had to be international – so a Scottish person was not allowed to go with a Scottish person, etc. My partner is from Catalonia which is pretty cool, I will be able to find out a lot more about the people who live and study here all the time. I think this partnering up idea was a great one, it stops people working with who they know and means they can get a bit of knowledge about a different country at the same time. Again this course has no exams, only coursework.
The four class we are taking just now, Event Communication, was cancelled this week. Good start. Hopefully it is on next week so we can find out about it more. Then next week we are to pick up extra classes – the availability isn’t so great, it might look like I have to take a maths and finance course, but we will see.
I love all the classes I have started so far, much like GCU they are small classes, but I think they are more relevant to me than some we have to take back home. Particularly the one about becoming a freelancer.
I have also been trying to get in touch with people from UPF Radio, so far I have found out that it is not actually a student radio station as I know it. It is part of a module which isn’t available to me – and all the content created here is outsourced to other radio stations. I will keep trying to get in somehow though, even just for a quick interview with somebody from there.
Anway, it is off for the weekend, the parents arrive on Sunday for a week which is pretty cool, and then back in again on Monday. Looking forward to getting stuck into some proper coursework!