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3rd Year Abroad - Thread I

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Are you at uni? Can you help prospective students with their questions? We're looking for uni forum assistants 19-11-2014
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    6 months in China today! Honestly don't know where the time's gone!
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    I'm going to Konstanz in Germany next year
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    Is anyone on their placement in Valencia? I'm here on my second placement, but my first placement overlapped with this one and so I missed the introduction weeks and have been finding it hard making friends.
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    Thinking about studying abroad in my third year. In my first year and I know it's early but would need to save now if I am going to afford it.

    I want to study in America but have no idea how much money I would need to save. If there is anyone who has studied in America on a year abroad how much money did you need?

    Any help much appreciated!


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    Seems that Granada is quite a bad place for studying.

    Disorganisation is something that I've sort of got used to, but there are things that leave wondering how on Earth so many home students can decide to study here, especially at the faculty where I'm studying.

    Classes are mostly overcrowded, making it hard to teach and learn. Lecturers sometimes talk nonsense and the teaching is centered around them and their scripts, not around the latest research in the field and the interaction in the class. Assessment is another problem. The goal is not to think up an argument or discover something, the goal is to parrot someone, be it a lecturer or an author of a book.

    Written work is a complete crap. As I mentioned above, you just need to parrot someone. You are not allowed to bring on your own ideas for a project, because the examiner doesn't want to think thoroughly when assessing you. You can usually get away with copying and pasting what you found somewhere. No one cares about formatting.

    In an exam, you have to respond to so-called "questions" that usually consist of a word or a phrase. Example: Dissimilation. So what does the examiner want? A definition? Examples? What an old fart in the seventeenth century said about it? You have to guess, but you mostly expected to write down what the lecturer has said, not what you may know. A classmate of mine asked the examiner during the exam what she meant in one of the tasks and she told him off, saying what apart from writing down what is in a book she could want.

    Don't expect any written feedback on your work, it's nonexistent. You'll only get a numerical result.

    If you somehow manage to pass all your exams and progress to graduation, you'll be another unemployable graduate without relevant skills for work, because you'll only know how to parrot someone. Language classes may be a bit different, but I've found people who only progressed because they were going to all their classes and smiling at the lecturer, regardless of how profound their knowledge was.
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    I'm a second year French and Spanish student at Chester, and in April I'm going to work in France for three months, then in September I'll be teaching English in Madrid through 1-to-1 classes with students.

    I'm happy to answer any questions anyone has for me; especially as I didn't go through the British Council Language Assistantship.

    On a slightly unrelated note; I've set up a blog to give advice to uni students thinking about their time abroad, and it will also be a place for me to discuss my experiences abroad. Feel free to check it out! http://typhoonabroad.blogspot.co.uk/
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    How is everyone doing on the exam/mark front? I was told as an Erasmus student they are either very lenient or many lecturers will automatically just give you the pass mark for whatever you do, but I'm really not finding this the case. Right now I'm on track to fail 4/10 modules. My year abroad doesn't count towards my final degree, and if we fail we just have to show our lecture notes to prove we attended, however, I don't want to fail and four modules is so excessive to me. But I don't know what to do, I'm trying my best but not getting anywhere.
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    (Original post by tillytots)
    How is everyone doing on the exam/mark front? I was told as an Erasmus student they are either very lenient or many lecturers will automatically just give you the pass mark for whatever you do, but I'm really not finding this the case. Right now I'm on track to fail 4/10 modules. My year abroad doesn't count towards my final degree, and if we fail we just have to show our lecture notes to prove we attended, however, I don't want to fail and four modules is so excessive to me. But I don't know what to do, I'm trying my best but not getting anywhere.
    Lecturers at my university also hold exchange students to the same standards as regular students, and I'm really struggling. Instead of contrôle continu like in France, here you basically do nothing all semester until a "sink or swim" style exam at the end. It counts for 1/3 of my degree too :s

    It's frustrating, because I know for a fact lecturers at my home university always go easy on Erasmus students (they state it openly). I guess it depends where you go, and we were unlucky :s
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    (Original post by xmarilynx)
    Lecturers at my university also hold exchange students to the same standards as regular students, and I'm really struggling. Instead of contrôle continu like in France, here you basically do nothing all semester until a "sink or swim" style exam at the end. It counts for 1/3 of my degree too :s

    It's frustrating, because I know for a fact lecturers at my home university always go easy on Erasmus students (they state it openly). I guess it depends where you go, and we were unlucky :s
    Ahh your situation sounds pretty terrible too!I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling this way.

    Some of the lecturers here in Paris said they go easier on Erasmus students, but if giving me 8/20 is being 'lenient' and automatically failing me because I missed two classes in a term I dread to think what the normal students go through :/. I find it impossible to learn anything because I only have to do the tests given in TD for my controle continu,which is all exposéss by students and at the end of them the teachers just say it was all wrong so I never learn anything. The CM always seem totally irrelevant to the course (I'm assuming it's because they are for the final examinations which I don't have to do.) I'm going to miss my year abroad and life in Paris a lot, but I am so ready to go back to the British education system!
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    (Original post by Ivanka)
    Seems that Granada is quite a bad place for studying.

    Disorganisation is something that I've sort of got used to, but there are things that leave wondering how on Earth so many home students can decide to study here, especially at the faculty where I'm studying.

    Classes are mostly overcrowded, making it hard to teach and learn. Lecturers sometimes talk nonsense and the teaching is centered around them and their scripts, not around the latest research in the field and the interaction in the class. Assessment is another problem. The goal is not to think up an argument or discover something, the goal is to parrot someone, be it a lecturer or an author of a book.

    Written work is a complete crap. As I mentioned above, you just need to parrot someone. You are not allowed to bring on your own ideas for a project, because the examiner doesn't want to think thoroughly when assessing you. You can usually get away with copying and pasting what you found somewhere. No one cares about formatting.

    In an exam, you have to respond to so-called "questions" that usually consist of a word or a phrase. Example: Dissimilation. So what does the examiner want? A definition? Examples? What an old fart in the seventeenth century said about it? You have to guess, but you mostly expected to write down what the lecturer has said, not what you may know. A classmate of mine asked the examiner during the exam what she meant in one of the tasks and she told him off, saying what apart from writing down what is in a book she could want.

    Don't expect any written feedback on your work, it's nonexistent. You'll only get a numerical result.

    If you somehow manage to pass all your exams and progress to graduation, you'll be another unemployable graduate without relevant skills for work, because you'll only know how to parrot someone. Language classes may be a bit different, but I've found people who only progressed because they were going to all their classes and smiling at the lecturer, regardless of how profound their knowledge was.
    Hey,

    I am planning to go abroad next year in Granada. Is it really that bad?

    I want to do maths so i guess the things you mention may not apply as much

    Did your Spanish come along a lot whilst u were there? Since , because the marks that year don't count for me, the main rain is just to get really good at Spanish

    Thank u


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    (Original post by BenH1397)
    To those studying in Spain, does anyone know which universities would be better for studying music or history as its likely that my degree will be one of these combined with spanish. Im 16 and haven't even started A-levels yet so I have a long time to think about this but I am hearing so much about poor quality of teaching and wondering if it is even worth studying abroad and considering doing work placements instead. I'm also very unsure if I choose to do music as its unlikely that I will know enough of the technical terminology in spanish. I suppose a music and spanish student is quite rare but can anyone tell me about good spanish unis for it and history?
    I would say if you want to do it, then go for it

    I only started learning Spanish a year ago, and I will be doing an erasmus there next year for maths.

    The good thing is for me it does not count so the whole year will be a great experience in learning the language


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    (Original post by number23)
    Hey,

    I am planning to go abroad next year in Granada. Is it really that bad?

    I want to do maths so i guess the things you mention may not apply as much

    Did your Spanish come along a lot whilst u were there? Since , because the marks that year don't count for me, the main rain is just to get really good at Spanish

    Thank u


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    If you are exposed to the language a lot, then you'll profit.
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    this time in 36 hours I'll be ending my year abroad at check-in and customs at the eurostar station #ItSucks

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    How did everyone do in the end? I'm panicking because it turns out I failed 4 modules :/. Luckily it doesn't count towards my degree but I'm definitely panicking right now.

    Feels so weird to see I used to say I hated it because now I only have fond memories of my year abroad
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    I didn't overly enjoy my year abroad even though I came back basically fluent in French. I tend to remember the few good things and overlook a lot of the bad, starting to glamorise my year abroad more and more.

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    (Original post by tillytots)
    How did everyone do in the end? I'm panicking because it turns out I failed 4 modules :/. Luckily it doesn't count towards my degree but I'm definitely panicking right now.

    Feels so weird to see I used to say I hated it because now I only have fond memories of my year abroad
    It sounds like you passed the vast majority of your modules, plus why are you panicking if it doesn't count towards your degree? So long as you improved your language skills I'm sure you'll be fine in 4th year

    I passed every module apart from one, getting the 60 credits I needed - just as well really, as it counts for a third of my degree! My first semester was a bit of a disaster academically but I'm pleasantly surprised at how much better I did in the second.
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    (Original post by xmarilynx)
    It sounds like you passed the vast majority of your modules, plus why are you panicking if it doesn't count towards your degree? So long as you improved your language skills I'm sure you'll be fine in 4th year

    I passed every module apart from one, getting the 60 credits I needed - just as well really, as it counts for a third of my degree! My first semester was a bit of a disaster academically but I'm pleasantly surprised at how much better I did in the second.
    Some employers or grad schools require transcripts, but I'm not sure if YA transcripts are necessary to hand in as well (like you can just give them a home uni transcript saying you did a YA and passed). I'll have to find out because I'm going to apply for Master's.

    My YAP mark hasn't arrived yet :/ I know that I have passed, but knowing the grade would be a relief to me...

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Updated: September 11, 2014
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