German Universities or Uni as the Germans call it are in full swing now and have been since the last week in April. As part of my IES Abroad program, we have the opportunity to take part in a university course, along with our IES Abroad courses. The standard setup of IES Abroad courses is with fellow Americans on the same program, where the professors are from the university in Freiburg but are making a specific course for IES Abroad students. I am taking part in a few of those courses along with partaking it a university course with German students, along with a few other people in my program.
I sort of decided to take a Uni course last minute by getting a recommendation to take one from one of the IES Abroad staff members, but I am glad I made the decision to take the course I am taking a course on Migration. I have had three weeks of classes and it is very interesting so far. I don’t understand everything, but I do understand a good portion of the lecture, and it helps that some of the readings are in English. It is an interesting course because we study various focuses of Migration, but the main theme is the global refugee crisis. The biggest struggle so far for me is understanding the fellow students in the class. I usually can catch a majority of what the professor says, but there are times that the students in the class sometimes speak a bit fast.
The German University class I am in is not too different than an American university course except for one factor. The German Uni course has the basic setup of an American university course where the professor lectures, students participate, and you have daily reading, but the main difference is that it is a mix of bachelor and master students in the class. The first day whenever went around and introduced themselves I was extremely shocked by the idea of having master and bachelor students in a class together, but it is actually a cool set up, and it provides a more interesting class setup and a bit of a learning environment for the bachelor students. A few students in my class have had internships where they worked in the field of migration and have shared some of their experiences in class. The main difference between the bachelor students and masters students is how many credits they receive from the course, or in other words, how many pages their term paper must be.
I hope the course continues to go well, and I foresee learning a lot of new German vocabulary through this course.
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Hey I am Claire, and I am from Des Moines, Iowa. I am studying International Relations, Russian, and German. I am a Midwestern girl who loves to travel, and I can’t wait to see what adventures are ahead this semester.