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Thoughts on Studying in Australia

I just got done with all my exams and essays! Now, I think is a good time to reflect on my experience taking my elective courses here. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience here. As I explained in one of my first few posts, here classes are divided into separate sections rather than having all aspects of a class (lecture, discussion, etc.) combined in one class session. I found this arrangement to be very manageable and positive towards my learning experience.

Since classes are separated into different sections, I could focus on the individual aspects of the sessions such as the lecture session and discussion session. In the lecture session, the professor gives the class lecture and nothing is due. In the discussion session, students and teachers discuss the subject of the day from the lecture session and assignments are turned in or discussed. Another aspect I liked here is that the grading is much more strict. If you want to get an A, then you have to go beyond an assignment’s minimum requirements and put in more effort to demonstrate you really want an A. While grading here is done on a number scale, the number scale determines the grade of your assignment based on the quality of the work. This ranges from fail, pass, credit, distinction, and high distinction. This form of grading really challenged me and I felt it motivated me to do better on my assignments and exams. The professors I had were also very nice and took the time to discuss and help me with any assignment I was unsure of. Some of my professors even treated me and my peers to coffee! Overall, I really enjoyed my time studying in Newcastle! Australia might be tougher in terms of grading compared to the US, but I feel its ultimately beneficial as it encourages you to always do your best.


Aman Kukal is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Economics. Aman is spending the spring semester in Newcastle, Australia with the ISA Newcastle, Australia: Courses with Locals program.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Quien dice España, dice todo

Hello friends! Sorry I haven’t posted since I left I did not quite anticipate just how crazy life gets when you’re studying abroad. I’ve been in Spain for almost 3 weeks now and I am absolutely loving it. The first week I spent entirely with the group from UMKC, traveling on a bus from Madrid to Segovia, Toledo, Sevilla, Torremolinos, Frigiliana, Almuñécar, and Córdoba.

Frigiliana

 We woke up almost every day at 8 and spent the days exploring and walking around the cute towns and cities of southern Spain. We toured beautiful cathedrals, mosques, and synagogues and learned so much about the culture and history of Spain.

A random street in Madrid
The Royal Alcázar of Segovia

After a week of travel, we arrived in Granada around 1:30 on Monday afternoon where we met our host families and parted ways. From there I got set up in my new room and had dinner with my host family. I was surprised I could actually follow the conversation at dinner! That first week we spent getting ready for the placement test at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas building where we’re all taking classes. The biggest adjustment for me has been the lack of air conditioning in both public places and the home I’m staying in. Thankfully, my room has a little fan to keep me from dying, but most restaurants and bars I’ve visited have either had their air conditioning off or set to room temperature. Aside from that the differences are small; I get weird looks when I order ice to put in my coffee, restaurants, shops, and businesses shut down to take a siesta (nap) after lunch, dinner isn’t until 9:30, and lunch is the biggest meal of the day. But all in all, I think I’m adjusting pretty well to the Spaniard lifestyle, especially the naps! And having an amazing host family definitely makes this whole experience so much sweeter.

More to come!


Megan Schwindler is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying English Literature and Spanish. Megan is spending the summer abroad with the UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.