Friday, October 30, 2009

Unterricht

[ Classes ]

With Poland only a day behind me it already felt like a lot of time had passed since I was moving full speed ahead into the next phase of my year. Monday was my first day of lectures at Göttingen – and, while I should be giving a sample list of my courses now, I can’t… I really don’t know officially yet. Since registering from my Einführungswochenende, I had been adding, dropping, searching and pondering over which classes to take, and how difficult they would be to study for.

[ The grounds of Göttinger Platz Sieben - one of the main student zones of the city right in the middle of the campus, with many students enjoying the last days of moderate fall weather. ]

Many of the other CBYX students are in a different situation than me. Most of the participants are older and are either graduated and using this scholarship year as a bridge between work or higher studying, or they are just upperclassmen that already have a stable transcript at their university. I don’t even have a declared major yet – something I must do through some overseas communicating later this year – and ever decision I make here in Germany has me thinking how it could impact my curriculum and transfer for credits to the University of Michigan.

I have some classes I am looking into that are auf Deutsch, some in English that could be interesting [but the variety here greatly decreases]. I even found Japanese which I am going to definitely try and fit in!

Monday started early for me since I had to make it to the international office by noon. [ why are so many university and city offices closed by noon here in Göttingen?!] I had to register to take my German language exam to find a placement for my Deutsch als Fremdsprache [German as a foreign language] courses here at the Uni.

[ In front of Cafe Campus, one of the central meeting places at the Uni for students ]

For the gap in the day [ why are so many of my classes in the late afternoon?! ] I walked around and covered some lost time getting myself acquainted with the campus again. I enjoyed the library, and, whereas it isn’t as comfy as the cafés of Saareguemines, it was where I caught up on much of my blog writing.

Finally the late afternoon rolled around, and it was time for my first class. The building was right across from the library, so I had no searching to do. I got to the room and there were students waiting outside the classroom – so I also waited… when in Rome… I had no idea the protocol for the German Universities, and I was just going to do what everyone else did to prevent any embarrassing mishaps.

The class was United Nations, which I figured would be a great way for me to familiarize myself with international politics. It was going to be in German and English, since English is used for much of the vocabulary and one of the main languages of the United Nations council. Even with this advantage for understanding the course, taking my seat in back corner by the window was still a little nerve-wracking for me. Then the students began to flow in… and I realized… what if I made a mistake and this is the wrong classroom. This made me regret my seat wedged in the back, now blocked by many sitting students. If this was the wrong class… it will be so embarrassing to have to leave – why I felt this way, I don’t know… since I checked my schedule over 10 times to make sure I was in the right building and classroom. It is funny how nervous I make myself in these foreign environments.

Luckily it was the right room. The introduction to the class went well. The class will familiarize us with the processes of the United Nations councils and we will have an especially close overview of the delegations over Afghanistan. We will learn how to write proposals and research arguments to represent different nations points of view. Overall, I think that it is going to be very exciting, and with one class down, hopefully the rest of the week would go just as smooth.

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