Taking classes at City University has been very different than at UW-Madison. These differences come in the form of class schedules, workload and expectations, and class participation and activities.
The four courses I am taking at City include International Business Environments, Real Estate Financing and Funding, Historic London, and Performance in London. Each course only meets once a week for two or three hours with a 10-minute break in the middle. This schedule has allowed most students to only have class three days out of the week, which has been nice for travel.
The coursework and assignments have also been slightly different than at UW. In most of the classes, there is one group project worth 30% of the final grade and then a final exam worth 70% of the grade. Because the study abroad program ends earlier than City’s general exam period, study abroad students do not take the typical final exams; instead, professors develop alternative exam assignments. For the International Business class and Real Estate class, this assignment will be a final paper. Only study abroad students are enrolled in Historic London and Performance in London, so we will be required to write a 2000-word paper and also take an exam in early April. Although this coursework keeps me busy, it is very manageable compared to the expectations at Wisconsin.
Historic London and Performance in London have been great opportunities to learn about London and its unique culture. Historic London meets each week at a different location in London and the professor takes the students on a walking tour of the area. It’s been fascinating not only learning about the history, but also being exactly where the events took place. In Performance in London, we have also gone on walking tours to learn about the history of theatre in London. We have gone to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The House of Bernarda Alba, and the opera Aida. Still on the agenda are a contemporary play, and a ballet at the Royal Opera House. These courses save study abroad students a lot of money as we have been able to enter many of the tourist attractions for free and only had to pay a marginal amount for our theatre tickets. These cultural classes have been a wonderful addition to my study abroad experience and I would highly recommend them to future London study abroad students.
Overall, the coursework keeps students engaged while still giving us enough time to engage ourselves with London and with European culture. The culture at City is also very inviting for study abroad students and has provided us with many resources for feeling at home at City; many of the Wisconsin students have become friends with other international students through the London cultural classes. Schoolwork at City is a change, but so far it’s been a great experience learning abroad.