It’s been a while since I posted, but things suddenly got very hectic after reading week – a cheeky trip to Seoul meant cracking down on university deadlines and sadly not a lot of time to spend on the ol’ blog. But today I just took my last exam and am ready to travel as much of Asia as possible before my flight back in June! While I’m happy to be done with exams, I don’t want to come to terms with the fact that this signals the end of my study abroad period :'( There’s been so many great experiences, and I’m not just talking about travelling to different countries… story time!
Sitting in a class I was very nearly on the verge of skipping, I came to the sudden understanding of the purpose of going on exchange. Instead of the usual lecture, the class was split into two groups arguing for and against the given topic, ‘is the current approach of cognitive neuropsychology really helping us to understand the human mind?’ The experience was amusing, engaging and students became surprisingly passionate, despite the random assignment to groups. Although, knowing psychology, this is should be hardly surprising at all, (Tajfel’s minimal group paradigm, anyone?). Perhaps the surprising thing is that I was considering missing the class. But this is what I came to realise, being on exchange is fundamentally to experience education in another environment, a different style of teaching. I know, what a revelation right? However, I don’t believe I’m alone in thinking this; at least I like to believe so! For many students considering studying abroad, the most prominent and alluring factor is simply being in a different country. After, comes the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, maybe improve upon a language and of course, the shimmering prospect of endless travel. For a lot of students, studying is a ghostly afterthought and not something to really gain any enjoyment out of. Although I grumble and criticise the teaching here as not being comparable to what I know in the UK, I was actually really struck by how dynamic the methods are. An in-class debate in place of a lecture is not something you would usually see in psychology course outlines and being able to learn from your fellow classmates NOT through mundane and repetitive presentations is really refreshing.
While there’s plenty of wonderful and amazing times to be had travelling and living abroad, finding the fun in studying is not to be overlooked! Damn, why does this sound so nerdy.
Also, I now have periscope – follow me on there for occasional live broadcasts hah (@karmeli0n). Will this be the next big thing for ‘blogging’?