Hanna is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing, Finance, and International Business major at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, Carlson School of Management, she is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.
In this week's post, Hanna talks about the classes she's taking and her favorite part of the CAPA Sydney program.
Studying abroad might sometimes feel like vacation, but we can’t forget about our classes! I want to dedicate this post to academics and give some more insight on this side of the program!
To begin, many may have noticed that there is a limited variety of classes offered. However, even with a small number of options, it is easy to find one for your interest and degree. Students on the program all come from different backgrounds, and many of us have very different majors. On top of my internship, I am taking international finance, international economics, and literature courses. And even if we are taking the same classes, I think all of us are still able to extract something new and relatable to our interests.
I must say that the classes are well planned. I feel like while I have a course workload with learnings to do, it is still not that stressful. I have enough spare time to enjoy Australia. Moreover, if you stay on top of your assignments or at least keep track of the deadlines, classes here will definitely be quite enjoyable.
At the beginning of the program, I felt hesitant. Since classes are scheduled for only one day of the week, they last for about 2.5 to 3.5 hours. You might think, “Oh God, I would die!” But over the weeks I got so used to it. The professors are very knowledgeable and friendly, so the time in class actually flies. Also, we get short breaks in the middle of each class, during which most of us run to this nice café across the road. Honestly, every time I go there I just don’t know what to get. Everything looks and smells so delicious! It takes forever to decide. Oh, and their coffee! If you feel like you are low on caffeine or need something to eat, go visit Fork and Grind.
Anyway, going back to talking about school. Personally, for me, the most enjoyable parts of classes so far have been field trips. They are a part of most classes here, which I love! It allows us students to go explore the city, learn a little bit about history, and, more importantly, tailor that information to an area of our study, career, and self-interest.
A couple of weeks ago I had a field trip with my International Economics class. We went to the Museum of Sydney. The Museum of Sydney is a historical collection and exhibit, built on the ruins of the house of New South Wales' first Governor, Arthur Phillip, on the present-day corner of Phillip and Bridge Street in Sydney. The field trip helped me get a better understanding of the social and economic past of Australia, as well as getting a better insight of why the county is the way it is nowadays. I think it was a good getaway from a classroom. The museum is worth stopping by even on your own.
Another thing that took me some time to get used to is CANVAS. CANVAS is a cloud-based Learning Management System used by the CAPA program. Firstly, it was confusing (especially if you are used to a similar system Moodle which most universities use in the U.S.), however I find it to be pretty convenient now. We have all the course work materials, required readings, and assignment outlines, on there. The calendar on the program is very helpful too. It assists us as a weekly planner to stay on top of homework and other CAPA events, making sure none of us misses anything important.
There is a study lounge area in the building with comfy sofas, puffy bean bags, and tables with computers. The overall atmosphere is peaceful. Almost always there are people hanging out, doing homework, and socializing in that area. It is super nice to have some place like that to catch up with my peers, work on projects, and concentrate on homework.
As I've been talking about the academic side of this study abroad, choosing the right words can be hard. In my opinion, it's a balanced mix of in-class academics and outside learning. It's easy to enjoy small classes in a quiet and intimate building where everyone is so welcoming. Most of all, it is great to be able to see how the world works outside of the in-class theoretical lectures.
Hanna's journey continues every Friday so stay tuned.