|Passing the Galway Cathedral on the way to NUIG|
Stockton University was always my first choice school. I had applied to few larger schools, but I knew I wanted to go somewhere relatively small. I only had one large lecture in my three years at SU and the rest of my classes had about twenty students maximum. I got used to the Academic Spine and how navigable the campus is. I knew where everything was and every place I needed to be was in one centralized location.
The most difficult part of my transition was the way the school structures their class modules. I'm very used to the MWF and T/R class schedule that happens in the States. Over in Ireland, there is no schedule like this. One of my classes meets from 5PM-6PM on Tuesday nights and then from 9AM-10AM on Wednesday morning. Another meets on Thursdays from 12PM-1PM and then again from 3PM-4PM. And each section of the class is in a different room. Not only did I have to get used to meeting at strange times, but I had to remember which module met in which room in which building. This led to a very color coordinated schedule and some awkward moments when I went to the wrong room at the wrong time.
The other thing that took some getting used to was the class sizes. At NUIG three out of four of my classes have over 100 students in them. At first I was unsure if I liked this or not. I do think I enjoy being in large lectures because in order to learn, I have to rely largely on myself which is a challenge I enjoy. but now that it is the middle of the semester, I am missing the professor to student interaction that happens in small classes. I love my professors here, but I wish there were more opportunities to develop a relationship with them.
Their lectures are great and I do learn from them, but with small classes, students are better able to
The thing I miss the most about Stockton is the Campus Center. NUIG does not have a building in which students can just hang out and do work. A lot of the students sit in the hallways or at the various cafes and restaurants on campus. There is the library, but it's always very crowded and it is very silent. There is no area designated just for students so in order to get work done, I have to go back to my apartment. I'd like to stay on campus a little more but I haven't been able to find a place where I can spread my stuff out and feel comfortable.