After two weeks of classes I have finally figured out what to expect from my classes. It is very different than the way classes are scheduled at SUNY New Paltz. With classes I have a lecture that meets twice a week, and then I go to a tutorial once a week. In a tutorial we meet in a small group and we discuss the readings. This week I had my first tutorial, and I enjoyed it a lot. It was more interactive betweens the students and professor, and I also got to know my classmates better.
One of the biggest academic adjustments for me was how they use different terms in names of classes. In New Zealand they do not refer to courses as classes, but instead they call them papers. This was an adjustment for me because when they said papers, I first thought wow they have a lot of course work. So throughout the week I thought wow there are a lot of papers that I need to write. But when students and professors kept saying papers it confused me, until I asked about it and they told me it was another word for courses.
Another adjustment is having all of my classes in lectures after being in small classes at SUNY New Paltz. All of my classes are lectures except when we meet in tutorials, so I’m in a different classroom environment. What also makes it different is how the professors are more relaxed with attendance and being on your phone in class. I was so used to being in classrooms where attendance was required and cell phones were not allowed to be used in class that I was amazed by how people were getting away with it. When students missed class they weren’t too concerned, which surprised me at first until I learned they do not take attendance. I did not realize that being in the classroom was going to be another culture shock.