The University of London International Programmes has done great justice to those who want to comfortably stay in their homeland and study. It has given us a great opportunity to be around people we love and get encouraged to handle the pressure with patience. As a UoL student of LLB (Hons.) final year in Bangladesh, I personally am thankful to the one who came up with the idea of making it global. Out of the many pros and cons of the system, here is a list of some which Bangladeshi students of the UoL can relate to:
The days are getting shorter here in the Midlands. And somehow it feels like the nights are getting darker too. Summer is gone and buried…. that much is clear now. And it has taken the light with it. There is this eerie silence in the village as I stare out the window. Clouds have descended on the green and it is hard to make out any shapes through the mist. The one tree I can still discern looks like a mere shadow of its former self. Winter is coming. The damp and cold are sneaking their way in and taking hold. I decide to turn on the heating but still can’t shake the sensation of impending doom and ‘all the happiness’ being drained out of me……
Hang on! That sounds suspiciously familiar. I am getting carried away, it seems, by my current module ‘The Novel’, as I sit a comfortable chair reading up on its history and narrative technique.
Over the course of 6 weeks, I’ve been taught how to paint a portrait of education and been tasked with reflective assignments. The mind map with its spaghetti wires is akin to the hair. The abstract with its emotions and clarity is akin to the eyes and eyebrows. The two statements are akin to the mouth. Citations are akin to the ears as we harness the congruity of our thoughts and thought leaders in the field of education. But… what about the nose? Surely, Mona Lisa wouldn’t look pretty without her nose right? Not forgetting the largest organ of the human body … the skin! Oh, where can I find these two organs?
Turns out that these two organs are found in an essay. The skin is our flow of thought; the language and presentation in the essay. The nose is the central theme and/or argument that connect all the other features of the face together. In fact, there was a lecture on academic writing that teaches students how to paint the skin and nose. My confidence is regained!
Students were given the liberty to do their mock exams whenever they’re ready but must submit it by a stipulated deadline. Before opening the mock exam questions, I was wondering if it will turn out the way I anticipated. When I saw the questions, I was pretty happy as there were two portraits (i.e. questions) that I know I should have no problems painting (i.e. answering). However, painting two pretty portraits in 3 hours is a challenge! Quickly, I prepared my palette of facts, littered with different colours of views and citations; at times mixing different colours to get a whiter or darker shade. Read the rest of this entry »
Words are ever present in our lives. From the first successful ‘mama’ that rewarded us with ‘oohs‘ and ‘aaws’, even applause, they follow us wherever we go. And words have power. They earn us smiles and hugs, create expectations or reap tears.
Then there are those words that shake our very foundation. They bring us insight, turn our worlds upside down and sometimes touch our very soul. At times they have such an impact on our lives that we are changed forever. They can come from parents, spouses, siblings or friends. We cross paths with them in the books we read. Sometimes they are from a teacher or mentor. And at other times, as it was in my case, from an almost complete stranger.
Oh, did the academic year start again already?! Yikes… I must have missed the memo… or it could have something to do with my mushy postpartum brain.
A week before the school year began again, our little boy made his entrance into the world and he’s now a month old. We’re vaguely ‘emerging’ from that postpartum haze and hubby has been waiting on me hand and foot, becoming quite the Jamie Oliver, and being a total star champ A+ support.
I’ve spoken before on this blog about how much I appreciate the flexibility of the UoL programme, and that couldn’t be more so the case than now. Now that I’m a brand new Mum, with all the uncertainty that entails, to know that I can just chip away at whatever I can manage, and defer whatever I can’t, is a real relief!
It has been a nice, long autumn here in Pittsburgh with ever so much to share with you. Jelly Bean and I are so happy to be blogging about our experiences. Just a few days ago my credentials arrived in the mail from the University of London International Programmes. For me, it signaled time to think carefully about what happens after completing a degree, and what my next steps will be. I suppose it depends on your goals, which might include professional objectives or personal fulfillment. For me it is both. Getting the paperwork acknowledging your success is quite satisfying, but it also underlines the question about how to proceed after finishing the degree. Should I concentrate on postgraduate credentials or concentrate on professional or personal opportunities? For me, it is a combination of all those things. To paraphrase Rodgers and Hammerstein, the beginning is a very good place to start.
The results of the past year and the first experience have taught me a lot. I have registered for four modules and this time around I have two modules which need to be studied on my own: Sociological theory and analysis, and Population and society. I cannot take regular classes for these at my teaching institution, however I will be provided with guidance by my teacher. I am taking classes for Elements of social and applied psychology and Social research methods. I have plans to study in a very organised manner – hopefully preventing the procrastination monster from dragging me down with it. And I believe I have learnt this art already by finishing up with four chapters per module. Especially considering these chapters are quite lengthy!
Since the results 2013/2014, I have realized what it takes to produce excellent grades. Putting in a little extra effort can take one to another level. Dedicating a lot of time to research and preparing answers allowed me to perform well. And therefore I aim to brush up on those techniques and use them wisely. Studying two modules without a proper supervision or regular tests and reinforcement will be a whole new experience. (Though I hope I don’t take of advantage of that). I believe this will allow me to set up my study patterns more effectively. Having no regular classes at college will actually leave me with more time to devote to reading and research.
This time I will experience the true essence of studying through this programme - self studying. I hope to achieve better!
Best wishes to everyone around the globe for 2014/2015.
Sundus is studying for the BSc Sociology in Pakistan with support from Roots College International. The BSc Sociology is not available to new students from 2014, however you can still study for a Diploma for Graduates in Sociology.