Friday, March 28, 2008

Argentine University Experience

My favorite study abroad coordinator at my college posted a comment the other day asking me about my classes. I realized I have only blogged about them once. I haven't really talked about my classes very much since I feel as though I'm in a constant state of changes. After being here for a month and a half I can't still tell you exactly what classes I'm taking this semester, yet.

The COPA program has a shopping period where all of the students are allowed to try courses at the four universities, USAL, UCA, UBA, and di Tella. We have until April 10 to decide exactly which classes we want to stick with for the semester.

For the official COPA program, we have to have a course load between 15 and 18 credits. Everyone has to take a class in Castellano (Spanish) for 3 credits. Those of use who have decided to take a track (e.g. Independent Study, Gender and Minorities, Film, or Human Rights) are required to take a foundations course and a practicum totaling 6 credits. I am enrolled in the Independent Study program, therefore I already have 9 credits between those requirements.

Each university then adds a dimension. Courses at USAL and UCA, di Tella, and UBA are worth 3, 5, and 6 credits, respectively. I want to take 2 courses this semester so I opted to try courses at USAL, UCA, and di Tella. It's a good idea since I want to explore career opportunities in Public Health. Plus these are courses I can't necessarily take at Gettysburg. Therefore I'm trying a ton of courses. I'll give you the list--and yes, it makes my head spin:
  1. Business and Biotechnology (di Tella)
  2. History of Art (di Tella)
  3. History of 20th Century World (di Tella)
  4. Intro to Political Sciences (UCA)
  5. History of Art (UCA)
  6. History of Argentina Siglo XX (UCA)
  7. Intro to LA (UCA)
  8. Investigación Epidemiología y Comunidad (USAL)
  9. Sociology Seminar III : Topics in Public Health (USAL)
  10. History of Ancient Egypt (USAL)
  11. History of Jewish Culture (USAL)
  12. History of Argentina (USAL)
  13. Neurosciences I (USAL)
You might ask why I needed to try all of these courses. Well it was the sensible thing to do! Every university starts at a different time and also registers at a different time, therefore I had to register in a ton of courses in case a section was canceled or I couldn't understand the professor or I didn't like the course.

Out of all of those courses, at this point I'm only sure that I want to take #9 Sociology Seminar. I love this course! It's an overview of the sociological public health literature. It's team taught by a social psychologist and a psycho sociologist (they're different types of training).

As for the other courses, I still have another week to decide. 2 of the courses won't start until next week. Therefore I will have to make quick decisions once I try those last two courses out.

As for my other courses, I love my independent study. I am studying Mal de Chagas which affects many people in Central and South America. My Castellano class is interesting, there are only 6 students in it. I like the professor, Lucía Dussaut. In this class we're reading a lot and subsequently doing literature analysis, which worries me since I'm not a huge fan of analysis. We're reading Boquitas Pintadas by Manuel Puig first. I guess I'll see how the course goes...

I'll fill you in on more experiences with the classes at another time.


Rebecca said...

Dave- 13 classes??!! I am possibly reading that correctly? 13 CLASSES? Are you out of your mind? I am challenged with only 4 classes in Denmark. 13! 13! How do you even remember to go to them? You must have about 100 books, and thousands of pages of reading a week. 13!
Love ya! Rebecca (Tree)

neagley said...

It actually was more than 13. Remember though I was only trying them out. And the way the system works here, we don't exactly have to do the reading for all of the classes.

For instance my sociology of public health class I knew I was going to take. I have done every reading, which amounts to about 25-50 pages per week.

And in Argentina, we don't have any books. We buy photocopies. I guess I should talk about them in a future post...