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Sarah Howard
08 Dec 2014 77 2 mins Share

What to Expect During Your First Year at University

Here are some pointers that will help you understand and imagine how it is going to be like during your first year at university.

08 Dec 2014 77 2 mins Share
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Stepping outside your home country to study is not the easiest thing. But hey! Now that you’ve decided to study abroad, you need to know what it is like to actually experience the foreign air, especially the university you’ve chosen is the first thing you will need to know about.

Here are some pointers that will help you understand and imagine how it is going to be like during your first year at university.

Your first year at university is going to be an eye-opening experience for you. There is a good chance that this is the first time that you have spent any time away from home. Even if you are going to a local university, it won't be anything like high school. 

The Workload is much larger

Your professors will expect you to do a lot more homework between classes. Don't be surprised if you get assigned at least an hour a night of homework. Get used to spending a lot of time at the library reading, studying and taking a lot of notes. There is a lot more information that you will have to learn and digest between classes. This is because you only have two or three class sessions a week. 

Classes May Be Much Larger

Expect class sizes to be in the hundreds if you go to a larger state school. Smaller schools may still have classes containing 50 or more students. This means that there is going to be less interaction between the professor and the student during class. If you need extra help, it will be on you to ask for that help outside of class.

Get Used To Lectures

Many professors will simply lecture for the duration of class time. This means that you have to do whatever it takes to pay attention. The good news is that most professors will place their lectures online that can be listened to at your convenience. Take as many notes as you can during the lecture. Most of the information will be on the test. Some students prefer to use some sort of digital device to record the lecture. 

There Are Only A Couple Of Tests Per Semester

It is common to only have one or two tests per semester. The mid-term exam and the final exam may be the only tests you have to worry about. The downside to that is that these tests will count for a large percentage of your grade. This means that you have to study really hard and take the tests seriously. If you are late for the exam, you may not have the chance to take it. 

Class May Not Start Until The Evening

Taking a class that starts at 6p.m is not uncommon. For those who are used to being out of school by 3p.m each day, this may be a little bit of a shock. However, your body will eventually get used to the idea that your classes start and end later. By the time you are a senior, you may actually prefer the idea of having your classes starting as late as possible. 

College life is certainly much different than high school life. It will take some time to adjust and get used to the way that things are run on a college campus. However, you will get used to it by the end of your first semester. After that, you will start to enjoy your freedom at school. 

Sarah writes for Richmond, the American University in London. Richmond’s specialist courses range from international relations to their unique art history masters course. Richmond offers low student numbers and a great student experience.


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