This was the first week where I consistently had classes. I have 1 class that lasts three hours, and this was definitely a struggle to adjust to. At my home university, classes are typically 50 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes long, so this was difficult for me but also all the other students. I also have French refresher classes that are one hour long, but we spend time in and out of the classroom so it doesn’t feel so bad.
Another adjustment has been the professor’s style of teaching. The professors at IES Nice teach at the local university and follow France’s school system. So, there is a heavy reliance on participation, oral presentation of readings, discussions, and a final research paper that we will be working on over the course of the semester. I have always been used to lectures and writing down notes, so this is new to me. Personally, I am a visual learner and prefer lecture slides so I initially found it difficult to keep up with the professor’s oral lecture. My classmates felt a similar way, and we communicated this to the professor and were able to make adjustments so we can all learn the best way possible.
Despite the three hour long classes and 10 page research paper I am dreading to write, I do see a difference in this way of teaching. I find that I retain more information from this style because it forces you to comprehend and present the information given. It’s also helpful that we are a small group of students – 7 of us. This allows for more one-to-one interaction with the professor. I am glad to finally have a routine and consistency when it comes to school work. Next week we will be headed to Marseille and continue our school work there!