Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 8
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

First Impressions of Carlos III

I looked for a study abroad program that offered me the opportunity to direct enroll in a Spanish university.   I’m still confident that attending the Universidad Carlos III through Middlebury was the best decision for immersing myself in the culture and the language, but my first encounters with school have been surprising.

Carlos III, to its credit, tried to provide a special introduction to the school for the international students.   I assume that local students receive no such attention.   That said, however, the orientation was terrible.   It started with a series of dull speeches by faculty members.   Besides reading off of power points most of the time, the speakers used English that was much harder to understand than Spanish.

I learned that they had a good reason for using English, though: A great number of the Erasmus students don’t speak more than a few phrases of Spanish.     On our campus tour, I talked with students from all over the world, most of whom could communicate with me only in English.   Because of this, the tour consisted of walking to each building on campus, where the guide would state in hard-to-understand English the name of the building and the departments housed there before moving on.

Classes started on Monday.   Some of the worst things I had heard about the Spanish university system seemed to be confirmed: during one class the students talked the entire time despite the requests of the professor; almost all the students arrived on time, while the professors came ten minutes late; and the professor for my last class of the day did not show up at all.

I tried to understand that these classes might not be so important at Carlos III because the first week is a shopping period for all students.   On a deeper level, though, the culture of the education system in Spain is just different.   I’ve found some classes that will have interesting content, but late professors and chatty students are things that I’ll have to adapt to.

To see more posts, click here.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Whitman Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *