While I was abroad last semester, one of the biggest differences I noticed was my professors’ academic philosophies. Prior to me going abroad, I met an Australian girl who was on exchange here at Illinois State University. She told me she noticed the education standards here were different than the education standards in Australia. She noticed the expectations that professors had of their students, as well as, the amount of homework that was assigned to students differed significantly. I was glad to be aware of that before I immersed myself in a new culture.
Generally what you will find if you study abroad is that you may not attend class as often as you would here at ISU. Here, it is common to take five classes a semester. While I was in Australia, it was normal to take three classes or four if you really wanted to challenge yourself. Also in Australia, general education classes do not exist.
So when you go to “Uni” (that is what they call it, instead of college), you just study toward your degree. So earning your degree
takes less time, usually only three years. The last thing that was different between my studies at ISU and my studies abroad was I hardly had any assignments to complete, like homework. I just would be assigned a final exam or a final essay.
Having experienced these differences opened my eyes that there are different philosophies when it comes to educating student. Taking classes under a different teaching philosophy definitely challenged me. It also made me appreciate the way classes are
set up and taught here at ISU. I like having assignments from time to time to keep my understanding of the subject and skills up. But it all depends on the student. We all benefit from completing homework because it is structured and has deadlines. Some students gain more from homework than others. I learned to adapt to changes, which was the best lesson I learned while studying abroad.