Similarities Between Two Universities

University, Student Life and Similarities


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of connecting with a fellow university student blogger called Camille. She studies in a university in France and we began talking on a post I published about the courses I had taken last semester and she had actually taken some similar ones. We started to chat further and realised that it would be really fun and interesting to compare the similarities and differences between the two universities since they are in different countries. We expected our experiences to be quite different but we ended up having quite a few similarities as well. I decided to post the similarities on my blog which you can read below and to read the differences in our experiences be sure to go over to Camille’s blog by clicking here. She is an amazing blogger and I can guarantee that you will very much enjoy her post!

1) Teachers are very knowledgeable in their field.


We found that in both universities the professors are experts in their field. They are very knowledgeable and it is clear that they know exactly what they are talking about and have done a lot of research. We found that in many ways this enhances the experience of studying under them because it’s always a plus to learn something from someone who knows what they are talking about and are an expert in that subject.

2) Teachers have their own views and opinions.


As mentioned above the professors are definitely experts in their respective fields and it is clear that they have spent a lot of time doing their research and studying in detail different aspects of the subject. As great as this can be it also has some negatives. At the end of the day the professors are people too and have their own theories and opinions about things. We found that since they are experts in their field they have quite strong views and opinions and this may make them a bit stubborn towards someone who may have a different opinion. We saw that in both cases this stopped students from fully forming their own opinion about the subject or rather fully expressing their views when they disagreed with the views of the professor and they may receive a bad grade for their honesty.

3) Many courses to choose from at both our universities but not at all universities.


We found that both our universities offered a large variety of courses in a large variety of subjects. I have talked about this before in my other posts about my courses but basically my university offers us two half credit elective courses a year so that you can take some subjects outside of your major and kind of expand your knowledge in other fields. Camille also mentioned how she was able to take different courses and broaden her knowledge in this way. I think it’s a really good idea to take other subjects especially those that may be unrelated to your major because it will help you pick up a variety of skills that you may not get from just doing courses for your major alone.

4)Interesting/unique courses


As mentioned in the last paragraph both out universities offer a number of courses and when we talked about them in more detail we realised that they both also offer a lot of unique and interesting courses. Again I have talked about this in more detail in posts I have done about my courses but my university offers a number of unique courses such as courses on country music, hip hop, the Sixties and more. Camille and I realised we both took similar courses about American History which was quite interesting.

5) Both offer scholarships but it is easier to get and apply for them in France.


Camille mentioned how scholarships are quite common and very easy to apply for and get in France at her university. In Canada, the scholarships are harder to get and there is quite a long process that goes into applying for them. Although this is technically a difference I decided to add it as a similarity because they do both offer scholarships and although it is a little harder to get the scholarship here it is not impossible to do if you work hard and do your best.

Differences?

I just wanted to remind everyone again to go over to Camille’s blog and check out the other half of this collaboration. She wrote her post about the differences between our universities and university experiences. You can check out her post by clicking here.

Your Thoughts

Let me know what you thought about the similarities between the two universities. Did you expect there to be these similarities? Did you have similar experiences at university or were your experiences different than ours? What did you think of Camille’s post that is linked above about the differences- could you relate to the differences? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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5 Things I Miss While Studying Abroad

Studying Abroad

Studying abroad has been an incredible journey and experience for me. It has allowed me to grow as a person by forcing me to get out of my comfort zone and really experience a lot of new things. However, there are some things that I miss back home and I thought I would share them with you guys.

The Food


You guys know I’m a foodie and I love trying new foods and finding new places to eat. However, at the end of the day I kind of really crave the food I had back home sometimes. As great as trying new food is sometimes you miss the good old food you were so used to. As much as I love the food here in Canada I also really miss the food back home. I guess since we’re so used to the food back home nothing ever compares to it. One thing you’ll really miss while studying abroad is home food, especially home cooked meals.

Family


If you are moving abroad to study on your own one thing you will really miss is your family. Meeting new people and having new experiences is great but you will end up missing your family too. Sometimes you just want to share a meal with your whole family or watch a movie with them. It’s one thing I really cherish whenever I go back to Kenya and I try to spend as much time with them as I can.
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Friends


I have made a lot of amazing friends while studying abroad and met some really incredible people but there’s a bound you have with your friends back home that’s just different. There’s something about growing up together that makes you closer in a way that takes years. My high school friends that have kept in touch with me are an important part of my life and I do really miss them sometimes. However, I am very grateful I was able to make some really great friends here too.

Experiences


A lot of times I see friends and family members having experiences back home and that FOMO starts creeping up on me. I really miss some of the experiences I can only have in Kenya especially when my friends and family are able to experience them. I’m happy that they get these experiences but I just wish I could be there with them.

Home


I am very lucky to have a really lovely place to stay in Canada but sometimes I kind of just miss home you know. Nothing ever compares to your home that you have so many childhood and teenage memories in, that you grew up in. It’s a mix of having family around, having good memories there and just plain old being used to it.

Your Thoughts

Have you studied abroad or are you currently studying abroad? If so what did you or do you miss about home? If you haven’t lived abroad what do you think you would miss most about home if you ever do end up living in a different country? Let me know in the comments below!
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5 Things I Learnt While Studying Abroad

Studying abroad has been a very interesting experience and these are some of the things that I’ve picked up over the way:
Change is good- as someone with anxiety I am not a fan of change in any way whatsoever. Weirdly enough though I love the idea of change but moving to Canada taught me that change in real life is good too and sometimes taking a chance can be the best decision of your life.
You need to find your own happiness- moving to a new place isn’t going to make you happy or satisfied. You need to find your own happiness.
Everything is a challenge- living abroad is not always what movies make it out to be. Yes, it’s an amazing experience if you make the most of it but it can also be extremely difficult. You’re in a new place where you probably don’t know anyone or anything and adjusting takes a while. Doing your research helps though!
Make the best of everything- bad things will happen but instead of fixating on these make the best of the experience and make as many memories as you can!
Every place is unique- every place is unique an beautiful and remember to appreciate this whenever you can! Make sure to make memories while you’re there and make the most of it!
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5 Things You Need In University

You never know what you’ll need at university but it’s a good idea to always have these items with you!

Water/snacks- If you’re in university you probably know that students rarely have time for proper meals. Even though I think you should definitely try to eat actual meals sometimes you end up eating a little later than expected and for these times it’s a blessing to have some water and snacks with you. It really helps refuel and it saves you time since you don’t have to stand in line at Starbucks for like an hour trying to get some snacks since you already have some with you.

A notebook/pencil case- Even if you type your notes (I always do) I think having a notebook and some pens/pencils/stationery in general is a good idea. You never know when you’ll need it and it’s one of those things that you are likely to need very often.

Perfume- Sometimes you sit really close to people after spending all day running from one class to another like a headless chicken. For these times it helps to have some perfume with you (samples are perfect for this!) that you can quickly spray. It helps make you feel more secure and smell like a treat!

Gum- Coffee is a necessity but coffee breath isn’t. Having gum with you can really help especially if you have one of those annoying classes where you’re forced to talk to everyone. I also read that chewing gum helps you concentrate too so there’s another reason to carry some around with you!

Tissues– Honestly carrying tissues with you is a huge help even in general not just at university. You never know when you’ll need them- and trust me you will need them- so it’s really just a good idea to keep some on you at all times.

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Favourite Courses I’ve Taken So Far

American history- I have taken four American history courses so far and I’ve really enjoyed all of them. I think my favourites so far have been the History of American Popular Culture and American History 1865- present. I don’t think American History is particularly more interesting because I genuinely think all history is really interesting no matter what country it’s about but what really makes me interested in American History is that I’ve never done it before. I had never learnt any American history before so I find it new and exciting compared to some other courses which I kind of already know a bit about.

Country Music– So this is a random elective course I took that I ended up absolutely loving! My professor is really witty and interesting which makes a course that could have been kind of lame super interesting. I have always liked country music but I never though I would learn about it. However, I’m glad I did because turns out there’s a lot to learn! I was also introduced to so many new (technically very old just new to me because I hadn’t heard them before) country songs. Let me know in the comments if you want me to do a post on my favourite country songs I’ve learnt about so far!

Introduction To Sociology- This was the first ever sociology course I took in my first year and honestly it was life changing. It was so eye opening to see the world the way that sociologists do and it really put certain things into place for me. If you are picking your courses for university I would highly recommend taking a Sociology or Women and Gender Studies course at some point.

African History- I took two African History courses so far and I really enjoyed both of them. They were both taught by the same professor who was super nice and a very good professor. I learnt so much about Africa that I am ashamed to say I didn’t know before even though I was born and raised there. I absolutely loved learning about African history and hope to learn more.

Women And Gender Studies- This is the only WGST class I’ve taken and it was really great. Although as a feminist and woman of colour I already knew a lot of what we learnt it was nice to learn about it in more detail as well as discuss it with other like minded people.

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How To Pick The Perfect University Courses

Picking university courses can be extremely stressful and if you’re not careful you can end up with a really horrible schedule that can ruin your whole semester. Here are some tips to help you pick the perfect courses for you!

Are you actually interested in the topic?

The first thing to think about is if you really like the subject or whether you’re taking it just because it fits into your schedule. If you don’t like the subject very you may not like the course and are more likely to not do well in it. Take things you’re passionate about- you’ll end up enjoying the course more and will likely therefore do well in it.

Is your professor any good?

ALWAYS check your professor on ratemyprofessor before you take a course. Even if you love the subject a crappy professor can really ruin your semester. I made this mistake before and have definitely learnt my lesson.

Does it fit your schedule?

You don’t want to end up with a messy schedule that has you running from one side of the place to another so try to plan out your classes in a way that there’s enough time in between to get to your class on time. However, make sure you don’t have too much free time in between classes because then you’ll end up wasting too much time at school.

What’s the workload like?

Some professors are very understanding and go easy on you with the assignments and stuff but others are less then understanding so make sure to find the course syllabus and look through that before picking it because you may just end up with a crazy workload!

How big is the class?

Sometimes when classes are really big in size it’s really difficult to ask questions or even feel comfortable. This obviously isn’t the case for everyone but I’m more of an introvert and prefer smaller classes so if you’re like me and don’t like really big classes make sure to check before you pick the course especially for first year courses because those are usually packed.

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Well-Being Tips For Students (Guest Post)

Student life has many ups and downs, you meet lots of new people and soon realise just how appalling your cooking ‘skills’ really are. But not to worry, here are some ways you can make being a student a walk in the metaphorical park:

1. Meals
a) Eat Right, Eat Regularly

I made the mistake or trying to save money by reducing my weekly grocery shop and as a result became damn near skeletal. In other words please do not starve yourself to save money. It really isn’t smart, sure you have that extra cash to splurge at the weekends with your friends but what’s the point when you have headaches and grumbling stomachs for the rest of the time? Your grades will suffer, in fact, your overall lifestyle will. If you do find money is tight see b)

b) Saving money

If you want to save money, do it the safe way. One great way is through making your own lunch to bring with you as oppose to buying it out of cafes, restaurants or food trucks during the week. Relatively inexpensive, nutritious and filling recipes can be found easily enough online, some go to websites of mine are:
 Food Network
 BBC Good Food
 Delicious Magazine
Online sites catered to students for tips on budgeting and offering discounts can be found too. Some I used were:
 Student Beans
 Money Saving Expert
 Groupon

2. Social
a) Join a club

Even if you feel like sitting in your room watching cooking shows all day, you will most likely find more enjoyment going for a walk with your course mate than watching Gordon Ramsay almost get food poisoning (okay maybe not). To be honest, I didn’t go out enough in my first year at college and my mood dropped a lot, it’s only when I started going to the pub or the park with my peers that I soon realised that sometimes you have to do what’s uncomfortable for it to pay off. Sure it was easier being socially awkward and sitting in my room but was it doing me good in the long run? Definitely not. Not everyone’s idea of fun is going out to get absolutely wasted at nightclubs and this is fine. But instead of just sitting at home why not invite people round for a games night, have a movie night at someone’s or a bake off? Low cost, lots of people – high reward.

b) Do some volunteering in the local area

There’s always someone’s granny who needs their dog walked or garden de-weeding, right? Doing something for the local community not only benefits them but also you too. I’ve heard of certain organisations that kill two birds with one stone in that you have to jog from place to place to help the local community. Do good and feel good, sounds like a plan.

3. Well-Being
College/University is a time when you will probably meet more people in that time frame than ever again in your life. As great as this is, it’s also important to not forget about ‘you’.

a) Pamper yourself

Maybe do this once a week. Perhaps treat yourself to a lunch where you eat out, that isn’t your usual ham and cheese roll each Friday. That way you have it to look forward to at the end of the week. Why not slap on a hair and face mask that evening too? Hard study needs rewarding, wouldn’t you agree?

b) Speak to a counsellor or your doctor

If you do ever feel that college life is getting too much at times, do not bottle this in. Admitting you are struggling is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. Strength in that you are hopeful in finding a way to overcome the pressures you may feel you are facing. I wasn’t enjoying my course at university and found it very helpful to speak to a counsellor once a fortnight to get it off my chest.

Each of us having different coping mechanisms to stress, and feeling stressed at some stage of education is normal, it means you care. But don’t let pressure build up, it’s only detrimental to you then. Seek help if you need it.

c) Spend time on your own

I don’t mean all day mind you, but sometimes just going to a coffee shop and reading The Wind in The Willows is just what you need to keep those cortisol levels down. Whether it’s going to the gym or taking a walk in the park, if you need your own space then don’t feel bad about it. It doesn’t mean you’re unsocial or selfish if anything it allows you to clear your head, put your best foot forward and infact be the best version of yourself towards those around you.

4. Study

I almost forgot about this one, easily done when you have a hair mask to put on, friends to meet tomorrow evening and an innocent kitten to rescue from a tree.
Obviously the main reason you pay thousands in cash each year is for a piece of paper at the end of it saying that you aren’t just a pretty face. Keep this in mind, procrastination is one thing but don’t make it a permanent thing. If you’re struggling with your degree be it for the level of difficulty or lack of interest you may have in it then voice this and get help. College isn’t for everyone, think wisely about your career goals and how college fits into this. On the other hand if you do enjoy the course and are working hard at it then don’t forget to reward yourself every once in a while. It’s easy to become too hard on ourselves, setting high goals does not mean we have to set hard punishments on ourselves. Perhaps try the carrot before the stick.

Being a student enriches your life in many more ways than simply knowing why the sky is blue or why we yawn, it offers a plethora of memories to take with you in your future. But the key thing is, if you are a student now. live in the present and look after yourself.

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I’m Free!!

My exams are finally over I’m so happy you guys!

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Not going to lie you guys these exams really tore me a new one. This whole semester did to be completely honest it’s been a long three and a half months.

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I’m glad it’s over and I’m glad I have a few days of doing absolutely nothing because I seriously need that.

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I’m also looking forward to being more active on the blog since I can’t do that as much as I want to while I’m going to school.

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So looking forward to this break! Let me know in the comments what your plans are for your Christmas break!

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