Indiana University Overseas Study

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The past two weeks of organizing my schedule time and again and registering for classes have made me immensely grateful for IU’s easy-to-follow system.

At Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, international students have an advantage—the first week of class is considered a “free week,” more or less. We were allowed to try out different classes to determine which ones suit our abilities and interests, in order to make the official registration process easier on us.

Last week I attended several classes in various faculties at the university, from Amazonian Ethnography to Andean Archaeology to Ethnicity and Mestizaje. Every class appealed to me in different ways, so deducing a final schedule was a difficult task. Was the subject matter more important than the professor’s teaching abilities? Would I be happier taking a class filled with other exchange students, or should I put myself outside of my comfort zone and try a class where there’s a Peruvian majority? Does the time slot work with my hour-long commute from my homestay to and from the university?

Taking a break in PUCP's lawn after a long morning of registering for classes.

Taking a break in PUCP’s lawn after a long morning of registering for classes.

With so many things to consider, my brain was fried. After drafting and redrafting my desired schedule, I finally decided on one that seemed to work perfectly across all platforms, yet I soon found out this international student advantage only took us so far.

This past Monday was the registration date of exchange students, and though the process began at 9 a.m., I was told an early arrival meant a greater likelihood of getting into the classes I want. And after spending so much time working through my options, I was not about to miss out on my chance to get into my courses.

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, made it to the university at 6:30 a.m. and waited in line to receive a number. I then waited for the process to begin, waited in a classroom for my turn to schedule and waited in more lines to reach the computers and their attendants to make everything official.

Despite my early arrival and despite having planned everything out, I only made it into one class of four that I hoped to take. As I quickly learned, the vacancies in classes were quite limited and filled up quicker than I had imagined possible. I now am taking classes I did not attend during the first week’s “trial period” and playing catch-up. Thanks to the kind nature of my new professors, this hasn’t been as difficult as I had feared.

As much as I love my university here and all it has to offer, this registration system definitely proved to be my most stressful experience thus far. Here’s to hoping it’s the last!

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