It can’t be December 1st tomorrow? No way, you guys are having me on. Really? That means one thing… it’s only 7 sleeps until my next exam! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, because exam period starts again next week. That’s right, again. Here we have exams at the end of October/start of November, and in the last two weeks of term before we break up for Christmas. That’s just one of the many differences between studying at Leicester and studying at Avignon.
As I said, we had exams at the end of October, so that means we only had 6 weeks of learning before Round 1 of exams started. Maybe I’m too accustomed to the British system where we have January exams and Summer exams, but I just don’t feel like I’ve learned enough in that space of time to be able to sit exams. Despite this, I can’t say I’ve been stressed about any of my exams so far. At Leicester, exam period is a big deal. You’re given a separate timetable for your exams with the date and time they will take place. That doesn’t happen here. Your exams take place in the same room and at the same time you have your lectures. It’s just up to the lecturer which week he/she feels like holding the exam. This is one of the main reasons why I haven’t been getting too stressed or worked up about exams. It feels like I’m attending a lecture like any other.
Also, I’m an Erasmus student, and although this year does count towards my final grade, I’m not overly worried about getting the best marks I possibly can. For one, we are at a linguistic disadvantage. I’m not using this as an excuse for low marks, but even if we understand a subject as well as any of the French students, it would still be more difficult for us to express ourselves cohesively under exam conditions, whether it be verbally or through the written word. I probably sound like a slacker, but I’m realising more and more that studying is only one part of the Erasmus year. In one of my last posts I mentioned that I’d been ill, and I can honestly say that my French improved so much more in that week than it would have had I attended my lectures. Not that I’m condoning bunking off!
One thing I do truly miss about studying at Leicester is our rich library culture. When it comes to exam period, the David Wilson Library becomes your home. You and your squad make late night visits to revise together because revising alone in your room is dull. Despite all the fun I had there, I actually managed to revise well and pull off good grades! Here, the library closes before 8pm on weekdays and is closed entirely on weekends. Perhaps French students are better at organising their time so they work hard during the week and can enjoy their evenings and weekends…
Overall, studying here is very different to studying in the UK but that’s just something I’m slowly but surely getting used to. Until next time!