Summer holiday is drawing to a close, or is it…

Hey guys;

So, after almost two months, the long summer holiday is now drawing to a close. Um, not really. Wait. Why? Well…for MUIC students the summer holiday is really drawing to a close because the upcoming Monday is the start of the new academic year.

But wait, I’m also a MUIC student, right? Yep that’s right, but…for me it’s somewhat special! True the summer holiday is ending, but that’s just the normal, most boring part of the holiday. Because, on September 11th which is Tuesday, the most interesting, and potentially the most enjoyable, phase of the summer holiday will begin. This phase of the holiday will last around two weeks. On September 24th, my semester will truly begin (in reality, since I don’t have classes on Monday, my first day of class will be Tuesday).

Yep, I’m talking about my exchange program. Time really flies, I must say. From when I filled in and submitted my application to today…that’s around six or seven months, and that time have really gone by pretty fast.

Since we’re on the subject of my exchange program, I might as well update you all on what’s going on, as there were quite a few important things.

First off, is the buddy program. After a few weeks of wait, I finally got my buddy on August 16th. Now, unlike when I volunteered to be a buddy at MUIC, there is no big information sheet containing all the match ups. Instead, in the confirmation email there was just the name and email of the buddy volunteer and the name and email of the new student. Also, do you remember when I mentioned that the new exchange student who came to MUIC back in January was matched up with multiple buddies? Well here it’s the exact opposite. One buddy volunteer may be matched up with more than one new students.

Anyways…initially me and my buddy communicated via email, and soon our conversation shifted to Facebook, where she set up a group chat with me and two other new students. The most interesting part is, I’m the only undergraduate new student in the group, as the two other students are starting their postgraduate degrees. Oh and…I almost forget, all the new students (including me) are from the ASEAN region.

Now, let’s move on to some other stuff…namely the registration process.

Unlike at MUIC, where the bulk of the process to register as a new student is done by staff, here for University of Sussex it’s self-service, meaning that new students complete the bulk of the registration process on their own including the selection of photos for their student ID cards.

From my experience, the process actually went quite smoothly and the online registration interface is very accessible and user-friendly. I also received my Sussex email account which, after checking it out, is an Office365 account just like my Mahidol account, but unlike my Mahidol account, I can actually install the desktop version of Microsoft Office for free. But I’m not going to do that as I already have Microsoft Office installed in my laptop, linked to my existing subscription. Also since I don’t know whether the mentioned account is permanent or temporary, I decided to go into the options and set it to forward all incoming emails to my Mahidol account.

And…here comes the most exciting part – the upcoming events, and…let me tell you, there are a lot of them, according to the welcome calendar.

So, there are many, like many, exciting events to look forward to. But the ones I think I will attend are the beach BBQ (forgot which day it was) and the fireworks display on Friday (September 21st). Oh, and there is also the ‘big buddy hello’ event, which is just…dinner, but with free food and drink, and…potentially other surprises that I didn’t foresee. Unless if there are any events that are really big, I’ll most likely combine all the events into a single, big event. Whether this will be given the rating as the best event of the year, I do not know.

As for my overall experience…I can’t really predict as well, but I guess it can be either I really enjoy it, or I do not enjoy it at all. For the case that I do not enjoy my exchange program, there could be two possible reasons. Either the workload is too much, or the culture shock proved too overwelming to overcome. But I think the workload is a more likely cause because…let’s face it, I’ll be taking pretty high level subjects and…who knows, there could be coursework in all of them, and they could all be individual work, and…those coursework could be in a form of writing up research papers. Oh, and if the only available alternative assessment is additional coursework, this would mean a ton of coursework. But I guess I’ll have to see how things turn out…

Anyways, I guess that’s it for now…

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