Some thoughts from my brain machine after spending fourteen days here.
Classes have been much tougher than I’d anticipated. Yes, this is grad school. Yes, it probably doesn’t help that my brain was essentially lying dormant for the past seven months. Yes Toto, we’re not in
Tassie Kansas anymore. There’s a lot more math and physics involved. Lectures aren’t recorded, so missing class isn’t really an option anymore. We’re using RStudio again but I’ve always been a bit crappy understanding the script. We’re also using things like Vensim, Stella, and Erdas Imagine, which I’m completely unfamiliar with. Also, it’s customary for students in a class to knock on the tables in a classroom with their knuckles at the end of every class. Why? I have no clue. Apparently it’s like applause, but not.
I’m taking 6 modules (excluding the introduction courses for MSc ES students like myself, and the interdisciplinary stats refresher for Masters students) for this semester, instead of 4, which is the usual case for most Australian universities. Oh, and did I mention that some classes start at 8am, and some run until 8pm? These Germans are hardcore. My timetable, apart from Monday, is pretty packed.
Food at the cafeteria is insanely cheap, at least compared to what I was paying for on-campus f&b at UTAS. You can get soup, a main, a salad, and fruit/dessert for under 3 Euro. Even coffee from the not-as-shitty-as-I-thought vending machine is 90 cents. It doesn’t look like mochas or chai lattes are a thing here.
My studio’s fairly cosy. My couch doubles as a bed, which means I have more space for a desk and closet. My kitchen doesn’t have an extractor hood so the entire apartment smells like food whenever I cook. But my shower cubicle was recently refurbished and the studio’s warm at night (while it’s 1 degree out), and honestly, I’m looking forward to making it as homey as possible. Can’t wait to set up my photo wall 🙂
As far as social life goes, I’ve made a handful of pals in my cohort. There’s Séb, Tash, Bettina, Sooyeon, and Feli. Unfortunately, I feel like my relationships with family and friends have been put on the backburner due to my schedule and the time differences. I haven’t properly talked to my parents/sister in what feels like forever, and not having a stable internet connection at home only makes things worse. That said, I’m signing up for an internet contract tomorrow (but apparently it’ll still take a couple of weeks for everything to be set up).
Life here is good. Uni is being one tough sucker, but I have a lot, and I mean a lot to be grateful for.