I am so sorry for being late for this entry. I got late because I was trying to catch up with classes at the same time I was travelling a lot. So I’ll cover up by making two entries this week.
I’ll begin by talking about the classes here. So first of all people don’t say they are “majoring” in something but rather just”studying”this or that or may be “taking a degree” in. Next the classes are called “modules”. For example I am taking six modules this semester. Each module is either of 10 or 20 credits. Usually a module which lasts just for one semester is of 10 credits and the one which continues for the whole year is of 20 credits, yes a lot of classes here are an year long. That’s some basic terminology used in probably most of the universities in U.K.
I will just mention the classes I am taking here, for the sake of any engineering, especially mechanical engineering students from Iowa state reading my blog and planning to study as an exchange student at University of Birmingham. So I am taking Electrical Power, Mechatronics (both can are approved as tech electives), Engineering materials (this could be approved as Mat E 273), Thermodynamics and Fluids ( I am just taking the fluids part here), an introductory class for psychology and a film class titled “American Cinema and the world”. I honestly find that the film class is my favourite of them all, I mean come on, in which class do you get to watch a movie in almost every lecture and get homework which involves watching a movie rather than reading something.
Classes have a different pattern here, more relaxed, there are fewer lectures per week, mostly one or two and I don’t get that much homework as what I am used to in getting at Iowa state per week. Also most of the assignments or home works don’t get counted towards the final grade. I am not trying to make going to a university in U.K. sound as being on a vacation so here comes the scary part- for most of my classes the final grade for a class depends on one final exam which includes all the syllabus! If you end up with a C or D in it, then that is your final grade, no changes possible.
Let’s come to the more exciting part now, the campus, I’ll let the pictures speak themselves, haha:
I am involved in ballroom dancing at Iowa state, well merely a beginner so I decided to continue my hobby here also, and apart from other ballroom dances, I ended up trying salsa also. I came to know about salsa dance society because of a friend, which I will talk about later. So I went to a big salsa and Latin dancing event at the great hall of the university, where teachers of Latin dances from 20 different European countries were present. Here is the great hall from inside during the event:
Now talking about the student clubs and organisations here. They are usually called societies here. I regularly go to the ballroom dance society practices and salsa ones. I am a regular badminton player at Iowa state, (well I am the vice-president of ISU badminton club) so I was looking forward and excited to join the badminton society here, also they have a badminton coach, but unfortunately the badminton society has a limited number of memberships available and it was already full so I couldn’t join it.
I got a chance to go to a free food event called ‘Langar’ organised by the Sikh society here. In their brochure they explain that Langar is a free community kitchen run in the room of the Guru. Langar a Persian word, means ‘an almshouse’-an easy asylum for the poor and the destitute. Here are some pictures:
Now I’ll talk about where I live in Birmingham. I live on university campus in the area called vale village. Vale village comprises of maple bank, mason and tennis courts. I live in the maple bank area. Here are the pictures:
I would have posted a picture of room as well, but it is not in a good shape right now at least not photo worthy state, Haha, so some other time, but I’ll share the picture of a wall in my room, the favourite part of my room where I have the poster made by my friends, along with their messages on it, presented to me on my birthday during a surprise birthday and going away party they had planned for me! They told me that they wanted to see this on the wall of my room in Birmingham. This always reminds me during the time of hardships and stressful study sessions or if I ever feel lonely or sad in Birmingham, that there are people somewhere waiting and wanting me to achieve something great!
Until next post! Cheers!