And so it begins. 

Orientation is complete, the week of frolic time has passed and now we are back to the groove of school. Some say boo, I say woohoo! 

The school system for the Reunidas classes here is a little difficult for me to wrap my head around at times.

The classes are all 90 minutes long and you either have them Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays you do not have class. The school year also does not begin in August like it does in the U.S., October 1 is the first day of the school year and the students do not get out until July. I like my summers too much to be inside a building during all of May, June and part of July. 

Besides the differences in time, the expectation of students buying textbooks is something I would like to have in the United States. You see, textbooks tend to be optional, the professors either put the class materials online or photocopy them for you. The general gist of what I get from the teachers is that they don't want to make you pay an arm and a leg for your right to an equal education, I admire that and think the United States could take a lesson from this. Students in the U.S. are leaving college with an average of $23,300 while the country as a whole has $1 trillion in outstanding student loans. For my five classes I have to buy two books and a few packets of, totaling no more than 50 euros, at universities in the U.S. this would cover one class, not five. 

On another note, at the universities here you have a week where you can go to all the classes you would like to determine which ones you want to take. I sat in on a sociology class, decided I didn't want to take it, and that was that. You don't officially register until your second week of class. It's a nice system, but I feel like I'm cheating it. 

For the Marquette en Madrid program we have ten weeks of classes, that's only 20 classes and not a lot of time. I'm used to classes that are three times a week for 15 weeks and not designed to be a hybrid class of sorts. It's a little nerve-racking to think I have one week down and nine to go for three of my classes. Cross your fingers we do well!



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