Sunday, December 12, 2010

There's no room! (Non c'è posto!)

So UBC ( which I love and miss) back in Vancouver has a registering system. It's hateful, stressful and university students wake up at 7 am to get into their classes. They'll compulsively check every hour whether there is even spot in that class they are aiming for ( for me it was Russian Lit 207 in first year and a course HIGHLY recommended.) I've made a skill even of showing up to classes I couldn't fit into and rushing to the teacher, explaining ( exaggerating even) how much I want to be in their class. After the first few classes, I keep attending, people drop and almost magically my add/drop form is signed by the teacher's hand......

Italy has no such system, I mean of registration ahead of time.
At least not University of Bologna.
You find out when/where the classes are (A sort of frustratingly amazing scavenger hunt) and show up.

Our theatre class had 40 people on the first day. This wasn't a sit down lecture type of thing, this was a laboratory with work on everyone's piece. Another theatre class of mine has more than 100 people ( History of Theatre) and often, students have no place to sit.

You may think this is a god send.
Also we are divided into 4 periods. 2 per term.
You can have a class that runs Period I (Oct-Nov). Or even if you have a class that runs full term, you can choose whether you want to take the exam for 6 credits (Period I) or 12 for both periods.
This allowed me to get out of a stunningly boring Italian Literature class in time for my theatre class ( Period II) to start up.

I emailed the prof ( so he could have a rough number of students attending) and showed up with other students.
Over the course of the three weeks ( I kid you not, our class ran Nov 15- Dec 9) we lost a few students. Some classes we sit on stage while the other perform, just waiting. There is no restriction for people after all.

The city of Bologna is known for it's University ( said to be founded as early as 1088 and in it's attendees even Dante) and it's a University town. Though there is no campus, the classes spread out in different streets within the city. Let's see Zamboni houses a lot of the classroom buildings and libraries, but another 15 minutes away you can find the DAMS (Theatre) buildings. So if you've got classes literally on the other side of town, it can get problematic.

A Popular question is "what do you study"
When I say "Theatre, Literature, a bit of everything" they immediately ask Faculty "DAMS?" and sometimes I explain "no, I'm overseas but technically in the Letter & Filosofia faculty ( department in english) but I'm taking theatre courses. Or I just agree, Yes, DAMS. Because 1. It sounds awesome and 2. I should be.

Each class is scheduled to run for 2 hours. But most start 15 minutes late ( for arrival time) and end 15 minutes early. So if you've got back to back classes, you have a half hour to grab a slice of pizza or coffee with your buddies before traveling across town to your next class.
The city is very student oriented, the night life, the cafes, the pizzerias. It's almost like living on a university campus because the city is so small!

According to the *ever trustworthy* Wikipedia:
UBC population of Undergrads: 46,475 – Vancouver.
Unibo population of students: 95,711 ( 2006 figure)

UBC 4.02 km2main campus
UniBo 140.7 km2 City of Bologna

So when you've completed your short course. You sign in online on your "Piano di Studi" or Curriculum.
And find your classes. Click 'Take Exam" and since the exams are usually Oral, it will tell you when and where.

That's all for now. I'll rant about the system another time. Exams are scheduled in January ( late) but it looks like a have a written ( unnatural!!) exam on Thursday. But I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. and if you think that's bad, try being an American 1-semester student who has to leave in December, when most classes don't hold exams until January, and having to fight the bureaucracy just to get credit...

    That poster may be the best motivational tool ever!