Macquarie University is a lot larger than St. Norbert’s, which is why I chose it. I wanted to get a big university experience. The lecture halls are not as intimidating as I had thought they’d be. Its actually refreshing that you can sort of blend in with the other students. Here at Macquarie, most courses have a lecture (large class) and a tutorial (small group classes), which are really laid back. So although you do not have much contact with the actual lecturer, there is someone you can go to. Often the tutorial teachers are who give marks anyways. Most classes here have only 3 or four assignments that each makes up a larger portion of your mark spaced out throughout the semester. Only one unit I am enrolled in requires a written exam, and is worth 60%, yikes! Its also more difficult here to get a good grade. Instead of marked off from 100, it is marked up from 0. Assignments have to be superb to receive a D (which of course is Distinction, or ABish).

The classroom environment here is really laid back. Most teachers even introduce themselves with their first names and use stories of personal experiences to elaborate a point.  Lectures are mostly not required, but strongly encouraged. Tutorials, or tuts as the Aussies call them, are mostly compulsory with attendance being a part of your final grade. With all classes accounted for, I find that I do not spend as much time in the classroom as I do at St. Norberts. But probably more time doing required readings and so forth…

This is the new Macquarie Uni Library that opened this semester (this was before the semester started, hence no on there J).

Nikki Graf is studying abroad at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.