The educational system followed by UCC varies slightly from the other Irish Universities and greatly from the education in the United States.  I took three psychology classes and one political class and they both seemed to differ in the same way.  Professors are addressed by their first name but at the same time, they are more distant from the students.  They will go out to the pub for drinks with the class but when in it comes to the actual class, the students are left pretty much alone.  Professors will lecture for the entire class period, provide resources and then expect the students to do a majority of the learning on their own.  Each class that I took had either one class of two hours or two classes of one hour each week.  My schedule worked out to not have any class Thursday or Friday.  This small quantity of class allows for students to spend their free time learning the material independently.  However, there are not many, if any, assignments during the regular semester.  Typically the only assessment will be a midterm and a final taking the form of a paper, typically around 2500 words, or an exam.  I have five papers that I need to turn in by the beginning of January and that is the only assessment I have had for the entire semester.  Personally, this semester has been pretty relaxing academically.  I made it to class when I was in town and looked over the material but I felt I wasn’t learning as much as I would be at St. Norbert.

Tom Mauthe is studying abroad at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland.