Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Struggle That Is

Honestly, I wish I could say Darden is more than happy to accommodate students who wish to and are going on exchange, though lately, this seems to be the opposite. Do you blame them? Darden has some, if not, the best professors in the world. The school provides a vast array of courses for everyone from the quant-junkies to those of us who'd like to indulge in a book or 7 and get course credit. The program is known for rigor and I'll admit, I've had my trials, ironically loving every minute. So what's the big deal with exchange? In my opinion, the problem is that Darden doesn't know how to let go. At the end of the day it's their name on the diploma and when one is overseas, Dad's got to give it a rest.

A full course load (I've likely mentioned this before) is 5 classes at Darden = 7.5 credit hours. In comparison, a full course load at SSE is 2 classes as the school doesn't track credits hours in the same manner. Taking Leadership and Theater as a J-Week class has allowed me to make Q3 a 6 credit hour quarter. This is where I run into problems. The course I'm most interested in taking will only give me 2 credit hours. I'm registered for two other courses, while likely still interesting though less so, will give me 3 credit hours each. I can try to overload by taking three courses, however I risk not experiencing the culture as much as I'd like. There's an optional ungraded Swedish course for exchange students that I attempted to see if I could take for an extra credit hour, but simply got a short answer of no credit "for several reasons."

I want to be clear, I'm not asking for special treatment. All I want is a bit of reasonability as I believe this experience is as much for me as an individual as it can be for school recognition by the future leaders of the world. I came to Darden knowing and wanting to do an exchange. Here I am. I just wish some of the hoops could be removed for the next SSE exchange student.


MechaniGal said...

what if you load up in Q4 @darden - ie take 6 courses - to complete the required minimum credits?

JulyDream said...

While that is potentially an option, I've been stressed enough with 5 classes per quarter and can't even imagine taking 6. Nonetheless, I imagine many people will be enjoying the last 2 months at Darden before we all head off in different directions. I'd hate to miss that.