Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh, Oslo University...

I desperately want to go to Russia!

Which is why I'm a bit disappointed with my university, where I only get the possibility to go to Russia for three months. I will also have to study with Norwegians only in Russia (at a Norwegian center), with teachers that speak Norwegian but that apparently teach in Russian. How is it fair that the students studying English get to go to English-speaking countries for a year, whereas those who study Russian, which is so much more difficult, only get three months? And why don't we get any practice actually using the language?

Studying Russian in the incredibly grammatical and sterile manner they do here is not a problem for me, since I writes essays on my own accord, have a big vocabulary and can read books, and meet with a Russian speaking person once a week. But if I had had no previous knowledge of Russian, and I only started studying this way, I very much doubt if I would've found it very rewarding. We never write anything of our own, we have never handed in anything written whatsoever, and we only get to speak once a week - that is those who actually show up for those hours. Since they are not obligatory, a lot of people just drop them. Not that the lecturers are obligatory, people still go to them without actually being forced, but for some reason the speaking class seems to be of very little interest to a lot of students. They are the only hours that include some literature!

This really makes me wonder how much Russian stuff the other students do on their own. I really can't imagine that someone who only follows these classes and who doesn't try to improve on his or her own would be able to follow classes in Russian after only one year. Since people still seem to do it, does that mean that the classes that we get in Russia aren't difficult at all? :(

Today as I was browsing through the classes that are offered at Oslo University I got very much tempted by some French classes. However, everything at Oslo University must be difficult and complicated, and I can't choose any free subjects. And if I could, I don't think I would be able to choose those French classes, because they seem to be reserved for people enrolled in French bachelor programs or masters programs. And, certain classes seem to be held once every 4th year... FLEXIBILITY, Norway. It's a virtue.

I'll get to it eventually though. As soon as I am eligible for student funding in this country I'm going to use it to the max, even though staying at this particular university for a decade doesn't feel that very tempting. Meanwhile I want to find some sort of distance class that forces me to go to Stockholm every now and then, just for a change of scenery, but I can't do that either since I'm going to Russia this fall. Bah!

For this summer, I signed up for a distance class on female history and another one in English grammar and translation. (At Swedish universities - distance teaching isn't really a concept in Norway it seems.) I may go crazy and go through with both.

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