Something I did not get to do last semester that I really wanted to experience this semester was to take a class at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (UAM). Last semester, I spent some time on the campus because I was leading and English conversation group but this semester, I spent most of my time on the campus since I took two classes and led another English conversation group.
One of my classes was an independent study with Professor Josep Lobera, who teaches both at our program center and the UAM, so we met on campus for this class. My other class was called the “Sociology of Globalization” which was partially taught by Professor Lobera and partially taught by a different professor.
This class was an interesting experience for me because it required some adapting on my part to get used to the teaching style of the other professor. Unlike Tufts classes, my class at the UAM featured little to no class discussion and it was mostly the professor lecturing for two hours. It was hard for me sometimes to stay engaged because I have gotten used to the way classes are at Tufts where there is more participation from students, I have always felt that it helps you stay concentrated and engaged with class rather than doing other things. Also, even though I am fluent in Spanish, it was challenging for me to keep up with the language sometimes because I had never studied sociology in Spanish before so even though I knew most of the theories discussed, I had to take time to identify them in Spanish.
I can’t say whether one teaching style is better than the other, but I will say that despite its challenges I enjoyed my UAM class. I got to know other Erasmus students and some Spanish students, got to experience a different university, and got to commute to a real campus in Madrid. I can also talk more about my major in another language which the sociology nerd in me feels very excited about. Overall, I’m happy I had a chance to experience the UAM and enjoyed a change of pace from my first semester here.