Overall, everything’s good so far. The heavy work schedule over IAP was helpful, because now I’m fine with getting up for morning classes :-)
A couple of classes I’m paying special attention to:
21F.019: Communicating Across Cultures. The intro class to the Applied International Studies minor, taught by Lori Breslow and Bernd Widdig. Lori is the director of MIT’s Teaching & Learning Lab and Bernd is the associate director of MISTI, MIT’s international studies program. The course is held in the same room as last term’s writing class, and is held in a similar workshop/seminar format. So far, we’ve examined our own cultural identities, asking questions about the trends in everyday communication we take for granted. We’ve already written a paper — a “cultural self-assessment” about our own personal cultural backgrounds, how they have shaped who we are today, and our goals for the course. It looks like a fascinating class, and I look forward to it. A lot of reading, though. :-)
21F.302: French II. The logical follow-up to the class I took over IAP. This term’s course is taught by Cathy Culot, a native French speaker from Brussels. The first week has been all review so far, but we have a review exam tomorrow and then we’ll dive into real stuff next week. The class is held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for one hour each day. She randomly collects homework to see if we’ve been doing it… while the review stuff doesn’t count yet, she decided to collect the one sheet I hadn’t finished (oops!).
At the end of a recent class, she took us on a tour of the Language Lab in building 16 — it’s a center with all sorts of audiovisual language materials that we can use in our studies. There are even private movie rooms and studios where you can screen foreign films to hone your language skills. :-)
And then today, I met with an operations research professor in the Sloan School of Management to discuss major choices going forward. It is nice that so many esteemed faculty are so accessible with a simple drop of an email. He was very helpful and I think the next step is to talk to someone else in the department who specializes in IT.
Have you guys had any memorable international experiences, either through school or on your own? Do you hope to pursue any global interests when you come to college?