gtag('config', 'AW-951912507');

GUIDE TO SELECT YOUR COURSES AS AN INTERNATIONAL ERASMUS STUDENT

OCTOBER 8 2018
Read EVERYTHING Below

ERASMUS ONE LAST TIME

As you may notice shortly, this is not my first Erasmus semester. 

And this is not the first time I write about selecting my courses. 

You can find my previous post from around 8 months ago here

This is actually my 4th Erasmus semester and if you’re wondering how is that possible, it’s simple. 

2 semesters during a bachelor degree and 2 semesters during a masters degree. 

All of them in the same city of Poznan. 

That is in Poland for anyone who doesn’t know. 

If you’re thinking why the same place 4 times, just imagine that you are given the option of going in heaven or hell for a period of around 120 days.

If you can give me a rational reason why you would pick hell at least 1/4 of the time after you’ve first experienced heaven, please let me know in the comment section. 

Now, let’s get back to the real business. 

 (click image to zoom)

SELECTING FROM THE FEW OPTIONS AVAILABLE

As you can see in the image, over half of the Erasmus options are not a viable option.

After 3 previous Erasmus semesters I’ve been through most of the courses that are both enjoyable and not over-the-moon difficult.  

History and culture of Poland doesn’t even count to my total ECTS if I decide on taking it.

Leadership is also a lot of work from what I already know.

So the strategy in the first week is simple.

Go to University like it’s your job (and you love It)

In the first week I always go to university more than in any time of the year. 

Because I know it’s worth it. 

If you are the best version of yourself in the first week, you can relax for the rest of the entire semester, because you’ve already done the hardest job. 

You picked your battles carefully.

What I did and what I recommend is simple. 

It’s just 3 simple things:

  • Go to every course you might be interested in 
  • Ask the professor any questions you might have (will talk about this later) 
  • Pay attention because now you decide if you want to go to play where you like or where you’re learning new trigonometric languages

So let’s have a look at what I decided to try in the first week of last semester.

And more importantly, let’s look at what I tried this time.

You’ll definitely notice the extra color.

No wonder the rich get richer, when it’s easier to add on to something you already have as a base.

-> CLICK HERE TO GET ACCESS TO THE SPREADSHEET <-

 

Prettier or not, this was definitely a much helpful file.

The last one didn’t have each year of bachelor and each year of masters in a different color.

This makes it so much easier to distinguish between the groups and knowing who you’re going to find in the classroom.

Trust me, who you sit in the same class room for 30+ hours in the next couple of months matters.

START OF THE SELECTION

As usual, the first 2 weeks are open to change.

You can just check out any course you want, and before 2 weeks pass, you can have a new document with an all new study program.

As I said, it’s important to check the courses, preferably checking them out yourself.
There are a few different reasons for this, but one of the main reasons is that you’ll “feel” that connection with the professor and the subject, or not.

 

 SETTING PRIORITIES

Beside your gut feeling, you need some rationality and criteria to take a decision. 

That’s where priorities come in. 

My priorities for this particular semester were as follows :

  1. Difficulty 
  2. Grade
  3. Effort
  4. Timing
  5. Attendance

By difficulty I mean the overall degree of effort  and time it takes to get a high grade.

To some extent it encompasses all the other ones but it’s a mix that gives you a better idea if it’s worth it or not.

There is a reason why difficulty is at the top, while effort isn’t.

That’s mainly teamwork.

I can accept the fact that the subject might require some new things to learn and some System 2 thinking (you can read more about this in the post about learning new things, and why it’s hard for our brain to do it).

However, I can’t accept if there is a 3-5 teamwork team where I’d have to randomly (or not) get on a long-semester project with people that may or may not be as interested as me in either of those criteria I just mentioned.

So, the final list had the following columns:

  • Difficulty
  • Timing
  • Attendance
  • Professor
  • Average (Worth It)

The last one is just an average that is calculated automatically.

I graded everything from 1 to 5.

  • 1 meaning really bad.
  • 5 meaning really good.

And actually, I only had to use the number 1 once. (if anyone asks I might share in the comments, but it’s not relevant for this post)

Of course, grading is subjective.

Even so, if you look at Professor or Attendance you can see that most are similar, so that’s not where the main difference was.

The biggest difference was made at the “Difficulty” level.

As you can see, everything that I assessed as a 4, eventually made the list with one of the highest averages. 

Difficulty was closely tied with Professor. Although some have used the “teamwork” boogieman, they were able to do it in such a way, that didn’t make life hard, but rather challenging.

One more important thing I did and which I added to the Spreadsheet, is opening a new Sheet  called “Choices” where I tested out different variations of how my days could look like.

Since the requirement was 30 credits, I tested out almost all possible variations. While doing this, I also imagined how my days could look like as far as energy, gym and time to do creative work vs. chores.

END OF SELECTION

After weighing the pros and cons, the winning formula for me was the following:

Monday: 13:15-14:45 – 1 lecture

Wednesday: 8:00 – 14:45 – 3 lectures + 1 class

Friday: 8:00 – 14:45 – 4 lectures

My final decision took into account all of the aforementioned criteria. 

Waking up 2 times a week at 6 in the morning might not be everyone’s cup of coffee. 

However, this is a good way to make sure I wake up early all the time, as a good habit. 

I don’t think I have to tell you all the benefits of waking up early on a consistent basis.

In order to get rid of Monday entirely, I could’ve added another course on Wednesday and then it would’ve become one long day. But making Wednesday so miserable would not be the healthiest thing I could do for my brain and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a really good reason why you would put your health or well being as far less important than academic results (which are not even a guarantee).

END OF THE WEEK

It was a challenging week.

Did I make the best possible list?

That’s actually the same question I asked in the last post about selecting my Erasmus courses.

The answer is the same.

Probably not.

But I will make sure that this decision will be the right one.

Now, because I want to keep this post short, sweet and valuable without, the fluff. I will end it here, by having at the end of the post the link to the Google Sheet for whoever will need it and wants to try it out.

Oh, and one more thing.

Just like last semester, when I finally went to the gym after the first week, this time I did the same thing, but with a twist. First, I’ll repost the image from the last semester because it’s a nice reminder how things repeat themselves.

 

SAME PLACE DIFFERENT ATMOSPHERE

Many of you might now know, but I’m a long-time Dragon Ball fan.

I’ve had the luck of watching the series as a little kid, continued while growing up and never looked back.

The surprising thing is that only 1 day ago the movie Trailer #2 for the new Dragon Ball Super movie came out and today, a few meters away from the gym and stadium here in Poznan I noticed something.

As you will see in the image down below, it is actually a food stand with Dragon Ball.

I am not sure about their food because I didn’t taste it, but if I would be hungry I know what place I’d try out.

With that, I appreciate the time for reading this and if there’s anything you want to share, the comment section down below is open to everybody.

And the Spreadsheet:

CLICK HERE FOR THE SPREADSHEET

If there’s anything on your mind, don’t be shy, you have the comment box down below ⇩⇩⇩ Promise I won’t bite ⇩⇩⇩

If there’s anything on your mind, don’t be shy, you have the comment box down below ⇩⇩⇩ Promise I won’t bite ⇩⇩⇩