I’m officially a 1 month old graduate student. And I’m quite surprised by a lot of things. Though, these things aren’t really about being a graduate student, but more of the fact that I came from a university entirely different than this one.
Knocking on tables
Students knock on tables after class. Knocking on tables is a form of applause for the lecturer. Sometimes, astudent knocks instead of raising his/her hand.
In Ateneo, or in every university in the Philippines, attendance matters. You are only allowed a number of absences per course depending on the number of units. While it would ultimately depend on your professor, most of the time you need to be physically in class. Thus, “free-cuts” are considered bonuses. Also, being late is also a big-no, most of the time.
Here, no such requirement on attendance exists. It’s entirely up to you when you want to attend the lectures.
* For classes which states “Lecture & Exercises,” you are probably required to attend.
Take exams when you’re ready
This, I love so much. No more forcing a student to be ready when he/she is clearly not. A student is free to choose his exam date from the choices given. You take the lecture on the first semester and take the exam on the next.
Also, you can take the exam without attending any lecture at all.
A course may consists of more than 100 students. Heck, some are even “unlimited” when it comes to number of students. Come a little late in class and find yourself standing up for the whole lecture.
Student + Lecturer Interaction
I think you can finish your undergraduate program here without any of your professors knowing your name (aside from your thesis adviser, of course). I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad, but I always enjoy classes where the lecturer knows his/her students.
Registration and Deregistration
Attend the first day of class and you find yourself not liking the course? No problem, deregistration is a piece of cake. Unlike in Ateneo, where you had to go all over the place just to remove a course.
I have to mention though, Ateneo’s tuition fee depends on the number of units you’re taking per sem so more work has to be done to deregister in any classes. In TU Wien (a state university), one tuition fee is asked, regardless of number of units.