#5.Collage Contrast : Austria vs India

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-20 at 15.04.33Hey there,
Welcome to a special edition called collage contrast which is a collaboration between me and my co-blogger where we give you an insight of how different it is between our collage life and let you walk in two dimensions of time and witness the extend of collage experience.
But before we dive in, these facts may not be true for every college but rather we try to deduce a general outline between the lives of us from them but more or less, try to come to a general conclusion. This involves not just our collage experience both also the people that are spread far and wide within the regions.

The college day morning

Austria: Well, let me start my saying everyday is never the same day. Because you basically don’t have a fixed time schedule and classes can begin any time of the day. Like some days, you have classes at 9 am in the morning whereas the other days, you may have at 4 pm. It always keeps fluctuating and another good news, you never have class all the time. Sometimes, you may have classes on Monday but maybe not Tuesday , then you have Wednesday & Thursday class but not Friday you are off. But your class schedule is always fixed. Like you were meant to  have accounting at 9 am on 1st May, which means will definitely have your accounting classes have 9 am on 1st may ,and nothing can change it unless the teacher is sick. So, every student has their e-calendar in their phone and there is no need to tell anyone when  your lecture is and where it would it be.

India: Well for us it’s entirely a different story. Our classes are pre-fixed and start every at 9.00.We have our add on courses such as CA, ACCA, CAT coaching etc till 11.30 after which we have our regular classes. I’m doing B.com degree and yeah this add on facility is something that only our college has.Yea add-on are compulsory additional courses that we take along with the B.com degree and is just like professional courses or coaching for a higher degree)  Most of the other colleges I know here doesn’t offer this facility). We are not as lucky as Dochi because our classes are fairly regular and we even classes on Saturdays although only till 2.30.We are informed about the classes via mail or we can check our special open source school management system named Fedena. The other colleges in our locality get a lot of day offs from Strikes and Hartals that are so typical here in India. The first thing my buddies in other colleges do when they wake up is inspect the newspaper for such news. But sadly for us, Hartal or not, Sun or rain, storm or breeze there’ll be classes for sure.

Our course system

Europe: We follow the ECTS system (European Credit & Transfer accumulation System), which means every course you take might have a specific credit that you will be awarded if you pass and complete your required task. Its like number of hours required to complete the workload & learning outcome in relation to the course. Basically, 1 ECTS= 25-30 hours of study workload but don’t freak out, it includes all the time you study at home or with your friends and anytime throughout the course. And example, software was 3 ECTS= 25×3= 75 hours of workload to complete the subject. Each course has a fixed time sloth before the exam. Like for example, Private law is a 24 LE class (1 lecture =45 mins), So, once those 24 LE are over, you need to write your exam and the Private law is done. You will have days where private law would be taught for 5 LE in one day, so, classes can be quite long and thick too.In total, the whole bachelor program consist of 180 ECTS and also exchange semester in the 3rd which is optional and 5th semester as internships ,which is absolutely compulsory.

India :Our course basically consists of different subjects that are spread across the entire 3 years that our course takes to complete. We have 2 semesters consisting of around 5 months each per year. For the first semester, we had papers like banking & insurance and corporate regulations and framework and for second semester we had courses like business regulatory framework and business management. The time allotted to each hour is flexible and depends on the workload involved. We had to do a second language paper this year but there’s only English literature from the second year onwards. The specialization papers comes only in the final year where the studies become much more intense and serious. Our college also offers programs that are held in abroad universities(This year it was in Canada and Taiwan) for short durations.

Our class system

Austria: Wondering how my classes are! Lets just say, it’s not necessary a lot of work materials to carry to class. You have an e-desktop along with your student ID number and password, your lecturers will probably post the presentation and all required course material such as research papers, reviews and extra questions. There might be a few courses that you might need a textbook but don’t go spill your money, you can probably find the digital copy available to download online for free. (#college hack). Oh!!, Are you looking how to skip classes. 🤣😅, Every collage has their different system of bunking classes. In my collage, its compulsory to be present but you are permitted to skip in total of 6 LE per subject. Which means if you are lazy to get up in the morning, and your lecture has 3 LE today, then just sleep it off. Its no problem. I personally skip class to get prepared for my upcoming exams but its totally fine to skip. Everything is possible to learn by yourself because you can learn those tutorials of your course through online sources or with the help of your friends. And FYI, you always have classes in different campus or different blocks, so. It always keeps changing depends on the professor preference and learning motive of the day. Most cases, you wont see your friends from other courses because everyone course has different time schedules and are always in different campus/blocks most of the time. Even lunch breaks are different for everyone.

India:Even for us, text books aren’t compulsory although our teachers do recommend that we buy ’em. They also give us the names of reference manuals that can give us a deeper insight into the subject.Our entire bcom department is divided into model 1 Finance and Taxation, model 2 F&T and model 1 Computer Application. We rarely ever get to sit our buddies in these other classes because the only time we get to go to a different classroom is when we have our add ons or language. When it comes to bunking we have to take precautions coz 75% attendance is a must for us. If we manage 65%,then we can get a condonation provided we produce a medical certificate(trust me that’s an easy task) but we can get condonation only in alternate years. If you fall short of the minimum attendance then you get the infamous supplementary better known an supply where you have to write the exams next year along with your Juniors. Also most of our teachers send us short notes and other important stuff so doesn’t matter even if your attendance wavered for a bit while you are in class.

What happens in class

Austria: That’s always a mystery question, I must say. Like I said you can bring anything to class right from your laptop to tablet to even your PS4.( yes, I had a friend who did that).You are allowed to record the whole class through your voice recorder. But trust me, having a lecture recording of 5 hours isn’t that helpful. Yeah, our lecture can vary from 2 hour, 4 hours to even 8 hours. Well, everyone has social media in the laptop and most of people class are probably playing poker online with your each or watching the sport game you missed last night or a live game. I always see girls doing their online shopping bucket in class 😅. Pretty much, you have all the freedom in the world. You can either pay attention in class and interact with your lessons or just chill till the class ends. I am personally hate long lecturers because I feel tired and sleepy. During the breaks, I need to wash my face often and take a small walk to survive the next few hours. But overall, its fun. Some lecturers are interesting such as marketing, but others are just plain dull. You need to accept that no course is your perfect course, so you must deal with interesting as well as thick topics. Oh, by the way. You can leave the class whenever you want. You don’t need to ask the lecturers permission. I still remember I was hungry and I had a 5 LE class, that I ended up going to a nearby glossary shop to buy apples. 😋 and totally doable.You can also leave earlier if you want to catch your bus or train back home.

India:Guess what! We cannot carry our mobile phones to college let alone use it. And if we are caught using our phones, the teachers or the principal himself will take it away and we’ll get it back only after a full month, not a day earlier no matter how much we plead or beg(even crying doesn’t work.. We have tried it). That never stopped us daredevils from using our phones though. Within this one year we have all mastered the art of texting with the phone in our bags while maintaining a straight eye contact with the lecturer. Yes I know we are legends. Also the safest place to use the phone without getting caught is…. that’s right.. the wash rooms. All we have to do is get permission from the lecturer to use the washroom and take the phone with you. But trust me it doesn’t work quite like this all the time. Once our class teacher grew suspicious of my friend who pretty much exploited this excuse and asked him to hand over the phone to him before hitting the loo.We had a good laugh that day.. And about having a snack while there’s class going on, don’t even think about it. The moment you are caught for even chewing a gum, you’ll be thrown out! But us legends have managed to eat a whole Biriyani(an Indian dish) while the class was going on. Its all about experience and skill! And about leaving the class in between, unless you can give a really strong reason or you are sick, your attendance will be marked as absent.

Types of classes

Austria:  YA!!, this is going to be interesting. Not every class is the same kind. You might have a few lecturers from a professor that lives in USA, so. Your lecturers will happen via Skype or other video call media. So, you will have classes just by laying in the bed in your room. Nah , don’t have to be online always. You might face the problems of buffering or video call not applicable. Its normal. A few lecturers record the video call and just upload it later. Some class are defined as e-learning which I still dont have a definite answer of. E-learning, too you can do it in your room. Its basically your lecturers will email you a few research papers or an assignment or even nothing, just do it but its not always mandatory. I honestly haven’t done anything during the e-learning. Probably watching a Netflix series, but is totally unaware that e-learning is supposed to happen now. Then we have something called block week, where you are should be present because you will be taught one subject the whole entire week(25 LE in one week)  because the lecturer is from abroad and is here for a short period of time .You will have exams the very next  week later. Then we have the normal class in seminar halls as well as smaller classrooms.

India:  For us it’s the same every day. Lecturers take classes using their presentations. But it’s not that boring because all of ’em are highly skilled and they do know how to keep us entertained. Plus there are only some 35 of us in a class so the lecturers know us all personally and daydreaming or napping is not a viable option because chances are you will be met with a “Go wash your face and come” or worse “I’m gonna mark you absent for this hour if you do this anymore”. They also keep a watch on the weaker students and even offer to throw in a few extra hours for em. Now for the best part.. Our Industrial Visits.They are absolutely the best.The perfect excuse to have fun under the excuse that you are visiting a factory. This “visit to a factory” only last up to less than an hour and the rest of the day is all ours to relax and enjoy to the max. Our IV has to be the day we enjoyed the most actually, it’s that awesome. And we have camps in 2nd and 3rd years and they are even more fun than our IVs.Also our college gives us opportunities to be develop as better people who care about the society and not just themselves. We are taken to orphanages and old ages homes to spend time with those beautiful people, who for no fault of theirs , are not in a privileged situation like us. Most of us are also part of the Young India initiative where we are introduced to a lot of platforms to boost our talents and develop overall.

Type of exams

Austria: just as how are classes are different, so is our exam. There are many time of exams or various types to get graded. Like a few subjects, requires you to do presentation or our e-learning homework’s. whereas, some subjects are “take home exams” or write a reflection paper about the course. There are also a normal written exam which can either be a mid-term or just a final exam. My favourite kind of exam is the open book exam, love it!!😍 you can carry all your course material and have all preplanned notes and sheets ready that makes your task easier to do. Its like you need to study a draft of how to do the tasks but having all the shortcuts and guidelines in reach of your fingertips. We also have something called the oral exams, honestly its stressful and all based on luck. You randomly choose the question from a pile and you have a 5 minute countdown and then you begin. Rapid fire question but some oral question are group based, which means you will be asked to make groups of 3 and do the oral exams together, if you don’t know the answer of a question, you co-mate is allowed to hint you the answer which gives him bonus points and you get the points too based on how you answer. Oral exams are easy to do well as well as easy to fail. My luck ran out in my first oral exams and I chocked on those hard answers and failed it by 5%.. oh, wondering what will happen to failures, the re-exam of the subjects are likely to happen after 2 months or within your next semester in between and called as resits, all exams are written. The level of difficulty will be the same as your previous exam and you can fail your 2nd resit and must try your 3rd resit, if you fail the 3rd resit. You go to your final chance ,the 4th resit which is an oral exam with your teacher, your professor will ask you how to do the task or ask you to explain a particular concept, and professor determines your fate. You fail the 4th resit, I am sorry to break the bad news but you need to leave the program. But unless you have a genuine reason why this happen, you can make a deal with the director that you can do only 3 courses out of 9 and stay back a year to redo the course you failed. Which means another extra year in collage But this is not applicable to university FYI.

India:We only have one single type of exam unlike Dochi and that is of course the written one. We have our semester exams and also certain internal exams that accounts for some percentage of the total marks. Our attendance and assignment scores are also added for the same. Assignments vary, like some teachers give us seminars or presentations while others give us written ones. In case you flunk a paper or fall short of the minimum attendance required to write that paper,it’ll automatically turn into your arrear paper which you will have to write it next year with your juniors. Also if you feel that your marks aren’t good enough then you can always write the improvement exam which is very much similar to the arrears.But the bad news is that however genuine your reason maybe you will not get a re exam in case of a failure or if you were unable to appear for it.

Academic calendar

Austria: Well, you study every semester like 9 courses and when you pass, you study another new 9 courses. But there are few subjects that are stable like accounting. You never have something like exam week rather your exams are spread throughout the semester. For example, my statistics classes ended on end on march and my final exam was on the first week of April whereas I started having lecturers on project management on the first week of may and have exams on June. Its all spread out and once you passed, you don’t have to worry about the subjects again. Just focus on the other upcoming courses.

India: We have a certain number of papers that we must clear for every semester, mostly six. And we take all the exams together. There’ll be study hols in between of course but other than that it’s all in one stretch. I think it’s better this way because all the exams will be over in the blink of an eye and afterwards you can relax in peace till the next exam. Also exams are at the same time for all the different departments as well as different batches. So we get to write the exams with our juniors or seniors

Free time, lifestyle & breaks

Austria:  My favorite segment among all, we do have plenty of free time here and there and we can treat our campus as our own home. During breaks, you can grab a snack in the cafeteria or if you are really hungry, have a feast in the canteen or leave the campus to have a quick fast food such as burgers and pizza. There are plenty of sources for food. In my collage, we have a cafeteria, canteen, food-stalls and even small restaurant. And right outside the campus, you can find plenty more. So, food is never a problem here. There are vending and coffee machines in every block.so, cheers to those coffee-lovers. You are allowed to bring food in your class and even eat during the class, not really an issue actually! Plenty of places to hangout, enjoy the sun or even play your favourite video games with your friends in the lounge. There is no fixed dress code. You are allowed to come to school with t-shirts and shorts and even wear a cap during class. Like I said, campus feels like home. I remember the other day, seeing a few guys who were shirtless play a volleyball game in the campus garden and its totally normal. You can even have a picnic under the tree inside your campus. 😍 we have libraries open till 9 pm if you want to study and its really quite there, I can guarantee that. Also, a place to do your group discussion and even a study hall.

India:Our break times are after every two hours and while its no big luxury like dochi’s it’s good enough. We have two cafeterias and if you are in a bunk mood you can always go there and chill. We do have a lotta restaurants outside the premises of our college but the break time wouldn’t be sufficient to make a grand visit to there. But if you are looking for a quick snack then you’ll have plenty of time and wouldn’t even miss the next hours. And you would be surprised at the next major difference. We have uniforms.. YES I’m not even kidding.Us college peeps look like high-schoolers with our grey uniform complete with black shoes and socks! Only time we’re allowed to wear color is if it’s a Saturday or if there’s some major event going on at our college.And yea we have a good library spread across three floors but you’ll find more books of Accounting Standards and Corporate Law than Nicholas Sparks or Sidney Sheldon. Also we have a pretty decent gym for girls totally free of cost and anyone can go there before or after the class hours.

 

While some people would find our college too strict and school-like, I actually like this place. College life is the last few years of our life where we can enjoy without having the burden of any responsibility. This carefree life is all gonna take a sharp turn the moment you pass out. And the friends we get now are friends for life because they are the ones who knows the real you. The hostel life is life at its best. These hostel mates turn into your family without you realizing it and you’ll only realize how much you are gonna miss em once you are separated. Right now we have this two month semester break and I should be enjoying the vacation but funny thing.. I miss those idiots every single day. I’m not even kidding. This is not just for me but for all college going kids like me. And although we are on the path of becoming responsible adults and good citizens, there’s no need to compromise on having fun and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Because if you don’t, you’ll have no stories to narrate to your grand-kids and make em realize that they have such cool grans! College is awesome regardless of where you are from because we all have one thing in common. The starting of a new life with no one to put reins on you. You’re like a mare galloping towards the wide horizon. So guys we only have one advise to you.. Enjoy to the fullest because trust me otherwise you gonna regret it at some point of life

I hope you got to experience our college from the two different extremes and understand how contrast is ours from yours but feel free to comment below how your collage is doing and we would be glad to hear your collage experience. And if you are from another country and have a unique collage life, do share below and love to hear the voices of my fellow readers.😃

Written by DOCHI & CHIRI

Blogs Chiri Dochi

12 Comments Leave a comment

  1. This is SUCH a great idea. I have been toying with a similar idea in that I take my analog cameras and tour the neighborhood of a friend and write an overall impression/experience about the tour from both of our unique perspectives and thus supply the visuals to supplement. In context of your awesome post and unique experiences: I have studied in four different educational systems – Ukrainian, Spanish, Macedonian and United States and every single system has shown me something different. In fact, I will go so far as to say that I have learned different versions of the same histories in every system. I also will add that I was pleased to see that you can eat your meal in a course in Austria, because you can definitely do the same in a US course. But don’t even think about it in Ukraine. 🤦‍♀️ BTW what are you both studying? And what brought you to Austria, Joshua? And why did you decide to stay stateside for your educational experience, Linnet? And vice versa of both questions to the both of you, please. 🙂

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    • (Joshua): Jess, thank you for engaging in the blog and reflecting and you are definitely an interesting person.wow, what a background? i really like your idea about touring from both perspectives. i think it would definitely be something to read about. i think people think different situation in different ways and its interesting to show how peoples opinion differs within the same environment. ……well, i am studying business administration. Actually, i am born in Austria but live in Switzerland. i have so many people i know from Vienna that are under my family tree that i dont know well off, so. i wanted to do college in Austria to have elements of family-orientation and getting to know my lost childhood that i missed in Austria. And i love this country a lot and really dont want to go home to Switzerland.😅.
      How come you kept moving from countries to countries?

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      • Hi Joshua, you have such a diverse background. That surely provides you special insight of our human experience. Good for you. We need more of the “woke” type in the USA, believe you me. Also, I moved around a lot as a military kid, also, I am a world traveler. I am on this never-ending journey to understand people, as well as myself, and formulate my own thoughts and opinions via diverse education, relationships, travel and books. Thus, why I blog. 🤗✌️

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    • Hey It’s Linnet . I’m really glad you found the blog interesting❤️. You asked about my degree right, I’m currently doing my degree in commerce after which I would like to do an MBA.. All in India itself.. You see my parents actually hope to see me settle in India itself and yeah I love my country a lot too.I don’t have any plans of moving to any other country atleast not yet..

      Liked by 1 person

      • HI Linnet, it’s nice to hear from you. I traveled throughout India for about two weeks in April of 2014. I went though Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi, Pune, Goa, Delhi (old & new). I have many memorable experiences, but I especially can never forget visiting the Monkey Temple in Jaipur and walking through the forest to the ancient temple and being surrounded by a mix of peacocks, in our traditional idea of what a peacock looks like, as well as albino peacocks. That was amazing. I also visited the Amber Palace and the Taj and learned that although they are places of such beauty, they are built from a lot of complicated history. I related to this, big time, because my nation, the USA, is also built in the same way (i.e. slavery, servitude, civil war, imperialism of other nations…) the list goes on. Anyway, I am happy to be a pen pal with you and Joshua. Maybe you would like to visit my blog sometime: https://www.learningfromstrangers.com

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      • (Linnet) Wow looks like you have had a wonderful trip throughout North India . To tell you the truth I haven’t explored half as much of North India as you have. I’m from the south (a state called Kerala..U should definitely visit Kerala.. There’re tons of pretty places here. You’ll love it for sure). I’ll do a long trip from the very tip of India once I’m done with my studies.. And yeah I checked out your blog.. God I’m so impressed and JEALOUS.. U travel around so much.. I actually had so much fun just reading about the places you have been to. I’m getting back to reading the rest of your blog the second I manage to get some free time!Also I would love to be a pen pal with you!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • You must document your trip when you take it. I would love to learn about your country through your eyes. I think I missed out on that perspective while traveling India. As for my traveling around so much – really, it may seem like I do, but I look at even a short day trip outside of my neighborhood as a traveling experience. When I started to look at my world that way, I realized that I have a lot of work to do. 👾 here’s to being pen pals!

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      • My country’s history is so complex and diverse that history was the most dreaded subject when we were kids 😂😂.. But it’s really interesting all the same especially since you seem to enjoy this field.. There’s so much to learn that you’ll never feel as if you have covered everything..

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