(Middletown, Harrisburg) Hi everyone, it has been long time for me to not write down in this blog. Praise be upon to Allah SWT who gave many things. I has been living in the United States for about 9 months to continue my study at the Pennsylvania State University. One of the world class university. How proud I am and also my family. Living in the new place is never been easy. Especially when you far away from your family. It was a tough time for me also. I learned many things during that time. Probably that was one of my reason I am not actively write a story through this blog. So here, I just wanna tell you my story about how graduate students study in the United States.
It was like a dream I could study in the United States. I got scholarship from the government to continue my master degree abroad. I applied to two world class universities and successfully accepted. However, I decided to continue my study at the Pennsylvania State University. It was 43 rank according to Times Higher Education ranking. Study in the United States as a graduate student is not easy. In Penn State I only took 3 courses for my first semester, but don’t ask how hard it was. Every semester, I could choose to select the required course first or the elective course. It was totally our responsibility. Several situation that I experienced during my first semester were:
- Class is very student centered. Therefore, we have to prepare before class. Lecturer always encourages students to speak up. Open an active discussion. Students in the United States are very active. May be because their educational system encourages them to do that.
- No single day without assignments. Lecturer always gives us assignment before and after class. All the assignments can be check using the application provided by the campus for all of active students in Penn State.
- Discussion and case study are graduate students daily activities in Penn State. For us who can not speak English fluently and write clearly and concisely, Penn State provides us Learning Centre.
- There is no reason for late submitted assignment. Deduction score is awaiting for us. People here is always on time and trained to be disciplined. When people invite us and we come late, it means we do not respect the people who invite us.
- It was rarely to have mid-term exam and final exam in class. Graduate students are trained to actively speak up and write down their idea through paper. Therefore, all mid-term exam and final exam assignments are paper based.
- Sometimes I felt that 7 days a week was not enough to fulfill all the assignments, although we have already worked for the assignments whole day..hahahaha
- In the severe winter season, the class is closed. However, don’t worry because Penn State had already provide us an online class system so we still could study and engage with lecturer and other students.
- Good resources are always the characteristic of world-class university. Penn State provides us with many facilities, academically or non-academically. We can access thousand journal, articles, e-book, or hard book through Penn State libraries (online or offline). If you need some relaxation, we can go to Capital Union Building (CUB) where we can enjoy many supporting facilities there. another good resources that very important is Penn State has dozens distinguished Professor who ready to share their knowledge.
- Btw in Penn State, you should maintain your minimum GPA. Penn State required us to maintain our GPA 3 out of 4. GPA 3 could be converted to B or in the range 83 to 87 out of 100. So high!! If you can not maintain you GPA, Penn State will not issue your second year I-20. That means bad news for students!!!
- the good news are you are freely to wear clothes that fit to your character. You are also freely to eat your food while in the class (but in the reasonable quantity of course lol).
So far, that was I remembered during my first semester in Penn State. Summer time is always good time to take a break and get relax after the busiest time in the spring semester. However, summer time is also good time for student who wanna finish their study earlier because Penn State also offers class during that time. Hmm..okay…next time probably I will write down about living in the United States, mainly in my city. Then….lets get back study…it is already fall semester. As usual, i
t is already many assignments. Thank you…see you next time.