What do you get when you give GWU students a two-week spring break vacation? Parties. Sleep. Beach. And more! BUT, what happens when you assign those same students final reports, exams, and presentations right before this long anticipated break. You get “party over at Gelman”, or just a bunch of young adults crowding in on the 5th floor of Gelman library till way past midnight, each holding a Starbucks hot drink in hand.
For this past week I can honestly call Gelman library my second home. Let me tell you this, I have never called the library “ home” in Egypt, even with a full load of courses. If there is one thing that the diverse amount of Egyptians coming from AUC agree on, is that the workload here at GWU is a lot harder than back home. In Egypt with a course load of five classes each semester, I do about two hours of work each day which gives me enough time to submit reports and presentations and be well prepared for exams. However here at GWU with a course load of four classes, I could spend about double that amount of time doing work. There definitely is a lot more assessments and quizzes here at GWU, which I feel helps the students stay more on top of their work, and so when exams come around the students are more prepared. As opposed to my home universities where you are kind of left to work on your own pace but once exams hit, you’re in for some trouble.
Coming to a university with twice the number of undergraduate students, I was expecting to have to sit in on lectures hall and use clickers to ask questions in class. However surprisingly enough, the class sizes at GWU are roughly the same size as AUC; ranging from 20-25 students per class. I believe the size is good because it allows for a good student to teacher ratio, and it is definitely less intimidating than those big lecture halls.
Out of my four classes that I am in enrolled in at GWU I have to say my favorite is my Public Communication class. Even though the class runs pretty late, from 7:10-9:40pm once a week, I have to say Professor Schumacher’s energy sure does keep me awake and ready. This class is a public speaking class, where we learn the basic public speaking skills needed to inform, entertain and persuade the audience. It places a strong emphasis on the speech-building process. It is such a fun and interactive class where we constantly are engaging with one another and critiquing each other speeches and there isn’t a heavy reading load (have I forgotten to mention that my other classes assign us 50 pages of reading every class).
Another major difference I noticed is that at GWU, students have to buy books. I came to be very familiar with chegg.com, a book rental website where student can rent their books and then return them at the end of the semester. At AUC most students just photocopy the chapters from the library at our university or just study from the slide shows presentations that our professors make.
So with this much work, you bet the Gleman library would be the new hangout spot for GWU student. So if you’re looking for any GWU students, now you know where to find them.