Different countries, different school systems

I was an Exchange student at UTS from Mexico City, and I couldn't help but compare the way in which UTS and my home university (Tecnológico de Monterrey) teach, motivate and asses students throughout their studies.

To start with, the first mayor difference I noticed was the size of the school. The campus I come from in Mexico is really small, which leads to all students and teachers knowing each other and having a closer relationship than here. UTS has more than 20 buildings spread around the city (my home university only has 5 and they are all in the same location!!) and everywhere you go you see different faces. This is reflected in the way that lessons are taught. At UTS you will have different lessons for one same subject: one lecture, one tutorial, and in the case of engineering, probably one lab. Whereas, in TEC, we only have one class per subject. This really confused me at the beginning, but I got the hang of it and ended up learning a lot.

Another mayor difference was how students are assessed here, usually your grade falls a lot upon one single exam or assignment, whereas in Mexico we have many little ones during the semester.

Finally, and the most impressive difference that I found was how short the “semester” was at UTS, not only because time flies when you’re having so much fun, but actually because the session is only 12 weeks, with two study vacations in the middle, that’s only 3 months!! In Mexico our semesters are actually 20 weeks long at least, and feel ten times longer than at UTS.

Therefore, my biggest recommendation is to make the most of your time at UTS and don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today, because it takes a while to get used to the system, and before you realise it is already finishing!

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