Study Abroad: Applications, Part II

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton, England. I won't be too far from this puppy next fall!

Well, the paperwork is complete for now. For now? Yes, for now. I spent the better part of my time between classes today struggling to understand the conversion of credits between the University of Sussex and Scripps, whether or not I need to take the September term + the autumn term to earn enough credits to complete a semester abroad, and which classes will help me do so…oh, and whether or not my 4-year academic plan will all line up in time for graduation.


At the moment, I have more credits than is required for graduation. A normal major (read: rather meager, in Scripps terms) requires 8 credits to go towards the major, with 4 electives. My unofficial adviser informed me that most creative writing majors have 12-15 credits. At the moment, I have 19.

Again: yeah.

This came about for a few different reasons. First of all, petitioning the Committee on Academic Review (CAR) requires you to put together a huge list of possible courses you will take for your major, more or less to ensure that, if one class isn’t offered one semester, it won’t kill you and you will have alternatives. Fair enough. Not surprisingly, the list that got sent off to CAR with my petition is quite long. The study abroad paperwork requires that you prove you won’t delay your graduation by going abroad, so you plan out your four years for them to prove you’ll survive. Including a senior seminar and thesis (yes, I’ll be doing both for my major, at least tentatively), my course load for my major is HUGE.

Am I going to cut down on it? Of course. I’m also plotting out my schedule so I can definitely take courses from a favorite professor of mine, the great Kathleen Fitzpatrick. I had the pleasure of taking my Intro to Digital Media course from her, and it’s held strong in its place as one of the best classes I’ve taken in my entire academic career. Professor Fitzpatrick is currently on sabbatical doing some fantastic work at NYU. If you’re interested, enjoy exploring her current project, MediaCommons, a digital scholarly network for peer review, and her first book, The Anxiety of Obsolescence. I obviously don’t have to tell you to this: she rocks, hard.

But I digress. Despite drilling a gaping hole in my time for work (writing this blog post isn’t helping, I can assure you of that), the amount of emails I’ve written, sent, and received, as well as the phone calls I’ve made today have been extraordinary. By the end of it, though, my application is sitting in a quiet little pile, restrained by a light blue paperclip, just waiting to be signed by my adviser. We’ve already scheduled a meeting at 4:15 for tomorrow, squeezed in between an interview, dinner, and my 7:00 creative non-fiction workshop.

(I’ll write more about that interview later.)

Wednesday morning I’ll head on down to the OCS office–which is actually quite nice; they have bowls of candy everywhere–get my picture taken for their records, and hand in the application. I’ll find out by January whether or not I’m accepted into the Scripps Study Abroad Program, from which I can move onto the actual University of Sussex application, getting my passport renewed (a minor detail, yes?), obtaining a student visa, and so much more. I’m pretty excited.

Oh–those 19 classes I have down for my major? Even if I chop it down to 15, that means I get to take more electives. Tentatively, my classes at Sussex will be Business and Management Studies, Tragedy in Literature, Questioning the Media, and Popular Literature in English: Children’s Literature. Some of those classes are bound to change, but it’s an interesting assortment. Plus, I get to explore the beauty of Brighton and Hove. Just look at the header image up there. How can you not be excited about that?


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