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#62 Post Study Abroad Administrative Deluge

September 30, 2009

Anyone who has been squeezed, ploughed and rolled through the long, winding and often endless labyrinth of a university’s bureaucratic style of administration will know you will come out victorious with what you want (and maybe a little more) if you are a marathon runner in terms of challenging the system (aka loads of patience), and the skills to churn out emails that ooze saccharine sweetness from the boring-as-blah two-dimensional interface of the computer monitor.

Study abroad has been fun. Yes. Stop asking. (If you are so curious, please go and experience it for yourself…opportunities are aplenty.) What people don’t know and don’t want to focus on is the fact that there is much administrative work to be done, be it badgering the staff at the Study Abroad/Student Relations what-have-you Office to allow you to get credits for the classes you took overseas, or implore them to discount (hopefully) from having to include classes that you have to transfer your grades over (oh, heaven forbid — all those late-night parties have definitely taken a toll on your Study Abroad classes’ grades *collective nods* You’d just have to put in some summer school later.)

The post Study Abroad is not fun. If you’re lucky, your office back home is willing to overlook some aspects possibly irrelevant to your academic career and just award you the credits. After all, with so many exchange students coming home every year, it can get annoying to review every case in fine detail and cross-referencing with the partner university…

If you’re smart/lazy, you’d have taken classes that are “safe”, that is, easily transferrable with no room for argument. They are, of course, unlike classes that may sound like an utter insult to the institution of higher education such as fictional (but may have real-life coincidences) course titles like “Pottery for the Deftly-Fingered” or “To Love or Not to Love – Exploring Tennis Beyond the Court and Balls”.

If you’re not, then you are in for a long marathon email ping-pong session, because most likely and more often than not, the office(s) involved in your module approval  and credit transfer application are so jaded with similar email requests that they dread and will delay the process by giving your email a little tour through the entire cesspool ecosystem (or part thereof), from the piranhas to the tadpoles, and finally ending up in your inbox again telling you, “Dear student, you forgot to add this and that…please resubmit your application…”.

At this point, you’re probably hurling insults, either inwardly or verbally, at the sender. If you’re like me, you’re probably not alone! *wry smile* But what else can you do, except to wait and wait until you get what you want done. Good luck, fellow exchange returnees.

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