Freshers' Week

Bridges Hall, University of Reading

So far so good – I have managed to enroll in my program (and they even knew about it this time) and yesterday went through the process of setting up a bank account at the Lloyds TBS branch here on campus. Everything has been relatively painless so far, but I have had to wait in a couple of long queues.

But on the bright side, I have met five other people so far who are taking part of this same program. It is good to meet the other people who I am going to be spending the next 18 months with. I only wish that they had set up an email list – even an opt-in one, which would have allowed us to contact each other in the three months leading up to now. A common question asked of me is why as a Canadian I would come to Europe to study when it is often the other way around. My answer is of course how else would I get a chance to explore four different European countries for free. And in that time earn a postgraduate degree.

Of course being someone in residence with a computer science degree means you are automatically given the badge of tech support technician. Not that it wasn’t a problem during my first degree, but now I get to be the recipient of: “Oh, you’re that bloke in IT who can fix my laptop if it is broken.” I knew that most of the Freshers on my floor were aware (although there are two other CS undergrads around), but now word it spreading. Altruism is highly overrated.

On the academic front, I found a new document yesterday buried on the University of Reading website (seven levels deep) that gives the program specifications for my program (PDF). If I read it correctly, then I was right about my class format – each module (or class) is delivered in one week with 30 hours of contact time. I’m not sure whether or not we have a second week for working on projects for a course, but I would suspect so with five courses in a ten week term. In any case I also found out that the program seems to be pass-fail at 50% which is good.