|▲ An academic advisor gives a student some advice for registering for classes at Purdue University Northwest.
The most accurate clock on one side, more than three identical web pages on the desktop screen, and a bit breathless tension as time is running out, this is what the usual class registration moment is like in Korea. Attending Chonnam National University (CNU) for a few years, I thought this moment was the most important time before the semester starts. Now, I have realized that class registration differs from school to school as I am now studying at Purdue University Northwest (PNW).
Academic Advisors for Class Registration
How often do you meet your advisor before your class registration? Many students in Korea hardly go and meet their advisors, but making an appointment with your advisor is the first thing to do here at PNW. A PIN number is required to move on to the real registration webpage and advisors give this number in person. Of course, this is also different depending on who your advisor is, but PNW encourages advisors to give students their PIN number after meeting. During the meeting, advisors ask which classes students want to take, and give some advice for their GPA.
Except for getting the PIN number, advisors play a very important role in scheduling each student’s timetable for four years of college. They suggest the right direction for graduation and let students know about mandatory classes for graduation. Moreover, they listen carefully to what students need and try their best to solve their problems. My advisor even called her boss to ask what she could do for me. Through this thoughtful conversation, students can truly rely on their advisors and do not hesitate to send an email to them asking for help.
Wider Options and Enough Time for Setting Plan B
At PNW, students can take from 12 to 18 class credits and international exchange students are no exception to that. Most of the classes are three credits, the same as CNU, and some of them are four credits if the classes include laboratory-based experiments or writing center tutoring. In addition, there are various kinds of classes at PNW such as distance learning and individual study, which help students to manage their time effectively.
It is surprising that students are allowed to check the following semester’s classes even before the current semester ends. After mid-term, they can check the classes and they can start registration. Although it is also based on a first come, first served system, class registration is not that competitive compared to CNU’s registration process. Since there is enough time, students can change their timetable several times, find the best schedule for themselves, and even if they fail to register for a specific class, they can start thinking about plan B.
As I have done class registration here, I realized many different things but there was one thing that really came to mind. When I was in Korea, all I cared about while doing registration was to take classes that were easy-going. However, in the case of my friends here, their top priority is quite different from Korean students. They actually think a lot about which class might help them when they choose their career, or what they could learn throughout the class. I think a different process of class registration and experiencing these other ways to register for a class was priceless could cause this difference.
By Baek Min-joo, Overseas Correspondent