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What exams?

9 December 2018

As I sit in the library attempting to write the longest essay I’ve ever written – 5000 words, pray for me – I decide I need a *debatably* well-earned break! Some may call this procrastination, I call it an ‘active study break’.

I’m sure many people, myself definitely included, struggle to separate the two halves of a year abroad: the one that feels like you’re on a yearlong holiday, and the one that reminds you you are actually still studying as part of your degree. Everyone tells us to immerse ourselves in the culture and that the language learning will come with this. However, I need a gentle reminder now and then that I am not on a gap year and that this year will in fact make up 10% of my degree. Okay, it’s not a lot, but it all adds up. And since all my friends back in Cardiff are constantly reminding me how hard final year is, I think I’d go into it more comfortably knowing I did alright on my year abroad.

Exam layout here is SO different to what I am used to back in Cardiff. For one, we have to sign up for our exams online roughly two weeks before we are due to sit the exam, even though we are enrolled on the module. Weird I know. What’s even weirder is that we have no idea when our January exams will be, which makes signing up for them two weeks in advance very hard to do. It’s a stressful waiting game.

One good thing about the exams here is that for Erasmus students there is the opportunity to do the exam orally instead of written. This means that the exam will be considerably shorter, led primarily by us, obviously with questions from the examiner too, and with less focus on complicated sentence structure that would be expected from a written exam. This is also another way to increase my confidence in speaking Italian.

So, I have grown to accept that the next few months won’t be as exciting as the previous have been. Less weekend trips to Lake Garda and more weekend trips to the library. It feels like being back in the Diff, the only thing missing is my Tesco meal deal…