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How does a chemistry introduction course at the U look like?

College in America can be hard to imagine for international students. Is college hard? Will I be able to make friends? How is the dorm life like? The question list can keep going on and on. To help solve the mystery about college, I am writing to describe an introduction course at the U for you.

In my chemistry class, because it is an introduction class, a type of foundational courses that new students usually need to take to prepare for their majors, there are about 300 students. My classroom is as big as an auditorium. Although the number of students is large, there are still opportunities for me to interact with the professor. I can ask questions during lectures. I can meet my professor after class or during breaks to ask questions. I can also see my professor during office hours. Office hours are the time set up by each professor weekly for students to come to their office to ask questions or simply have a conversation with the professor. I do not guarantee that professors will remember your name, but I am sure that you will be able to meet and talk to your professor if you want to.

The format of my chemistry introduction class is quite traditional. Before lectures, the professor suggests that students read a chapter from the book, but he does not check whether the students do it or not. Each lecture, the professor explains the materials from a chapter, writes down information on a whiteboard for students to take notes, and does some experiments in class. Because of the large number of students, the professor does not take attendance. That means that you can choose not to go to class. After lectures, there are also practice problems the professor suggests doing, but again, I do not have to do them if I do not want to. Although I do not have to do the work the professor suggests, reading before lectures, going to class, and doing practice problems definitely help me understand the materials better and do well in class.

The U has so many courses. Different classes have different formats, and different professors have different styles. Here is just my overall description of how one introduction class at the U is like. Generally, classes at the U can be boring or fun, but they are meant to help you learn and grow as a student and as a person.