Travel Journal #6 — Classes in Glasgow

Old Man of StorrSince Centre’s partnership with the University of Glasgow is new, I’ll take a moment to talk about the academic aspect of my experience. I’m studying abroad, after all! My classes in Glasgow have been very interesting and engaging, so here’s a little bit about each one.
Currently I’m taking four classes at the University of Glasgow. My first class is Immunology. One of the best parts of this course is that the credit transfers directly for immunology credit at Centre, so this class counts towards my biology major. This class was one of the biggest changes from Centre for me. There are 310 students in the class which is split between a major lecture hall and a satellite lecture hall. Lecture occurs twice a week, for an hour each time. We’re required to write a paper, have one class test, and take a final exam. I’ve really enjoyed this class. I’ve never learned anything similar to immunology, and since I want to be a physician someday this class is right up my alley. All the lecturers are very good, and I’m looking forward to learning even more in the last two weeks of class.fish ladder
I’m also taking a class titled Bioengineering and Global Change. This is also a biology class, and transfers as a science elective for the environmental studies major at Centre. This class has been really interesting and different from anything I’ve ever taken. The main focus of this class is how to solve the world hunger problem from a biological perspective. It looks at how we can improve crop yield through changing the crops as well as the environment. Right now, we’re learning about how to improve biofuels. No class like this is offered at Centre, so I see it as a great opportunity to broaden my horizons in biology. This class also involves a class test, essay, and final exam.
My third class is called The Scottish Enlightenment and it’s a requirement for all Principia Consortium students. The Principia Consortium is composed of several liberal arts school from around the country, including Centre College. This class takes a multi-discipline approach to the movement known as the Scottish Enlightenment. In this class, we’ve studied medical culture, literature, philosophy, natural history, historiography, aesthetics, religion, and finally the impact of the greater movement on the world. This class has been a valuable tool because it has allowed me some context for the learning environment and culture of Scotland. It requires two essays. We attend lecture once a week, and there is also a seminar or discussion group once per week.
Glasgow classroom bldg.My last class is by far my favorite! It’s Functional Anatomy for international pre-med students. The class is taught by Dr. Quentin Fogg, who has taught anatomy at a U.S. medical school and is a senior anatomy lecturer at the University of Glasgow. The course is designed to emulate the difficulty of anatomy classes in U.S. medical schools. It’s been a very difficult course, but it has been invaluable. The course is split into five blocks — the back and upper limbs, head and neck, lower limbs and pelvis, thorax, and abdomen. At the end of each block, there is a practical quiz and a written quiz. For the practical quiz, we must identify structures on plastinated specimens as well as on a computer program called the virtual human. The written quiz is written in the style of the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Exam). These questions are diagnostic in nature and require us to use our knowledge of anatomy for diagnosis.
In this course, we most often look at pro-sected, plastinated specimens. While these specimens are real, we didn’t do the dissections ourselves. The one exception is the abdomen block. During this block, we did dissections on an actual human cadaver — something most undergraduates would ever think of doing. I never dreamt that I’d have this opportunity until medical school, but I did it right here in Glasgow. It was a truly surreal experience, as well as an invaluable one. I’m so glad that future students will have the opportunity to experience this course. While it’s a lot of work, the reward is so great. This class is one of the major reasons I decided to study abroad in Glasgow. It counts as a four-hour upper-level biology course in the “Organisms” category. It meets three times per week, for three hours each time.
Overall, I’m thoroughly enjoying all of my classes in Glasgow. They challenge me academically while still allowing me time to travel and enjoy all of the experiences that being abroad has to offer. I’d recommend all of them to future students in Scotland.
by Julie Springate ’14, currently participating in the Centre-in-Scotland study abroad program. Learn more about study abroad in Scotland.
PHOTOS (top to bottom): Relaxing after a hike near the Old Man of Storr, the reflective water near a fish ladder, and posing with my classmates outside an academic building on the University of Glasgow’s campus.

By |2012-11-20T13:54:59+00:00November 20th, 2012|News, Study Abroad, Travel Journals - Scotland|