Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Class registration

Monday I had registration for classes. It's not quite like Elon here! According to the UNAM site, there were 314,557 students during the 2009-2010 year, including 25,036 postgraduate students (http://www.estadistica.unam.mx/numeralia/). I think those numbers do include all of UNAM's campuses and now just the main campus, where I'll be, but it's still huge!

This semester I'll be taking three of the five basic courses that everyone in the Latin American Studies master's program takes, as well as a intro class for my thesis (Trabajo de Invsitgacion Dirigida) with other students in my area of concentration.

To register we had to fill out the courses online (which fortunately I discovered I could do from home the night before and didn't have to wait to do at school). We had to take our documents (even more for foreign students -- birth certificate, undergrad transcript and diploma all with an apostille and official translations and a notarized copy of documents) to the program coordinators and get signatures on our class schedule and personal info sheet.

They were supposed to start at 10:00. I waited until 10:45 and they hadn't started yet, so I decided to go meet with my Thesis Advisor and go back later. He seems insightful and gave me a list of books and libraries to check out to continue with my research.

I went back around noon and waited in line again and met some other students in the program -- two in the master's program (from Mexico and Brazil) and one in the doctorate program (from Mexico). I turned in all my documents, but when it was time for signatures we realized my name was spelled wrong in the system (Rebeca -- the common spelling in Mexico, instead of 2 c's). I was told I might have to start the process over, but fortunately I only had to visit another office, get it changed in the system, print new copies, and get new signatures. After that there were a few up and down trips between offices in the building for copies, official stamps, and turning everything in. Whew!

I was glad to meet people in line around me and we ended up hanging up for the rest of the afternoon. We got lunch in one of the cafeterias on campus then went to the south end of campus to the ecological reserve and sculpture garden to wander around and get some coffee.
We have to demonstrate comprehension of 3 languages by the end of the program, so we said we'd form a conversation group and alternate between English, Portuguese and Spanish =)

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