From high school to university

September 09, 2012
Via
As I said here, I thought I should do a post on what I'll be going to study this year. Let me start by explaining the schoolsystem in Belgium a little bit, be free to skip this part if you don't want to know about it.

When you're about two and a half, you go to preschool/kindergarten for three years. After that, you go to primary school. There aren't any differences really between different primary schools so everybody kind of does the same for the following six years. Then you have to make your first choice when you're ready to move on to high school. There are three main courses to choose from and then each of them has subchoices. Basically, we have ASO which is theory related, TSO which focuses on theory and practice and BSO wich focuses mainly on practicing professions. I chose to do ASO since that's the most common choice and I think almost everybody starts there because that's considered the hardest (even though I don't think that's completely right). In ASO, you can choose between different course schedules. You can choose to mainly focus on latin, modern languages, science, math, social sciences, economics or sports. It's common to combine two of them so I followed 'economics and modern languages' which ment that I had economics, Dutch, French, English, German and Spanish. And the regular courses like math, history, sports, science and so on, but these courses weren't your main focus so we only had them for a few hours a week.

Now, enough on the Belgian school system. It's considered logical to continue with university or college when you're done with respectively ASO or TSO. But it wasn't untill this year that I knew what I was going to do. When I was little, I dreamed about becoming a vet in the zoo, nurturing and nursing all of those animals. But what I didn't know when I started high school, was that you had to have sciences as your main course so unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to become a vet easily. So I started to think about what to do next and I thought about learning history to eventually become a teacher. During our last year in high school, we got a lot of info, brochures and informative talks about university and college and I started to think of history as a little boring so that was quickly forgotten about as well.

Then, I got a brochure from Ghent University with all of the different bachelors they offer and I find myself becoming really enthousiastic about a bachelor called 'eastern languages and cultures'. Basically, you have to choose an eastern language and then you'll learn that language combined with a lot of history. And it stuck. It really seems like the perfect fit because I love learning languages and I still love history a lot, I just couldn't imagine learning about it fulltime. I've chosen to go for this bachelor, with Chinese. It might seem like an odd choice but it's not really. Chinese is becoming a really important language and I think I could go many directions after my studies. Also, not going to lie about it, I'm pretty stoked to be studying in Shanghai for three months in the last year of my bachelor. So yes, I'll basically be studying Chinese for the next five years (because I want my master degree as well).

I signed up about a month ago and I'm so excited for the first days to finally start! University really is a big deal and even though I'm a really bummed that I won't get to see my boyfriend very often, I'm excited to start this new chapter. What are you going to study or what did you study?

xoxo
Dorien

8 comments:

  1. Good luck with your program, hold on to that excitement, always make sure it's driving you forward! I did a BSc in Science Honours Biology and Pharmacology... now I'm working away at a PhD in Biochemistry (in the faculty of medicine here in Calgary) and I'm sticking with academia for as long as I still love it. I blog about everything else I do outside of my lab though!

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    1. Oh wow that seems like such a fasciniting study and you're probably like supersmart! :) And thank you, I'm so excited!

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  2. Wow, this is very very cool! Interesting learning about the school system - in my school we didn't have to choose a track that early. Chinese is definitely becoming important! I know some from when I was younger (went to a bilingual school) but I do want to improve mine someday.

    Exciting time in your life!

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    1. I like to read about other school systems as well! :) And it's cool that you already know some, in a year we can have a little conversation in Chinese haha :) xo

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  3. Wow, I can't believe things can be determined for you so early! Such a contrast to the U.S. school system. Interesting, though. Although, I'm almost 30 and I STILL don't know what I want to be when I grow up! haha. Oh, and I've actually been to Ghent, my husband and I stayed there for a few days when we were in Europe for our honeymoon. We LOVED the city, it was one of our favorite stops! Good luck with your program!

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    1. Yes, you have to choose really early, it kind of sucks because you can't know at 11 what you want to do, right? And I'm glad you liked Ghent! :) xo

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  4. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!

    I thought this post was incredibly interesting, I live in the states but I actually grew up in Antwerp. It's amazing to me how people can have such different experiences, I went to the "Stedelijk Instituut voor Sierkunsten en Ambachten" where in my experience there was never any talk about university (and none from at home either) we expected to do a 7th year and then to be placed in a job. At 13yo I so badly wanted to be a hairdresser, however these idea's change and when I realized a year later that it wasn't for me I had to redo my year in a different class because hairdressing is considered lower than Graphic design. It's absolutely crazy to expect a child to know what it is that they want to do as an adult. My brother chose a different route attending an "Atheneum" and took Latin, he was also let down big time by the school system, again, these are just my personal experiences but it seemed like the curriculum there is too advanced for the grades it is being taught to and because of this many kids get left behind, I remember being surrounded by 20yo's in 3rd middlebaar (equivalent to 9th grade), that being said the public school system here in the states is so bad that I have chosen to home school my kids :/
    Wishing you all the luck you can get!!!

    xo
    Alex

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    1. Oh wauw, that's a whole lot of different. But I definitely agree. I don't think it's a good idea at ALL to let a child choose at such a young age or to make the decision as a parent. You don't get to see what's all out there so how will you ever know what you want to 'become'? I certainly hope a lot will change in the future because I want my children to have a decent education with everything in it, not just a brief selection. And they should be able to decide what they want to do with their lives when they're old enough, not 11. I think home schooling is the perfect opportunity for that :) xoxo

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