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Part Two of School Daze in Holland Series: You Better Like Your Classmates, You See Them Everyday.

The process for class scheduling in the Netherlands and the US, could not be more different. In the United States, students who are pursuing higher education are given the chance to make their own schedules. In the Netherlands, you are placed into a class, and you have the exact same schedule as the rest of the 25 people in your class. While the smaller class sizes are nice, and the chance to really get to know people well almost instantly is there. For someone who previously got to decide if she was going to make her schedule so that she didn't have 8am classes, or classes on Friday, if she was lucky, this can be quite an adjustment. 

In the States, if you were having a bad week, no one knew. You probably only had one class a week with a group of people, and your next class would be full of completely new people. Now, if I have a bad week, everyone knows about it because I have the same 25 people in my class for every single class. There are some distinct advantages and disadvantages to both systems. 

Advantages to US System:

  • Students get the chance to feel that they are in control of their education.
  • Students are allowed the opportunity to mingle and make connections with a massive group of people.
  • Students get to try out different things to really see if they made the right choice in their major. 

Disadvantages to US System:

  • It can be incredibly difficult to make new friends when you first get to college.
  • Large class sizes.
  • The feeling that you are unsupported by your classmates.

Advantages to Dutch System:

  • The ability to make friends easily, because of the sheer amount of time you spend together.
  • Smaller class sizes.
  • Every single class has to do with your field of study.

Disadvantages to Dutch System

  • You see the same people over, and over again. There is little chance to meet anyone else.
  • You have no control over your schedule. Which particularly sucks if you take two buses and a train to get to school and you have a four hour break between classes. 
  • For someone who had the freedom before, it can feel like a step back. The last time I was in school and couldn't pick at least one of my classes was 7th grade.

The jury is still out on to which system works better. I am pretty lucky in that I like most of my classmates. The two girls above are some of my favorites! However, if you didn't, it would be a long two years. 

What is scheduling like where you are from? 

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