For many college students, it’s important to find classes that give an easy “A.” But, sometimes, that proves difficult.

Miles Henderson (graduate, teaching English to speakers of other languages) said the hardest class he ever took was his independent study to Brazil. 

Even though fewer than 2 percent of students study abroad, the experience of living and learning abroad can be very beneficial. 

In the independent study, Henderson gained new perspectives, education and planning skills. For Henderson, the pros of his study included “being in a new environment and being forced to adapt to a different culture and society.”

 “It expanded my views of reality and the nature of how others live and perceive the world,” Henderson said. 

“The hardest class I ever took was my independent study to Brazil. I designed my entire curriculum, research and living arrangements for living in Brazil for three months. It was challenging because I was completely independent in a country where I didn’t know the language and had to design my own curriculum based on my experience.”

Nickolas Gati (junior, English education) said he “barely got by with a ‘C’” in the computer science 110 course. 

Although he said the professor was nice and understanding, the course was still one of the hardest he has ever taken in his college career. 

“I had no coding experience and we were asked to code a lot,” Gati said. “The process of coding is time consuming and frustration. So I was not prepared to do so much with the instructions I got.” 

However, it wasn’t all bad for Gati since his professor was “able to help me out some.”

But other students were not as lucky as Gati to have courses that had clear, straightforward answers. 

Diana Forry (graduate student, English composition/literature) said her hardest class was “definitely Holocaust literature taught by Dr. Gail Berlin, who just recently retired.” 

“It is easier to incorporate criticism or theory into literature, but it’s not easy to deal with the emotional aspect that Holocaust literature evokes and is often the basis for why it is written,” Forry said. “There is no theory for that. One of the first questions she asks was, ‘how do you describe the indescribable? Because that’s what Holocaust literature tries to do.’” 

Spanish phonetics was Marina Seamans’ (senior, foreign languages) toughest class, she said. 

As a major in Spanish and English, she said this was definitely a good course for her to take to improver her Spanish-speaking skills. 

“It was something I had never learned before, even in English,” Seamans said. “It helped me tremendously in learning Spanish. The con would be that it was a 400-level class. So I wasn’t able to take it sooner.”


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