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On choosing courses

On choosing courses

Course registration at Universidad Carlos III Madrid, Spain, was rather stressful. Only three days before I would hop on my flight to Madrid and thirty minutes before my final exam in Maastricht, I was asked to choose the five courses that I would take in the upcoming months, creating my time schedule and course combination entirely myself. I prepared a whole list of possible courses I could take, and back-up courses in case the first-come-first-serve mechanisms wouldn't allow me to take my first, second, or third choice. But after the frantic clicking and searching, I finally had all 5 courses ready to go and there would be no more surprises. Or at least so I thought.

One of the courses I took was 'European Competence Law'. Looking at the examinations, I liked the course's focus on case solving and active participation. Let's add it to my course basket, I thought. It would be fun to learn about different competencies within European Law - who is authorised to do what and why and when? I was quite excited.

Then, my first class started with the words: "Welcome to European Competition Law!". I looked at my planner - was I in the wrong room? But the room was the right one, and the tutor who was standing in front of me holding her presentation looked an awful lot like the little image I saw online. And I also found the slides she was using under my class folder for European Competence Law. The course was the correct one, I concluded, but the topic was not.

Until this day, I do not know why the course name differs from the course content. What I do know is that I, who after one class on Principles of Economics decided that this field may not be one of my passions, said mildly, and should be further avoided in my academic career, is now asked to explain whether market access barriers increase or decrease (potential) competition between companies. And that I feel slightly betrayed.

Though I must admit, I almost feel most betrayed by how much I am enjoying the course.

Jesler van Houdt

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