First Year at PAU

Essential Information

Locate your teachers as soon as possible: find out where their offices are and their office hours for students.

  • Get in contact with your advisor. Ask him or her to clarify any questions you may have.
  •  Find out how you can make use of the University resources (computers, Library Services, consultation of books, etc.).
  •  Get your bearings. The University is a higher-education and research center that will prepare you for your professional life and provide you with the means to develop in all areas. Settling in at the University involves more than just attending classes: it means taking the initiative, getting involved in cultural, sporting and solidarity activities, etc.

The University offers a series of work and communication tools for students and academic staff. The primary one is the university email account. This is a free, lifelong email account that the University provides for all students and alumni of Pan-Atlantic University in order to make it easier for them to stay in contact with classmates and the University. This is the email address that academic staff will use to contact you, so it’s vital that you check it regularly. It can also be used to contact other Pan-Atlantic University students by looking up their email addresses in the student directory.

Another important communication tool is the portal in the Student Information Management System (SIMS). This tool is crucial for academic and administrative information.

Arriving at the University, you’ll be faced with a new situation with its own unique characteristics. In all circumstances of life, it is important to consider the context in which you find yourself and behave appropriately.

The University is known for being a centre of higher-education teaching and research that prepares its students to become skilled professionals. In some ways, your professional life starts from your very first day at the University; thus, the basic attitude we expect from students is one of professionalism. Furthermore, university education contributes to the development of the person as a whole; therefore, you will acquire not only knowledge, but also habits and attitudes that are vital for university and professional life.

Professionalism has practical consequences that can be summed in the following aspects:

  • Work well: with responsibility and initiative, and by facing up to problems and difficulties. Work must be carried out well, even in terms of external aspects such as presentation, punctuality, etc. As well as ensuring the quality of the work itself, it is important to help and respect the work of others: be open to clearing up questions, actively collaborate in group work, etc.
  • Present yourself appropriately: when considering what clothes to wear at university, it is important to keep in mind the professional context, but with a slightly more informal tone. In other words, you should avoid sportswear and extravagant and flashy clothing (tracksuits, short clothing, Bermuda shorts, flip-flops, etc.). However, male students aren’t expected to wear ties, for example, and female students don’t have to wear formal clothing, unless the School itself indicates otherwise.
  • Behave in an appropriate manner: as well as ensuring basic manners out of respect for people, such as speaking politely and not interrupting without a reason, the university setting must also contribute to a culture of hard work and responsibility that encourages learning. For example, attitudes that make it difficult for others to study or that cause distraction are not consistent with this approach.

Have you stopped to think about the relationship between your academic performance and doing well in your professional career?

Obviously, the objective of each academic year is to successfully pass all subjects, but professional success is a long-term goal. Each semester, various activities will provide you with short-term goals: practical work, projects, tutorials, midterm examinations, etc. If you classify your activities according to their level of urgency and importance, you can organize all your tasks in a table.

Steps to follow when creating your plan:

Write down each subject and assign the number of hours you plan to dedicate to it. You can prepare a weekly timetable and look for space for about 20 hours of study a week: each week will differ. Then, on Fridays, you can plan the weekend based on how the week has gone. How should I deal with work at weekends? It’s important to rest at the weekends. It’s a time to be with your family and friends, attend a religious event or take part in social activities, such as volunteering for a charity or social service activities, play a sport or take a trip somewhere. It’s also a good idea to set aside some time for study, depending on how productive your week has been.

• In one weekend, you can’t usually study more than three subjects. Choose which ones you’re going to study.

• It could be the time to go over your notes from the week, look over a textbook, etc.

• Try to revise whole topics already covered in class and make a note of any questions you have so you can try to clear them up during the week.

• Try and catch up with previous topics.

• Take advantage of the time to plan your week with some specific objectives. What should I take into account when planning my time?

• Arrange subjects according to the level of difficulty.

• Don’t study more than two subjects a day.

• Think about the amount of material you have to study.

• As a general rule, do not spend less than an hour and a half continuously studying one subject.

• Make use of shorter time slots to read and complete your notes, clear up any questions, etc.

• Monitor your time. Make a note of the number of hours you study every day and the subjects you study during this time.

• Try to study 8 to 10 hours at weekends. Confirm your timetable with your advisor and after two weeks of work, let him or her know if it’s feasible. You may have overestimated how much you’re capable of and may have to revise your work plan.

Employ an in-depth study method:

• Contextualization: obtain a complete overview by defining the theme and placing it in the context of the topic and programme.

 Reading for comprehension. Read carefully but actively to enhance your understanding of lectures, if relevant, and consult textbooks. This includes analysis of the topic and the interrelation between the topic you are studying and previously studied topics.

• Repetition for memorization. Write down and repeat out loud any definitions, concepts, new terminology, formulas and problems, equations, etc. already covered that need to be committed to memory. Bear in mind the importance of memory in the education process: without the capacity to memorize, it is not possible to acquire knowledge of any subject. However, this capacity is not simply a case of rote learning, but involves retaining what you have understood and making it your own. Often, we believe we know something because we have understood it, but there remains an essential step, i.e., memorization, and yet another step to ensure you achieve an A or an A+ in your exam grades, i.e., your command of the subject.

• Methods for studying topics in more depth, carrying out exercises and problems, reading set texts, completing scheduled work, delivering projects, etc.

• One final review is needed to ensure it is imprinted on your memory once and for all. Read through the theoretical information quickly, one last time, using practical methods.

Not all subjects are equal, although they are all important for your degree programme. Each subject has its own unique features and an appropriate way to study it.

Several things may happen to you:

• You lack basic understanding and don’t realize it until the final exams.

• You get lost in class, take inadequate notes and declare the subject a write-off.

• You don’t enjoy studying it.

• You think you’re doing well, but you haven’t checked.

A few tips to avoid getting lost:

• Ask the teacher for advice and attend seminars, etc.

• Consider group work so that your classmates can support you.

• Ask someone in a higher year who performed well in the subject.

Confronted with a seemingly impossible subject, you may wonder: Do I need private classes? Bear in mind that:

• They are often an unnecessary expense.

• They don’t help you reason, but encourage a passive attitude.

• They programme you to automatically resolve standard problems.

• They help you memorize classified problems.

• They give you a false sense of security and knowledge.

An alternative is making the most of what the University can offer, such as asking questions in class, talking to the teacher in the subject, suggesting that an extra seminar be held, talking to your advisor and being imaginative. Trying to find solutions to problems.

All the planned teaching activities in a subject count towards the final grade, but not in the same way for all subjects. Look at the information for the subject on the students’ portal to find out about the assessment method.

You might not get the results you were hoping for. If you don’t agree with the grade given or if you failed, you can attend an examination review.

Each teacher will fix a date and a timetable. Find out about it. For the final exams, you’ll have three days following publication of the grades on the Internet.

Before attending the review, try to answer the exam questions at home.

When you attend the review:

• Check that the criteria have been applied.

• This is the moment to compare what you thought you had done with what you actually did.

• Look at where you failed and why (was it caused by a misunderstanding, an error in your problem-solving processes, misreading the text, not studying that part of the subject, etc.?).

• Write down everything you don’t know how to do or did wrong.

• Ask any questions you may have.

• Watch your attitude: good manners, a positive attitude and speaking to your teacher with respect are very important; remember that he or she is more experienced than you and has the authority to pass or fail you in accordance with rules that were previously published on the subject website.

• Try to learn from your mistakes and, if you think it’s appropriate, check whether the teacher could have made an error when marking the paper.

You are encouraged to engage in sports. PAU is not only concerned about your academic well-being but also concerned about your total well-being. There are sports facilities on campus and within some hostels.

You can take part in basketball, volleyball, and lawn tennis games on the multipurpose court.  If you are interested in football, there are several football fields within the campus to fuel your passion.