University life in Pakistani internationally recognized universities is a marvelous experience that every one should enjoy once.
Almost every student, at least in Pakistan, once yearned during their school days to experience the freedom of University life. The journey spanning over 4 years of a student life teaches you a lot and we all can very much relate to it.
People outside of Pakistan normally yearn to know about the student life in Pakistan because of their mental image of an Islamic Republic, wrongly constructed by the media. Pakistani student life is not in stark contrast with the student life of other countries.
We have coeducation in almost all graduate schools. Girls and Boys enjoy their company and participate in all events together. They eat, drink, walk, party, and study together. Thus, students in Pakistan experience almost all the fun and activities during their student life as students do in other normal society.
Parting is a very common thing among grade students in Pakistan. However, alcohol consumption is satirically banned. Dancing and food are the main features of parties among Pakistani university students.
Attending and organizing concerts with your classmates or university mates is kind of a normal routine for students. Furthermore, at the end of every academic year, students organize trips, mostly to the northern areas which are also called the “Switzerland of Pakistan”. However, in most cases, these trips are self-funded by the students instead of their academic institutions. Thus, students enjoy their trips with their friends like in every normal society.
The main and primary difference between Pakistani student life and American student life is that we enjoy the comfort of our home and do not require moving to another city while attending a grade school. However, exceptions are always there, but the majority of students, mostly in big cities, embark on their higher studies in the city of their residence.
The daily routine of these students is getting up in the morning, having breakfast with their families, and commuting to their campuses for classes and back home using either public transport or their university shuttle service. Every student is required to attain good grades and beware! GPA does matter here. Low grades can ruin your professional life after graduating. So, studying hard is a normal part of student life here in Pakistan.
Accept my apology if I am sounding out of touch with the ground reality because I haven’t been to the US yet, but I can tell from my friends and relatives experience that most Pakistani students spend their student life with their families and attend their school from their comfy homes which are in strake contrast with the American student life, at least in this regard.
As for as the studies are concern, Pakistan has a semester system, where every 3 months we have Mid-term exams while final term exams are conducted at the end of every semester. Students go through a plethora of quizzes, assignments, presentations, individual projects et cetera. Students not only go through rigorous studies but have to encounter a hectic study schedule.
They rarely have holidays. At the end of each semester, students have two choices for final term exams, either to embark on a final term megaproject or sit in a written exam. However, exceptions are always there. Some subjects have only one option, either to conduct a project or to sit in a written exam. Furthermore, universities conduct seminars which encompass a wide range of topic. It’s mandatory for students to participate in the seminars.
Personal Experience of University Life at Riphah International University, Pakistan
I would like to briefly describe my own experience as a Media Student at Riphah International University. Riphah International University is one of the top universities in Pakistan as for as the Media Studies are concern. When it comes to Media Studies, Riphah International University is the first priority of not only Pakistani students but foreign students as well. I have seen students from Morocco, South Africa, Afghanistan, British and Canadian citizens of Pakistani origin studying Media at Riphah International University. Your degree commences with a week-long orientation where they try to familiarize newly enrolled students with the ambiance of the institution.
Students are to follow a strict schedule of classes and everyone has to ensure 75% of their attendance, otherwise, they will not be permitted to appear in exams.
As I have mentioned earlier, the semester starts with quizzes, presentations, individual projects, Mid-term exams, and end with the final term project or written exam or sometimes both.
As Riphah International University is a private institution, thus, students are supposed to pay fees but a very reasonable amount. When it’s come to their dress code, the rationale behind their uniform rule is very compelling. You see, we are living in a developing country and the majority doesn’t afford fancy clothing, however, the case is not the same for our affluent class. So, without having one unified dress code, the middle class or poor students enter into an inferiority complex that not only affects their student life and professional life but affects their mental health as well. This might sound funny or weird for readers from developed societies, but believe me, the uniform does help a lot and makes you comfortable in your skin among your classmates.
As for as the extracurricular activities are concern, they don’t have much to offer, and its the downside of Riphah International University as compared to other public institutions in Pakistan. Sports courts, grounds, and activities are as expedient as studies. Secondly, we do not have student union which might be a good thing for some but otherwise for others.
Towards the conclusion, I would say that student life in Pakistan is not different as people in the developed normally envisage. We have all the fun that one can have in the developed world but in our own way. We do not have alcohol or other drinking culture during our parties, however, our parties are as crazy and full of fun as in other developed countries. Foreign students will have fun during their student life in Pakistan but in a different way, our own way, the Pakistani way.
This article is based on the writer’s personal experience and analysis.