Studying Psychology at IDC has been one of the greater experiences I had so far.
I am just about to finish my first year. Despite my doubts in the beginning I don't regret any decision that led me here.
Coming from Germany, two things bothered me about the program:
1. The fees (as university is free in Germany)
2. The B.A. degree instead of a B.Sc. (The typical
degree for psychology in Germany)
About the fees I have firstly to admit, that due to my urge to study in English, German university were not an option for me. In addition, IDC is actually one of the cheaper schools to study in English. Compared to the States or even to the UK, which tripled their prices last year, IDC's tuition fees are quite low. And compared to free school in Germany, you get something for your money.
Whereas German lessons have hundreds of students attending each class, fighting for seats and having no personal interaction with the professor whatsoever, IDC's classes are much smaller and offer way more options to get into contact with the professors. This is not only a product of the class size but also on the teacher's mentality of caring for every one of their students who shows a real interest in their class. And those who don't, they try to motivate or at least bother to ask what their problem is. Other schools tend to be very anonymous and the students are being seen as one big huddle instead of separate individuals. Not so at IDC!
Concerning the degree being a Bachelor of Arts instead of a Bachelor of Science I found out that this is the common degree for Psychology in the Sates as well. Being European I was used to it as a B.Sc. and I was afraid it might tend to be more like a Liberal Arts major than a scientific psychology major.
Luckily it came out to be the exact opposite. While some classes might be very "artsy", the focus still is very scientific. The major classes are based on Biology and Mathematics, just like in any B.Sc. psychology degree in Europe. For those who are more interested and maybe more gifted in that area, it's a blessing. Those who never connected to it before, are blessed with teachers who are involved and eager for everyone to enjoy their field of study as much as they do. That means additional recitation lessons, repetitions of misunderstood material or simply answering any questions in class as long as the time allows it.
And the teacher's assistants at this school are like personal tutors sent from heaven. They have a patience for students like I have never seen before. And all of them see it as their personal goal to see everyone succeed.
Of course every professor's and TA's priority is to cover all the necessary material, but the second it is covered, they all are more than willing to help where it is needed.
Overall IDC, and especially the psychology class, is like a community in which competitive thinking doesn't get in the way of helping each other out.
Meaning the teaching staff is willing to help everyone who shows effort and therefore deserve it. But also these students see their own gain in helping each other out contrary to canceling each other out for competitive reasons.
What would you improve about this program?
The only points worth considering are the reasoning for approved absences, as well as a few professors.
Attendance as requirement to pass a class may or may not be a good thing. This is definitely debatable.
But IDC's policy for excused absences is way too strict.
In addition, some teachers are not native English speakers. This is mostly no real problem as they normally spent their fair share if time in an English speaking country either studying or working.
But some teachers never got rid of their heavy accent or still haven't acquired a high enough fluency in English to teach in that language.
This leads sometimes to shifting focuses from trying to understand the material to trying to understand the teacher.
But this is only rarely the case, but definitely has to be dealt with.