Residential Semester (RS) of BRAC University (BRACU) offers a lifetime experience to the youths of BRACU, by fostering self, social and academic development. The three-month long semester is a compulsory programme for every student of the institute. The edifice of this initiative is to build youths, who are not only skilled but also empathetic, humane, interactive, passionate, and are willing to bring and also be the change themselves. The residential campus is a beautiful enclosure with a perfect balance of nature and structures. The infrastructure of the campus includes separate dormitories for females and males, a dining hall as pretty as a three-star hotel, the academic building where all classes are taken etc.
RS provides the students with four mandatory courses - Hum103, Emb101, Bng103 and an English course. Hum103 i.e. Ethics and Cultures is a course designed to engage the students with humanity. At the same time, Emb101, Emergence of Bangladesh, is composed of the history and evolution of Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Bng103 is a Bangla course that reminds the students about the culture of this country. Lastly, an English course, either Eng101 or Eng102, is provided which aims to improve the students' English proficiency.
RS also focuses on extracurricular and experiential activities. Throughout the semester, each student is bound to participate in an extracurricular activity of their choice, varying from cooking, basics of playing guitar, glass painting, crafting, music, yoga, dancing, ikebana - a Japanese floral art, robotics, martial arts to presentation skills. Apart from these, three experiential activities are arranged for the students -- BRAC programme visit, War Museum and Lalbagh Fort visit and SLL Day. In BRAC programme visit, the students are taken to rural areas where the NGO's programmes are run and students are made to interact with the villagers. Secondly, War Musuem and Lalbagh Fort visit is a field trip to the historical heritages of Bangladesh. Lastly, SLL Day, abbreviated for Social Learning Lab Day, is a day when the entire campus is run by the students; the students play the role of the staff, starting from the waiters, cooks, laundry and dish washers, cleaners, helpers, security, dorm supervisors, operation manager, director, etc. It is a day dedicated towards the acknowledgement of each and every work and self-development of the students.
Students, who are into sports come together to play different kinds of sports like football, cricket, badminton and table tennis. Students, who are interested in music, gather to sing and play guitar and other musical instruments. In this way, their communication skills improve and they build new connections. They are continuously supported by their friends, who are on the same boat. Here, the students learn to share, empathise with each other, and unearth many other crucial life lessons. This is a place where students enter reluctantly, but leave reluctantly as well, with tears in their eyes. Even after returning home, the stories do not end; the students' hearts belong to and remain here in the residential campus.
The writer is a first year student of BRAC University BBA programme. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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