I currently study physics in Belgium and I'd like to do a Master somewhere else in Europe. But even if you aren't from Europe, I'd like to read your experience on that matter. My problem is that I'm literally sick with the way the exams go in my country. We finish the semester's courses, then 2 weeks without nothing (during which we study as hard as we can) and then 3 weeks of exams. Our teachers ask us questions of pure memorization so we just have to study by heart, we have exercices too but nothing different from what we do during lessons. I have difficulties with that, and I get bad grades although I understand everything we learn and I'm able to manipulate all these concepts. I really have my "mental image" of these ideas, if you know what I mean. I hate studying by heart yet that's what I'm supposed to do as many hours as possible a day, but I already understood what I'm studying and working this way doesn't improve my knowledge, I even feel I regress in some way. I'd like to spend more time "explorating" the subjects, testing ideas to see where it leads, but we're never asked to have such reflexions on the subject and I just don't understand why universities work this way (here, or everywhere?). I mean, we're not tested on any quality a good physicist should have, except maybe perseverance because the exams are more of a psychological trial than an intellectual one. I really want to become a physicist, I've tried to do other studies since these ones weren't going as well as they should but I just felt empty so I came back. If I have to spend years studying mindlessly to achieve this, I'll do it but I cannot believe there isn't actually an intelligent way to study physics somewhere, where understanding and reasoning are more important than perfect return of teacher's words. So I'm asking you, how is it where you study/studied? Is it worse or is it like in my dreams? Do you know universities than are different from my description? If you think my expectations are stupid, you can say it too, I won't take offense. Thanks for reading!