Studying While Studying Abroad

During this time abroad it’s easy to get caught up in the allure of it all. The exploration, the new friends and sights, planning trips to go just about everywhere. It’s all exciting and, at times, distracting.

The education system here is very different compared to what I’ve experienced at USF. At home in Tampa classes are constant work. From readings to projects to quizzes to exams, you’re never really left with a day without schoolwork.

Here, that isn’t the case. Taking four classes, I thought I would find myself with a lot of work. Instead, I just have weekly readings and an assignment here and there. For most of my classes my grade is comprised of an essay and a final exam. The essays are all due around the end of March so up until then my only responsibilities are readings and going to class.

Having this type of set-up while over here is perfect for us foreigners. This allows us to go away on weekends without worrying about assignments and work. I get my readings done on my transportation places.

Because all of my classes only have an essay and a final, all the essays seem to be due around the same time. I find the deadlines slowly creeping up.

A lot of us are so distracted by all the new, exciting things around us that it’s easy to not make time for the real reason we’re here; to study. Being someone who has always valued my studies very highly, I’m well aware that I need to make time to get my work done.

My time here is testing a lot of things about me. One of the largest is my time-management skills. I’m learning how to allot time to what’s important and weed out the things that I don’t need to be prioritizing.

It also helps to have friends going through the same thing. My friend, Maddie, is feeling the same way I am. She has a lot of work to do at home and not as much here. Because of this, we schedule schoolwork dates where we go to coffee shops for a few hours and get all of our stuff done. Getting it all finished over a few days helps because then we can spend the other days exploring. There’s always more to explore!

Making time for what’s important and prioritizing the reason I’m here is important to being successful academically. Being that the semester is a bit more lax at the moment than the way it is at USF, we need to remind ourselves to not get distracted and stay on top of the reason we’re here; to study.

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