“STUDY ABROAD: HOW TO BALANCE CLASSES, TRAVELING, BUDGET AND SOCIAL LIFE”
by Globe Trottica
“Come on, That psychology paper and creative writing assignment can be done on Sunday night! Paris is calling our name; the crepes and the wine are going to be half gone when we get there,” said the Devil.
“Don’t listen to him,” said the Angel. “School is more important, Paris isn’t going anywhere. Succeed on these assignments and get plenty of rest. You can go to Paris when you’re older.”
Damn, the Devil and the Angel are at it again, playing with your mind while you’re studying abroad. Which one would you choose? How about neither?
Balancing your social life, traveling, budget, and classes can be quite difficult. I was always guilty of picking traveling over studying (at least I admitted it!), and it was sometimes difficult to make it to class. However, there is an almost perfect balance between the four. You just have to figure out what works best for you. That’s why I’m here to give some study abroad tips on balancing classes, traveling, social life, and budget.
This is where you can be your biggest enemy. Don’t take a ton of classes, and don’t take 2 classes so you’re struggling to graduate when you get back to your university.
You get to make your schedule before the semester begins. I chose all classes that were on Mondays and Thursdays, so I always had a 3 day weekend. Thankfully, all of these classes also fit into my major. In my opinion, this was a wonderful choice, and if you can, try and do it. Why? You have more time to travel on the weekends!
Although you won’t be traveling every single weekend, you will thank yourself for clearing up your schedule. You’ll also give yourself more free days to explore the city you live in, and have more free days to get a lot of your homework done.
Wake up earlier
One hour earlier. You’ll be surprised with how much you can get done when you have that extra hour. Who needs sleep when they’re studying abroad anyway? The day I left for Amsterdam, I woke up an hour earlier, finished an essay, and handed it in on my way to the airport. I had nothing to worry about the rest of the week.
Get smart about studying
Take pictures of your textbook pages, take notes, screen shot those articles, whatever you have to do. Bring that on the plane or bus with you. Think about it, you’re sitting in a seat for 2+ hours, doing nothing, while you could be studying! Start your essay when you have downtime before dinner at your hostel, or are relaxing before a night out.
Get creative here. I once wrote an entire essay on my phone during a flight, which I then emailed to myself when I had Wifi. The weight was lifted from my shoulders the entire week. . . . .