How to Actually Study While Abroad

by Amanda Ekstrand

Oct 31, 2016

© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime

Trends / Study Abroad

Studying abroad is one of the most rewarding, yet challenging, experiences you will be privileged to experience in college. Although getting to know your new friends from distant countries, taking spontaneous trips on the weekends and exploring your new city or campus can be a huge distraction from actually studying abroad.


Go to your classes. It sounds simple enough, but once you’re abroad it becomes incredibly tempting to skip a class here and there in order to take a long weekend to travel. However, you don’t want to waste precious travel time by playing catch-up. Some professors may even dock your grade if you rack up too many absences, so you could end up falling behind without realizing it.


Sometimes you just have to get your nose in the books. If you’re taking a class that requires a substantial amount of reading, bring it with you when you travel. You’ll need something to read on long bus or train rides, so it may as well be something on which you’ll be graded. Plus, think how cultured you’ll feel when reading James Joyce in Dublin or Shakespeare in London.


When exams eventually come around, commit to some early desk time. If you and your friends form a study group and plan on studying weeks before your exams, you could take a daytrip or even a weekend to travel when everyone else is cramming. You may want to bring a few things with you to review, but as long as you spent some time preparing, it’ll pay off later.


It’s natural to want to travel as much as possible, and see all you can while you’re abroad, but it’s also important you don’t fall behind once you go home. So make the best of your time abroad and make sure you hit the books every once in a while.


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