Studying abroad is a great opportunity, even if it is just for a month. However, it gets difficult when you have two different school schedules. This month-long study abroad in Cork is already intense as each class is 4.5 credits, but it gets even more intense as an online Drexel course is required along with it. Here are some tips that have helped me to stay organized during my study abroad experience thus far.
Use a planner. Having a physical copy of your schedule and due dates is helpful when there is a heavy load of work constantly provided. Whether it be on a smart phone or a physical paper planner, it is better to write down due dates and tasks than to keep a mental note of them, especially during a study abroad program where you can easily get distracted about wanting to explore the country you’re in. Even before traveling for study abroad, it may be helpful to check the syllabus of the classes you’re taking and write down due dates on a calendar for both the study abroad classes and the Drexel online class (or classes). When you have a head start and have an expectation of what your schedule will look like, it will be easier to plan when to do work and when to take time to explore your surroundings. This will especially be helpful as a Drexel student because professors expect some of the books and readings to be complete before arriving to Cork, however, due to spring quarter finishing later than other schools, it makes it more difficult to complete all the readings in the one week between the end of quarter and the start of the program. As a Drexel student, you may feel slightly behind and slightly more busy than other students which is why it is important to stay organized during the study abroad program.
Another tip is to say no if you know you have work to finish. As stated before, Drexel students may appear to be busier with schoolwork due to taking an extra online class compared to the other students in this program that take the two classes provided by the University College Cork. Although it does seem like a better experience to spend time meeting your new fellow classmates and going out on the town, sometimes it’s more important to put your school work first so that you can enjoy other days in Cork, especially when having to travel on weekends on the planned excursions to Dublin and Western Ireland. Sometimes it’s important to prioritize your schoolwork so that the whole study abroad experience doesn’t become too stressful and spent staying up late nights to finish work for both Drexel classes as well as University College Cork classes.
Between planning, staying organized, and prioritizing your work, you can have time to enjoy the big adventures around Cork (and other parts of Ireland) even if that means sacrificing a night to go out to the pub with a group of your fellow classmates.