Put the “Study” in Study Abroad

One thing I wondered about before arriving in London was how I was going to juggle studying with exploring, experiencing, and traveling.

My classwork experience in London has been more relaxed than my semesters at Rochester. My courses have lots of readings to be completed before each class. However, the readings are less referenced in the following class, so I rarely feel stressed about memorizing what I’ve read the night before. One of my classes requires us to research certain topics beforehand, too. I like this method because I am given the responsibility of understanding the topic. I need to find the sources that help me to best comprehend the subject and I can research information within that topic that interests me the most. My assignments have been all papers, plus a few group presentations. Again, I enjoy this type of assignment best because it is flexible on the topic so I can find something that catches my attention! That being said, here are a few ways to incorporate studying into your study abroad experience without getting bogged down with work.

Plan ahead
I think the key is planning ahead! Make sure you set aside some time to finish up assignments or read documents. If you give yourself a deadline, you can be more productive. That way, you can fit in homework and sightseeing.

Make a study group
Use studying to your social life’s advantage! Study groups are a wonderful way to make friends. Those assignments give you something to collectively grown about, or something to spark an interesting and new conversation about. I became close to my two best friends here, Kendra and Langa, after we all hung out in the study lounge of our dorm.

 

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My best friend Langa and I frequently write our weekly Oxford papers at Half Cup Cafe on Judd Street!

Find a new study spot
Need to way to make literally studying abroad more fun? Try out a new cafe while typing your essay. The cool vibes will inspire you to work even harder. Plus you can treat yourself to a nice cup of tea. If cafes aren’t your thing, get creative! There are awesome libraries, churches, parks, and museums to use as study rooms. For London, I’d suggest the Senate House Library—you can get a free library card and access to tons of great resources for your next paper. Lots of movies have been filmed there, by the way (think Christian Bale as Batman, *swoon*).

Take advantage of free time
And lastly, my classes in London take place once a week for two-and-a-half hours, in contrast to two one-and-a-quarter-hour classes at the University of Rochester. I feel that this class schedule saves time walking to and from class, so this will help clear up your schedule for more adventures. You’ll have more free mornings and afternoons to fit in visits to museums and sights. Again, just plan it out ahead of time to make sure you can cross destinations off your to-do list. You got this!

About the author

Charlotte Pillow

I am a member of the Class of 2019. I am originally from Ridgewood, NJ. I am a student in the Dual Degree for Nursing program. I am majoring in nursing, public health, and interdisciplinary dance studies, and minoring in psychology. I am the President of the College Diabetes Network and a research assistant at the School of Nursing. For the 2017 spring semester, I am studying public health at the University of Oxford.

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