One of the biggest adjustments (but let’s be honest, lots of things when you study abroad are big adjustments) when you go abroad is balancing being a student with traveling, relaxing, and spending time with your friends, as well as keeping in touch back home. I’d love to talk about my academic experience as a student in Salzburg to give sense of how life might look and what to expect if you go abroad.
Classes in Salzburg
I usually have one class in the morning and one in the afternoon. They last for 90 minutes each and have a break in the middle that I’ll use for homework and lunch. I don’t have class on Fridays, which makes weekend trips a breeze! Classes are usually lecture-based but the professors are open to questions and discussions. Assignments are usually in a Dropbox folder and I always know what I have to do before class, which has helped me establish a homework routine right away.
Homework and Downtime
The evenings I tend to use for homework, catching up with friends and family at home, relaxing, exploring, going to coffee shops, reading, and taking yoga classes at a local studio. For me, homework loads are similar to what I’m used to at my small liberal arts college in the United States, so I have certain weeks that are busier than others. I always have some kind of homework, but it’s not all work and no play here!
Balancing School and Travel
The biggest thing that I can recommend is not planning travel until you know your class schedule if you can. Class excursions, tests, and projects can throw off previously scheduled trips so save your planning until you get to your destination and know what your daily routine may be like, so you aren’t stressed trying to re-plan trips. You also get a more realistic sense of how far things are and how expensive things might be, as well as discovering things you may want to explore at your destination and in the surrounding areas.