The Academic Side of Studying Abroad

At first, the classes didn’t seem all that different to the ones in the United States. You do a syllabus day, have assigned homework, show up on time, and take notes. But the minute details of it all really come full force after about a week. There are little trips that are required for each of my classes. An excursion to a museum, a little walk to the feminist library, or a small lecture in the cemetery. I also had the misfortune of taking all my classes in French, so the language barrier can become tiresome during eight hour class days. Homework is the same, generally, and the grading system is somewhat lenient, but it does take time to get used to. Additionally, when there are so many events and places that you want to see, it’s difficult to really engage in the classes when you could be out seeing the sites and making the most of your time in a new place.

But the classes do get easier. The professors are helpful, and they genuinely enjoy what they teach. It’s been an eye opening experience to have access to these classes that I wouldn’t take if I were still at Wofford. And being so close to all the art and food and language that we discuss in class really enhances the experience. I feel as though I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time, and I don’t feel burdened every day to show up to class and learn something new. It’s all about the balance, and if you keep up with the classwork, there’s plenty of time to explore and learn.