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Study Abroad Europe: Balancing the “Study” in Studying Abroad

I can’t believe we have been in Europe for only three weeks so far! The time has gone by quickly, but it also feels like we’ve been here for so much longer than three weeks. All of us are starting to figure out our way around Maastricht (where our university is located) and the rhythm for school here. Our first week of school seemed to throw everything at us at once, so it’s nice to get into the rhythm of school again.

One thing I’ve noticed that is different from school at Baylor, is how the classes are structured. The classes here are much more discussion based—we even have one class here where the students are the ones teaching each other through interactive presentations. Classes are also two hours long instead of 50 minute classes. Sometimes this time can feel drawn out for a class period, but the discussion throughout class helps the time go by quicker.

Even though we are taking four classes each, the homework level is about the same, although much heavier on reading and presentations. The first few weeks have taught me how to manage my time more effectively. Between homework, travel planning, and walking to school (about a 25-minute walk away), there is little time to waste during the week. However, this “problem” leads to us coming up with the best ways to fit everything into our schedules.

Train rides have never been more productive. Although the occasional train ride will be for catching up on sleep, the majority are a set time for reading our history books or studying for the next daily set of quizzes. Most trips that we have taken include a minimum of a two-hour train ride—perfect for getting a head start on the next history reading. Train rides are also helpful for our group projects and presentations. Everyone is in one spot, so it’s the perfect place to brainstorm an idea (even if the conversation ends in next weekends travel plans).

A long walk to class equals the perfect group study session. Since our walk to class in the morning is about 25 minutes long, we always take our study guide with us. We quiz each other on the way to class if we feel like we could use a little more time on the information.

There is a point in the week when we all need a little study break (we are living in a different country after all). This time usually ends up being mid week, involving some variation of a waffle, gelato, or chocolate. One of our goals for this semester is to try something new each week in Maastricht. This way, we’ll explore the city week by week, see new sights, and have a little homework break in between.

Studying abroad is also a balance itself. During the school week, you have a break from traveling—you might not get burned out as quick from non-stop traveling—plus you have a little bit of familiarity in your host city to return to. Traveling during the weekends gets your mind off of schoolwork, but also teaches you how to effectively manage your time during the week.

 About Anna

Hey y’all! I’m Anna and am a Sophomore Marketing and Management major at Baylor University! I will be studying abroad in the Netherlands this semester, where I will be taking History, Art, and Brand Management classes. I’m looking forward to exploring all of the new countries I’m going to travel to (I’ve never been to Europe before) and seeing the History around me as I learn it this semester. I’m so excited for this opportunity to share with you what I will be experiencing.


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