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Study Abroad Tips: The Final Stretch

Waving goodbye to a trip of a life time! Photo by Austin Allaire

A well-known candy bar once had a series of commercials that proclaimed, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” I think the same thing can be said about when we are tired. While travelling is easily one of the most rewarding things I can imagine, I’ve got to be honest: it can be draining. Over the past six weeks, I have had the pleasure of visiting fifteen cities in nine countries – walking nearly four hundred miles! As I’ve come into the final stretch of our time in the Europe, all the travel, class, and socialization most certainly caught up to me. Here’s what I learned over the past week as we went into the final stretch:

  1. Plan Ahead

If your program is anything like ours, you will likely find your final exams and final independent travel days all happening in the same week. This has the potential to be the most chaotic week of your program, but it also has the potential to be your most organized week – it all depends on how well you plan ahead. At this point, you will have a fair grasp on what it takes to plan independent travel and what it will take to succeed in your courses. My best advice is to utilize the skills you have honed over the course of your program to complete assignments, study for exams, and make travel plans well in advance!

  1. Slow Down

Every week abroad goes by fast, but none compares to the final week, which is why it is imperative to find time to slow down. This is the ideal time to begin reflecting on the lessons learned, friendships formed, and memories made while studying abroad. By planning ahead for this week, you can be sure that you will also have time to slow down and take it all in. During my final week, I made sure to cross the last items off my Maastricht Bucket List, as well as return to a few of my favorite places in the city.

  1. Rest Well

In the midst of tests, papers, and travel plans, it can be easy to put rest on the back burner. However, this is precisely the time to make a deliberate effort to get some rest. Taking some quiet time to rest and reflect will undoubtedly make you a better student, traveler, and friend. I know from experience this will require some effort, but trust me when I say that rest will help you make it through the final stretch.

Your last week abroad has the potential to be your best week abroad – full of relaxation and enjoyment. But like all good things, an easy-breezy last week will require some effort on your part. So plan ahead, slow down, and rest well as you reach the final stretch of your program – because “you’re not you when you’re tired.”

About Austin Allaire

Austin Allaire – Baylor University

My name is Austin Allaire and I am a junior Accounting and International Business major with a minor in Religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. This summer I will be spending five weeks studying International Business and Marketing at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. I am excited to be studying abroad with a number of my close friends, and I am even more excited about the independent travel opportunities this program provides. I hope you will join in on our journey through this blog and my Instagram (@austinallaire)


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