How To Study While Studying Abroad

Dominic Sari headshot
Dominic Sari
March 5, 2024

Well, it's about that time, the dreaded midterms week. And with that comes a dilemma for all my friends and I. How do we have time to study when we travel every weekend? 

Today I am going to highlight the challenges of staying focused and doing schoolwork while studying abroad. As much fun it is to travel the world, it is important to know what you signed up for and how to stay focused in your classes.

Instant Gratification vs. Long Term Goals

As a premed student studying biology my major is not the easiest one in the book. I am taking physics during my time studying abroad and lets just say it is much more time intensive than I had expected. In person labs, four midterms, and constant homework at first left me spinning in circles, however I thankfully have found out how to balance my time and get over instant gratification.

Living in a city means restaurants that never close, a different “popping” club every night, and an endless stream of activities right at your fingertips. It is so easy to ignore responsibility and enjoy Madrid, however thinking about your future is important. Every week I dedicate all of Tuesday and Wednesday night for homework. Sure I can take breaks to go out to eat or hang out with my flatmates but for the most part I am on the grind doing all my work in order to stay ahead. 

Having these nights to do work lets me enjoy my weekends to the fullest when I travel and I am able to soak up every city that I travel to. My long term goal of going to dental school after I graduate drives my motivation to work as hard as I do. If you are studying abroad and feeling lost, leaning more towards travel than schoolwork, remember that real life is waiting for you when you get home. The decisions you make abroad matter, so make sure to make good ones.


Studying During Travel

Now, I know I said that I do not study on the weekends but I was a victim earlier in the semester before I set my homework boundaries during the week. So let me tell you how I did it! About two weeks ago I had my first physics midterm right after my trip to Morocco. This trip was from Thursday to Monday morning leaving me virtually no time to study on paper. However, that did not stop me. Anytime we took some sort of transportation my Ipad was out and I was doing practice problems on the bus. However, this was definitely not the most efficient form of studying. I recommend placing a set time on your travel itinerary to study. Maybe find a cool study cafe or a library in the city you are in and relax and take in the views while doing homework. It is important to have downtime on trips and this is the perfect supplemental activity. 


Class Difficulty

As far as classes go, pay attention. I know it may be fun to look at flights during class and plan some trips. However, just because you are abroad does not mean classes are extremely easy. You still have to study and pay attention to get good grades so make sure to do so. Do not fail a class while studying abroad that is quite literally counterintuitive to “studying” abroad.



Final Notes

All in all, school will always be school and there is no way to change that. Make sure to balance fun and studies so you are able to enjoy your weekends. Do not over stress yourself and take a well balanced workload of classes. And most importantly, take classes you enjoy! That’s all for now, see you next time

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs
Dominic Sari headshot

Dominic Sari

Hey everyone! I am currently a junior at Villanova University and I am from Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore. I love to surf, travel, and I am a Survivor super fan. Even though I will be abroad, I will absolutely be up to date on Survivor 46.

2024 Spring
Home University:
Villanova University
Biological Sciences
Explore Blogs