"Studying" Abroad

Emily Facciolo headshot
Emily Facciolo
April 1, 2024

The relatively unseen portion of studying abroad is in the name: studying. Back in the United States, I have been accustomed to frequent homework in all my classes, usually with at least one exam per week. And as a business major, I tend to have about one or two papers a semester overall. My routine has been completely turned around here, something that I’ve been struggling to adapt to. It is common in Europe to have very little assignments and have most of the grade be based on essays, which is what my semester has looked like in Dublin. 

For the first few weeks, I had zero assignments and basically unlimited free time; it still did not feel like I was in school. Then suddenly, right before our spring break, everything seemed to come at once. I had four essays due in one week. Thanks to my procrastination, that meant that I was writing four (decently long) essays in that week. It was certainly a challenging time as a business major who is mainly taking all gen-eds in another country. It was also a major wake-up call because I was reminded that I was actually here for my education and to get good grades. There is no one to blame but me and my desire to do pretty much anything else during the time leading up to all these consecutive due dates. 

While it all ended up working out in the end, it was a very stressful time that I do not want to have to do again. I learned my lesson and remembered why I hate procrastinating so much, which is why I’m trying to fix this issue before all my final essays roll around. I have only three more weeks of class here (sadly), so I am trying to be the best student I can be and start now, rather than during my very last week in Dublin, because I want to be able to enjoy it as much as possible. As much as I am loving the content of most of my classes, I will say that I am excited to get back to what I am used to, which is consistent homework and exams that are smaller in size rather than just big essays for all my classes, because this change of pace has unexpectedly been one of the harder adjustments I’ve made while here. 

The most challenging part of “studying” abroad has been simply making time for it. It can be hard to say no to doing something fun, especially a trip outside the city, because you have to do something for class. Also, when you are not on the go, you mainly just have the urge to relax and not do anything for a few hours. Between these two paces of life while abroad, sitting down and being productive has certainly proved to be a challenging feat for me, which was never the case growing up. Although, I know that I will one day look back on these blogs and wonder why I ever let this stress me out because I always end up figuring it out, but it is also important to acknowledge that living in another country for four months won’t always be perfect, even if it may seem so. 

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Emily Facciolo headshot

Emily Facciolo

Hi! My name is Emily and I am currently a sophomore business major at the University of Pittsburgh, but I am from Delaware County, PA. Before going to Dublin, I have been to six other countries. My biggest passions are reading and traveling. 

2024 Spring
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