Scheduling Classes: What's the Best Schedule for Me?

Victoria Ernst headshot
Victoria Ernst
February 5, 2024
A screenshot of a moodle dashboard listing a student's various courses

One of the biggest stresses that students everywhere experience is scheduling classes. Here are my tips for getting a schedule that maximizes your cultural experience in Barcelona. 

  1. Don't assume you are going to have the same routine abroad as you do in the U.S.

The culture and lifestyle in Barcelona are very different than those in the U.S. In general, many places, from shops to restaurants to schools, open later and close later. I made my preliminary schedule based on my college routine in the U.S. During the weekdays, I’d wake up at 6 to work out before class.  But in Barcelona, my gym opens at 7 a.m., and it takes 30 minutes for me to get to class. I also go to bed much later here than I do at home.

2. Remember that even if you’re out of class early, your friends may not be.

Getting out of class early on Thursday seemed like a great idea for traveling. But when I travel with friends, I usually can’t leave until Friday because they often have class until late on Thursday. Keep this in mind if you’re planning trips with friends.

3. Follow the 3/2 rule.

If you’re taking 15 credits, it’s best to take three classes on one day and two on the other. If you can, try to have classes back-to-back. This type of schedule is the sweet spot and will keep you from feeling overwhelmed. It will save a lot of dilly-dallying time between classes, and you will have more flexibility for when you can eat since a lot of restaurants in Barcelona are sit-down.

4. Don’t worry if your schedule isn’t perfect.    

From the time of your arrival through the first week of classes, you will have the opportunity to add and drop classes. The IES Abroad staff help you directly in person to solidify your schedule and get the classes you need.

5. Take a class at a local university. 

Personally, I didn’t have this option because of my school’s transfer credit policy, but my friends who chose this option really enjoy it. It’s a cool way to get to know students from all around the world, especially since many European college students attend these universities. 

Remember that studying abroad is about experiencing something different. Have an open mind and remember that different doesn't mean bad. Embrace change to get the most out of your new life. 

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Victoria Ernst headshot

Victoria Ernst

Hi, my name is Vic. I'm a junior at Washington and Lee University, and I am a strategic communication and German double major and entrepreneurship minor. I interned in Germany last summer and hope to live abroad after graduation!

2024 Spring
Home University:
Washington and Lee University
German Language
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