Study abroad programs often get the reputation that you just have a semester of partying and traveling. That is absolutely not true, and there is actually a large amount of studying involved. I am not saying that studying is all you do. I do have free time to spend time with friends, and I have had the opportunity to travel a decent amount, but it isn’t an every weekend thing because there are weeks you have exams and weeks you have presentations or large amounts of readings and don’t have the time to travel, or you have to study while you travel.
I am lucky that the spring semester in Germany gives a lot of vacations and long weekends, We have an Easter break, Pentecost break, a long weekend for German Labor Day, and two partial weeks off for optional IES Abroad trips to Berlin and Italy.
Now to the studying. The studying part of a study abroad program is real. Almost every course I am in has a midterm, presentation, final exam, and final paper. We have not gotten around to the final exams and final papers part of the courses yet, but midterms and presentations are going on throughout the semester and require studying. The assignments and exams are also all in German.
I have already taken most of my midterms except one, and it is a relief to get a lot of those over. It was also helpful when our professors, other than for our German language course allowed us to use German - English dictionaries because it would’ve been hard to know all the vocab to express ourselves in essay questions for economic and politic classes. I have definitely learned a lot of new vocab from these class too, and did not have to rely too heavily on the dictionary, but it was nice to have for the few words that I did not know how to say.
As for studying and traveling I have definitely done that as well. Over Easter break I had to do some reading, because I had a presentation the Tuesday after the break ended, and then over the long weekend we had last week, for the German equivalent of Labor Day, I had to do some studying in the airport, and on airplanes, while heading back to Freiburg because I had an exam on the day after I arrived back.
Well I should get back to studying.
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Hey I am Claire, and I am from Des Moines, Iowa. I am studying International Relations, Russian, and German. I am a Midwestern girl who loves to travel, and I can’t wait to see what adventures are ahead this semester.