With all of my previous articles, I have primarily focused on the experience of studying abroad as an “experience.” One that should be memorable and embraced, one that should give you the strength to push through the homesickness, and one that should give you knowledge to take back home with you.
But in all my efforts to describe and encourage studying abroad, I have left out one important aspect. Well, it is possible that I may have left it out on purpose. The actual schoolwork.
While it is very important to travel and see everything that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to see at home, you are still expected to go to classes and learn something. I lucked out. I really enjoy all of my classes.
But to be honest, I do not feel like they are more challenging than those at Towson. Before coming abroad I was told that the grading would be harsher in England and that the classes were tougher. I am only taking three classes, but I feel like they are as equally hard as any given class at Towson.
To be fair, I have only received one grade back so far. Yes. That’s right. I have three weeks left of classes and I only have one grade from one assignment to show for all of my time spent here. Depending on where you go abroad, you might only have a few assignments that count for a lot of your grade, just like I do.
Also, the grading in England is different. I received a grade in the 60’s, which to us would be a D. But translated that is really a B. So make sure you understand the grading system at your new school before you go into freak-out mode.
Although you will be told that there is a chance that you might not get your top choice classes, don’t be discouraged! I received all three classes that I wanted without a problem. I would also recommend taking classes that you’ll be interested in. That way when it comes time to do schoolwork, you won’t be dragging your feet to do it. I get to take a fashion journalism class and a magazine class – both of which are helpful to my goal of working for a magazine one day.
So why the sudden focus on schoolwork instead of my travels? Just like Towson, I have everything all due at the end of the semester. My great adventures are coming to an end as the final stretch has arrived. Good luck to all those working on papers and finals!