Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pick any 2.. I Mean 3 Study Abroad Student Life in Mexico

So most people know of the Triangle of balance for college students. There are three categories in each point,
1. Sleep  2. Friends  3. Good Grades
Now... pick any two.

Study Abroad is a little more difficult.
When you study abroad you are busy trying to make new friends so you don't die loneliness.
That first week is always the hardest, you may end up just sitting in your room on a Saturday night with nothing to do but stare at the TV screen.
During your study abroad, it is all about those new experiences.
Sitting at home is not one of them...

So eventually you make some really awesome friends.
You start classes - In Mexico, yes you do get A LOT of homework. I for one am taking all my classes in Spanish. As a non native speaker it can be quite a lot of stress.

  • Readings- they take forever especially the first big one, read 50 pages over the weekend - took me the entire weekend. But don't worry you get the hang of it and soon your doing 50 pages in just under 5-7 hours ;) 
  • Papers- highly suggest you utilize your Mexican or native speaker buddies/roomates to help you out after you finish the paper with the grammar, because sometimes it is good to have that back-up security. That way the professor doesn't have to put a big highlighter mark with the word "¿Qué?"under it
  • Group projects... - umm make sure you take EVERYONES name and number/ email because not everyone does have a facebook as I found out. It can be very frustrating when trying to find a definite time and place to meet with them to work on the project and or presentation. And as I would phrase it "trying to heard invisible cats".
  • Homework and language barriers - No one really writes the homework assignments on the white boards unfortunately, so either speak with the professor after class if you have questions or another class mate. That way you won't loose points because you didn't do the right homework is. 
Sleep - What's that?
In order to finish homework/study and then be able to hang out with friends you can loose quite a lot of possible sleep. In order to try and solve this I try studying with friends in the library so you can knock out two birds with one stone. Only problem... actually doing your homework. It can be quite a fun past time, however not the most effective... especially if you do want to actually sleep.

So here comes the part of the not so triangle part of studying abroad.
I call this the Study Abroad Pentagon, there are five and or possibly more points in this square, however with the same concept as the triangle you can only pick any 3 of those points.
1. Sleep
2. Friends
3. Good grades
4. Traveling
5. Staying in contact with friends from home and family
6. Possibly more...

This leads us to the point of traveling, - why study abroad? You want to see new places right? So yes you are allowed to travel around while living in another country, because what is the point otherwise? There is not much of a cultural experience if you stay in the same place all the time. It is highly recommended that when going on trips though, that you give yourself enough leeway time to complete your homework, so maybe go on a three day or four day weekends. Because traveling to all the recommended areas can require a bit of time and money to get to.

Now for staying in touch with friends and family from home. When you go to study abroad, everyone wants to know if you are ok. What have you been up to? Where have you been? Blogs can be very useful for this ;) However you can fall out of contact with a lot of people. Everyone has their own life to keep up with without having to call you every day to find out how your life is going. So usually the only people you can maintain contact with are the ones that are willing to keep messaging you, aka Parents. best friends, and if you have one the boyfriend/girlfriend. It is hard to stay in contact when you already have so much stuff to work on and do. So I recommend setting up Skype dates or just when you need a break from everything to go ahead and call someone up. For parents - try to at least call them once or twice a week. Best friends - keep messaging them please, they are your friends, aaannndd Boyfriends/Girlfriends - agree on communication before hand, but try not to get to concerned if it is an exam week and your significant other doesn't call you as much. It goes both ways. Everyone gets busy so communication is hard to keep up.

So back to the Pentagon - Pick any 3.


  1. "Readings- they take forever especially the first big one, read 50 pages over the weekend - took me the entire weekend. But don't worry you get the hang of it and soon your doing 50 pages in just under 5-7 hours ;)" So true! Hope when I study art in italy, reading wont be a problem >_<

  2. Oh I hate reading too! :( That's why given a chance, I would pick up taking study art abroad. :)

  3. So you think that a study abroad in Mexico about art is more enjoyable than reading?