When studying abroad, one can easily get caught up in the “abroad” part and quickly forget or choose to look past the study part. Big mistake. While it has only been 3 weeks in the beautiful, lakeside campus of the University of Nottingham, we – or at least I – find myself loosing balance when it comes to readings and have felt the ever-growing presence of the stress that will come when it comes to finals in June. Here are some helpful tips that have helped me quickly jump back on track with my studies and continue to enjoy every aspect of my exchange.
First, I set out all of my assessments and plan them accordingly on a four-month calendar. It avoids having to scramble through every syllabus last minute to know when your next essay is due.
Second, since most modules here consist of a paper (roughly 3000 word-count) and a final exam, I found it helpful to start preparing my research for my papers sooner rather than later. A single paper is worth 50% of your final mark. YIKES!
Finally, although as cliché and repetitive it may sound to every student out there, going to office hours. I’ve come not only to travel and experience the world, but also to expose myself to the endless amounts of possibilities there are in gaining knowledge. What better way to do that then by taking time to speak to scholars who have dedicated their lives to specific areas of research?
Its quite an amazing opportunity to go to a new university because I have been able to compare several aspects of my education in general; From teaching methods, administration, student life and the academia of the institution itself. You can expand what you have learned and have come to believe, with new perspectives on a variety of topics. I am currently enrolled in 3 fascinating modules: Environmental History, International Politics of the 20th Century and Social & Global Justice. The content of these modules is so intriguing that one can’t help but just go to each lecture and just have so many questions by the end. Several of the topics include: animal liberty, equality, and my personal favourite; the expansion of environmental history specifically in North America. Fun Fact: my professor, Dr. Robert A. Lambert, has made several documentaries for the BBC!
Although I have spent this week catching up on what’s seems like hundreds of pages of readings, I have also had more spectacular experiences with my new-found friends from all over our little blue planet. Several of us have had the same difficulty of catching up, so we decided one night
on campus to celebrate Chinese New Year. It was spontaneous and spectacular; we were able to get sparklers, confetti bombs, lighting up the Nottingham night. While celebrating outdoors, several students decided to join in on the fun. It is truly an experience I will never forget.