Cultural Experience | Leipzig

Prepping for Finals While Studying Abroad.

Make the most of your time abroad and ace exams while you’re at it.

It’s that time of the semester: finals are getting closer and closer. For anyone who’s been spending time on a study abroad experience, this also means that there are a limited number of opportunities to take a weekend trip and explore more of your destination or a nearby country. Luckily, it IS possible to make the best of both worlds. Here’s how to ace your finals without missing out on these precious last moments abroad.

• A few weeks out, book your trips and plan your study schedule
You might not need to start studying yet, but simply having everything planned out in writing can take a huge proverbial weight off your shoulders. If you haven’t already, buy a planner and write out a general plan for what material you want to study and when. Add in your trips, and there you go – planning it out is half the battle.

• Book your tickets when necessary and get your review materials ready
How far in advance you need to book tickets can vary depending on where you’re going and the method of transportation you plan to take to get there, so take these things into account when planning your trip. This is also a good time to start preparing any review materials you might need (for example, flash cards) so that you’re not rushing to make them at the last minute

• Enjoy your trip!
This is probably the last weekend trip you’ll get to take (unless you plan on traveling after your study abroad program ends), so make the most of it! Bring your flash cards or other study materials with you on the plane, train or bus so you can study on your way there as well as on the return trip. Give yourself a study break every once in a while so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery passing by!

• Keep studying, but enjoy your last few days in your host country
After returning from your trip, you’ll probably only have a short amount of time left before finals. Try to balance out enjoying your remaining time abroad with studying – a good way to do this is by looking for a fun new study spot in your host city. Seek out a new coffee shop or park and aim to spend a few hours getting work done there in the afternoon. Leave your evenings free to enjoy nights on the town with your friends.

italy tuscany countryside image

I took this picture with my iPhone from a moving train, and Tuscany still looks beautiful.

pretzel fruit iced coffee food image

Study break snacks in Leipzig.

•  Ace finals and treat yourself 

You did it! Walking out of your last exam will feel like a breath of fresh air. To celebrate making it through finals, treat yourself to something nice, whether that be a piece of Apfelstrudel from your favorite local bakery (this was my treat of choice) or a beautiful piece of handmade jewelry from a vendor’s street stall.

Studying is important, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your last little bit of time abroad while working hard to ace finals. Good luck!

Lindsey Zimmerman

Ohio University | 19 stories

Lindsey Zimmerman is a senior public relations major from Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from Ohio University this spring, she'll be spending the summer interning in Cleveland before moving to Spain in the fall to work as an English teacher. She studied abroad in Leipzig, Germany in 2013. When she's not planning her next adventure, she enjoys reading, writing, cooking, learning new languages and spending time with her friends and family. Above all, she believes life is too short to speak just one language and stay in the same place. Follow Lindsey on Twitter @lindseyzim716.

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