Studying While Studying Abroad

Alexina Estrada Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


June 6, 2016

I just had my last week of classes at Victoria University of Wellington. That means I also have less than a month here in New Zealand.

Thinking back, I think one of the harder things to handle was actually studying believe it or not. For me, it wasn’t that the classes or curriculum were that much harder than home, in fact, I found them to be quite similar to be honest. What made studying hard was the fact that I was constantly looking for something new and exciting to do. I was either thinking about what to do on my next holiday- break from school, what to do on the weekends, what events were happening, and all sorts of activities that I had to do before going home.

I still remember moving into Everton Hall thinking, “I have so much time to do everything that I can! Four months is plenty of time!” I forgot to take into consideration that part of studying abroad is also studying for papers/classes.

This is the calendar that I made for myself. I put it on my bulletin board over my bed and have everything from assignments, exams, outings, trips and Arcadia events on there.

Normally at my home school I work two jobs and partake in two extracurriculars on top of five or six classes; needless to say I’m always busy. Here in New Zealand, I was only taking three courses: two 100 levels and one 200 level. I thought I would be fine.

I was right. I was fine. To be honest though, sometimes I struggled to actually do my readings or assignments. I always wanted to be somewhere out in Wellington exploring, or driving along the coast some more. I wanted to do more bungy jump sites, skydive, visit new cities, etc.

Looking back at everything I have done though, I realize I’ve explored so much of New Zealand, accomplished so many fears of mine, and pushed myself way out of my comfort zone. I also worked my hardest in my papers however.

I did skip a few classes, which is normally something I hate doing. In total, I think I only missed four or five at most. The classes I missed were so that I could save money on my flights around New Zealand. I made sure all my assignments were turned in on time, but that took a lot of time management.

For anyone studying abroad I really suggest getting a planner/ calendar. As soon as you have all your papers and tutorials settled, sit down and mark on your calendar/ planner all of the signments and exams you have. Keep those somewhere very visible to always remind yourself and to see how close everything approaches. This has helped me so much to stay on top of everything as much as I can.

Now that classes are over, we have a week of studying. I have three final exams; the first one is on the 14th, then the 17th and lastly one on the 18th.

While I am very excited to go back home to my family, I am also sad knowing that soon I will have to say bye to my friends that I have made here in Wellington. It’s a good thing that I have a month left to continue exploring New Zealand and having kiwi adventures!


New Zealand Semester