By Hanna Anderson
A semester abroad with classes and an internship may initially sound overwhelming. Balancing the time to get in sightseeing and travel, course work and hours in the internship office is surely not a walk in the park; however, it is completely possible to do both and get the absolute most out of each!
First thing’s, first. You must familiarize yourself with a planner. Writing down how your days will be spent is essential so you can figure out when you will be working and doing homework vs. when you will be exploring.
Secondly, it is very important to immerse yourself fully into your internship experience. Working alongside individuals native to the area can teach you more about the culture than simply taking photos with its famous landmarks.
Perhaps most importantly, learning to prioritize can help you to choose what is best for your study abroad experience. A work party on the same Saturday you wanted to take the train into Paris? In a case like this, you would have to decide which opportunity could be of more value to your overall experience abroad. If the party is optional, and you will be surrounded by the same people you are everyday at the job, they will likely understand, if you have to take a rain check. However, if you feel like you see potential in additional networking with your colleagues, you may consider the party a priority for your future.
At the end of the day, decisions will have to be made to get the most out of both your internship and your time abroad. Remember, dive head first into every opportunity handed to you. Meeting local inhabitants in your host country can actually improve your overall abroad experience because it is a unique way to learn more about it. Organizing your schedule to find an equilibrium can make for a less stressful time and be more beneficial for you, your employers, and your study abroad friends.