I figured it’s high time I wrote about taking classes abroad. Let’s be real, everyone is going abroad for one reason: to be abroad! However, studying should be a top priority if you are in a study abroad program. Classes can also make your study abroad experience so much more gratifying. I’ve learned so much in my classroom and also about the places around me.
I’ve taken two classes abroad, and they are arguably the most hands on and informative classes I’ve ever taken. I started my time abroad taking a Food and Culture class. I had so much fun not only learning popular Italian recipes, but studying both the history and traditions behind them. We also took trips outside of the classroom to get a better idea of how people shop for food in Italy and how things are made. Because of this class, I have a whole new outlook on food and how I buy it. This was only a three week course and I was heartbroken when it ended, but I know the lessons I’ve learned will follow me home. Below is a picture of my class and our lovely teacher, Ms. Vittoria, on the last day of class. 😦
For my last three weeks, I am taking Fashion Marketing. This class has been so much fun to take and I am so happy I got the chance to do so. We learn so much about business and it’s just icing on the cake that we get to learn about fashion as well. Not only that, but we are learning about it where fashion originated. My teacher, Ms. Nannini, used to work for a fashion brand that was run by her family for three generations. She worked on both the marketing and public relations side of the business, and it is so amazing getting to learn from someone who was so successful in the field.
Both classes have been incredibly fun, but that is not to say that they haven’t been hard or that I haven’t had to study. We have homework, quizzes, midterms, and finals just like any other class. For me, the only difference has been how hands on everything is and venturing outside of the classroom on a regular basis. Many classes even take weekend trips. Tomorrow, for example, my Fashion Marketing will be visiting the Gucci Garden in Florence. We will be examining how Gucci has changed their marketing technique to appeal to a younger audience (If possible I’ll attach some photos later).
Some important things to note about taking classes abroad are that skipping can and will affect your grade. Skipping a weekend trip is equivalent to two absences (4 is an automatic failure). Traveling is no excuse for skipping class either. Personally, I’ve found that the classes are so much fun that I actually hate missing. Not only that, but you will feel so much more connected to the area if you fully partake in your class.
My number one tip for getting the most out of your study abroad class is to ask questions and get close with your teachers! You will learn so much more from them and enjoy your time so much more as well. Above all, have fun and learn something!