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Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

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    Traveling in college without doing study abroad

    Alexandra Paladian

    Study abroad is on the rise in colleges and universities. Everywhere I seem to look I see multiple opportunities to go overseas, which is great. When I began my higher education in a two-year college, I was determined to go study abroad. However, I discovered something even better, a program where you take a class throughout the semester at your home institution and then go on the adventure of traveling abroad for that class over a span of 10 days. I did this in my Spring 2019 semester by studying British literature and traveling to the United Kingdom. This travel option won me over immediately and it also worked well with my work schedule and other prior commitments. 

    I wanted to share the insight I got, so let’s explore the three reasons why I choose to travel abroad instead of studying abroad and how it might benefit some students better, especially the ones that work part-time or full-time in the workforce.

    The Cost

    The biggest turn away for studying abroad is the cost that is associated with the program. Most students are either not able to afford the venture or not eager to let go of such a chunk of money for only a semester of study. I found that traveling abroad for a short time decreases the amount you pay and provides scholarship opportunities from the institution, unlike study abroad scholarships that are usually offered through an abroad company nationwide. Choosing to travel abroad directly through my community college meant I only had to pay half of the amount required because of the scholarship opportunities that I sought. Know you don’t have to pay a lot to go abroad if you just keep your eyes peeled for opportunities. 

    The Time Commitment

    The length of study abroad programs does vary based on the location and the semester, but it still requires a full commitment for that length of time. Some students might have the freedom to live in a different country for a whole semester, but most students might find it hard to ask off that long from their part-time or full-time jobs or other commitments. Traveling abroad is usually a shorter span, which is a lesser time to disconnect from your life at home. Going to Scotland and England for ten days was a flexible time frame for me because it allowed me to see a lot in a shorter period and it didn’t hinder my work schedule.

    The Experience

    This one will differ from student to student regarding studying abroad and traveling abroad because they provide different opportunities and perspectives. Some students prefer to venture off and embrace life abroad for a longer time, however, not everybody will be the same. I found within myself that I could not leave for that extended time because of the reasons above and that I was not ready yet to plunge into that prolonged experience. Moreover, traveling abroad offers that overseas experience without the long commitment from studying abroad and I found that beneficial in my undergraduate life.

    Every student has a different path to their degree, which means that they can choose whether to study abroad or travel abroad. Personally, I loved traveling abroad because of those three reasons, and I am looking forward to traveling abroad again, this time to Moscow and St. Petersburg in May 2020. As I mentioned, I will be taking the class portion at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and then I will travel to Russia afterward. I hope you found this article helpful in deciding on whether to venture off on a big adventure with study abroad or get a taste of the travel without the big-time commitment. Regardless, I wish you all safe travels!


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    Organize your life: No stress required

    Alexandra Paladian

    “There is never enough time!,” many college students say almost every day. Being a college student requires a certain amount of dedication, devotion, and time. It is simple to get caught up in the stress of school and life. Fortunately, I have come to the rescue! As an honors college student, who works and contributes to extracurricular activities at school, I have learned a thing or two about extreme time organization. Let’s explore five steps for organizing your life with little to no stress needed.

    Use a planner/smartphone

    The most crucial part of any organization plan is writing everything down. From the smallest tasks to the major ones, the human brain cannot contain all the information that is handed to it daily. To ensure success, I recommend getting a planner. That way everything is written down and nothing can be forgotten because it is on the paper. If you do not want to take your planner everywhere you go, or you love technology, using your smartphone as a planner works well, too. There are apps and programs to put everything on a calendar on your phone so you get daily alerts of what you need to do. If you consistently enter your information in either type of planner, then it is safe to assume that nothing will be left out.

    Write everything out in advance

    In addition to writing your tasks, it is very beneficial to write your information as in advance as possible. This technique works well for college courses because students usually know ahead of time when their significant papers and projects will be due. Most college professors place due dates on the course syllabus, and it is vital to put those dates in your planner as soon as possible. This move shows you what lies ahead and prepares you for the next step.

    Create a game plan, but be realistic

    Now that all the deadlines, meetings, work schedule times and dates are written down, the next step is to create a game plan. I recommend looking at your schedule a month in advance and deciding what tasks you should complete first. This helps you avoid procrastination and develop better time management. As essential as it is to create a game plan, be realistic. Do not set unrealistic expectations because that will only stress you out more. Pacing your workload will help with maintaining a routine, and it will give you some free personal time.

    Plan some breaks

    I have been guilty of spending so much time on my homework that I barely had time to spend with my family. If it is hard for you to tear yourself physically apart from your task, then specifically write in family time. You and your family will thank you. It does not have to be a long time, but it is important to rest and have fun! While homework is necessary, so is planning time away from it.

    Stick to your plan, be positive, and Do Not Give Up!

    The most essential step is sticking to your plan. Carry out your direction and have a positive outlook on your day, week, month, etc. The planner requires you to keep up with everything, so you can take advantage of the organization it provides your life. Do not give up on writing your tasks down because that is the reason why you needed to organize yourself in the first place.

    In conclusion, while each step is quite simple, together they require hard work and dedication. Once you are set, enjoy the tranquility of life!