This summer Eden is studying in Limerick, Ireland with CISabroad, and doing an internship in Dublin, Ireland. Eden studies at Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your international summer course!
Of course show up to class and be on time but not only that, be present in the discussion and context of the classroom. Do not dismiss the material because the context of the information is about a country you are not a citizen of. I did not realize this until I was actually in the classroom and I found myself learning how interconnected one country is to another. We often do not consider that another country is experiencing many of the same problems and successes our home country is. So, be present and make those connections.
- Ask Questions.
In my case I was lucky because I took a class in an English speaking country, so I could understand the majority of what my professors were saying. Although with language aside, there are still barriers with certain accents, slang, and cultural references that you may not understand, so do not be afraid to speak up. Ask what something means or tell your professor that you do not understand his/her accent. It is easy to fall into being shy or afraid when you’re in a new environment which causes many people to not speak up, and in the end they cheat themselves out of a rewarding learning experience. It is important to ask questions within any context and even more so when you’re in a new country.
Summer classes go by very fast and it can be difficult to absorb so much information in a limited amount of time. I felt as though I learned many new things about a foreign country that I never knew before, but I also felt to fully understand the information I skimmed the surface of, I needed to do more research. Summer classes are, in a way, an introduction to a foreign country’s politics, laws, ideas, struggles, and achievements that are only being thrown your way for a few short weeks. Doing additional research after a summer class abroad gives much more insight and depth to what you’ve already learned and will make you feel more connected to that country even after you’ve left.