Life Abroad Panels: Academic Issues

In April of 2023, The Champlain Abroad office hosted the Life Abroad Panels with the aim of providing valuable insights and support to students preparing for or interested in studying abroad. These panels cover several different topics such as Wellness, Identity (with WGC), Food Issues, Academic Issues, Social Interaction, Finances, and Homesickness. These panels will serve as a way to share experiences, tips, and guidance from both staff members and former students who studied and lived in different countries. We recognize that these are not the only concerns students may have when it comes to studying abroad, therefore we urge students to fill out the Life Abroad Questionnaire that is provided to them on TerraDotta after they are accepted into our programs. Here, students will be able to list their concerns and they are encouraged to reach out to our office to discuss them further. Our study abroad coordinators are always willing to meet with students to answer questions and address concerns. The office also hosts various events and activities that can help students ease the transition of going abroad. To stay updated on the events and/or to book an appointment with our coordinators, check out our Events page. Ultimately, the life abroad panels served as a useful tool to empower and prepare students for their international experiences and ensure a successful and enriching time abroad. Here is the recording of the panel discussing how to deal with academic issues while being abroad (closed-captioning available).

Below you can find a brief outline of the panel which was held on Zoom.

I. Introductions

  • Elin Melchior, Study Abroad Coordinator. Studied abroad at the University of Warwick.
  • Martha Moreno Linares, Study Abroad Coordinator. Originally from Venezuela, she studied abroad in Canada and the US.
  • Lauren Bruneau, Director of Academic Support and Coaching Services. Studied abroad several times.
  • Ping Melchior, 3rd-year International Business major. Studied abroad in South Korea, Greece, and Thailand.
  • Katherine Taddeo, 4th-year Degree Design Lab (DDL) major. Studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland.

II. Differences in Academic Practices

  • Elin Melchior shares her experience with note-taking and lectures in the US vs. Europe.
  • Ping shares that in Thailand, she faced stress due to the focus on only two tests making up the final grade.
  • Discussion on the different academic practices and teaching styles.
  • Explanation of how the grading system works in some countries.
  • Importance of getting a C or better for Champlain students doing exchange or 3rd-party programs.

III. Difficulty of Classes

  • Discussion on the difficulty of classes and how it varies depending on the location.
  • Importance of knowing the level of the class before enrolling.
  • Challenges of adapting to new teaching styles.
  • Strategies for succeeding in classes, including setting goals, creating a routine, and seeking support from instructors and peers.

IV. Online Learning and Technology

  • Importance of reliable internet connection and technology.
  • Katherine Taddeo’s experience with online classes during quarantine.
  • Discussion on how technology is used in the classroom, including the benefits and challenges.

V. Managing Time and Prioritizing Tasks

  • The challenges of balancing schoolwork with other responsibilities while studying abroad.
  • Strategies for managing time effectively, including using a planner and breaking tasks into smaller chunks.
  • Tips for prioritizing tasks and avoiding procrastination.

VI. Avoiding Distractions and Staying Focused

  • The impact of distractions on studying and learning.
  • Techniques for avoiding distractions, such as turning off notifications and finding a quiet study space.
  • Strategies for staying focused, including using the Pomodoro technique and taking breaks.

VII. Adjusting to New Learning Environments

  • The challenges of transitioning to new learning environments, such as online classes or studying abroad.
  • Tips for adapting to new environments, such as creating a study schedule and seeking support from peers and instructors.
  • Ways to stay engaged and motivated in a virtual learning environment.

VIII. Q&A Session and Highlights

  • Answering audience questions related to studying and learning, including the benefits of group study and the use of technology in studying.
  • Discussing the panelists’ personal experiences with studying and learning, including the role of self-care in academic success.
  • Encouragement to continue developing good study habits and seeking support when needed.

Links to Other Life Abroad Panels

More General Advice
Montreal Culture Differences
Life Abroad Panels: Finance Issues
Life Abroad Panels: Homesickness