Is Studying While Traveling Impossible?

by - March 29, 2019

I don't have any regrets about college, but I do wish I had the opportunity to travel abroad or do a program like that.

If both being able to go on your travels and also maintaining a great GPA score are big parts of your life, there’s a good chance you’re going to balance the two as best you can, at exactly the same time. And that’s actually quite a hard balance to try and achieve! You deserve a medal for all you’ve done so far!

Which is why there’s a lot of debate out there about whether or not studying while you’re traveling is impossible to do or not. Of course, there’s all kinds of programs that take you halfway round the world on a scholarship or volunteering program, but how do you keep up with both parts of your life whilst attending one of these courses?

Let’s think about it below. Don’t worry, you’re always going to be learning something while you’re off in another country!

You’ll Need to Know the Dates
If you’re planning to study while you're off gallivanting around the world, going to exotic and new locations and meeting all kinds of new and interesting people, then you’re going to have to have a good diary in your pocket at the same time. After all, your studies are still going to take precedence whilst you’re away, and you’ve got deadlines to reach! 

So make sure you know when your papers and assignments are due, and if you’re in your last year of a degree program, make sure you know when your thesis milestones need to be submitted. Similarly, if there’s any conferences you’d like to attend, or any lessons you know you need to be somewhat present for, be sure you know when the recordings are posted online, usually in places like Blackboard

This’ll make life a lot easier, let’s face it! Keeping up with key dates like these will guarantee you can plan the rest of your travel plans accordingly. You won't have that ever hanging doubt over your head about how your grades are doing, and whether you’ve got any spare time to get back to the nearest town to find an internet cafe to submit test answers you should’ve done days ago… 

Make Sure You’re Flexible
Being flexible is the name of the game when it comes to studying whilst traveling. You need to always be close to a WIFI signal, or to at least have some kind of portable connection to take with you - and those can be a little pricey when you’re a student! So you need to be able to ping back and forth from remote to connected locations, and be able to do so fluently. 

The program you choose to sign onto needs to be flexible as well. It needs to be a program that grants you plenty of time because it expects its students to be travelers, or have other responsibilities in their lives. It needs to have tutors that are available mostly 24/7, and have open office hours via either an email connection or through Skype calls. 

Remember, being flexible grants you a better chance of getting the education you want whilst living out the life you want. After all, being flexible works both ways; if you’ve got a schedule you keep mostly free, and you know how to get around an area with these interests in mind, it means you can use flexible learning tools to help you out. Say you need to start focusing on the next module in your modern history unit - you can easily look up both your and local University websites, like OnlineLLM, to get some quick revision in! 

Take Your Study Materials in Your Carry On
After all, when are you going to be more stationary than when you’re on the plane to your destination? It’s going to make sure you have no option but to sit and study for a couple of hours! And that’s an opportunity you should grasp by the horns and not let go off. 

So make sure you’ve got some of your most crucial study materials in your carry on, to break out when the plane takes off and you’ve still got 3 hours of nothing but the sky to look out of the window at. You won’t have a phone signal up there, and there’s a good chance you won’t have any WIFI to connect to either, so you can very much force yourself to get on with a bit of work. It’s a situation that’ll work well in your favor; when you touch down, you can go off and do whatever you want for the rest of the day without feeling guilty about it. 

Find Ways to Make Up Time
You want to get as much studying time as possible whilst you’re on your trip, experiencing new cultures and people, and often getting sidetracked by them. So you’re going to need to make minutes, and hopefully a few hours, back on the time you lose doing so. The success of your studies (and definitely how recent the info in your head is!) may depend on it. 

Pre book your tickets for the airport, or for the train you’re taking across country, and make it so you can go through check in quicker, or leave later from your accommodation to get to the station. Make sure you know which cafes or bars in the local town allow you to log onto WIFI, and access the day’s teachings specifically for traveling students like you - even just using the map option on your phone before you fly is useful for this. This means you don’t have to spend wasteful time ambling around foreign streets, trying to find a place to settle down in with the day’s work. 

Studying whilst traveling doesn’t have to be impossible - you’ve just got to find ways around the usual obstacles! Make sure you use tips like these to make your time abroad easier. 

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