The secret behind course selection abroad

I think one of the most stressful things about studying abroad is choosing classes. On one hand, it’s a lot of fun and pretty interesting: You can choose any courses you want, in any subject, and learn about a topic from a completely different cultural perspective, which may or may not be similar to what you’ve learned at home.

On the other hand, there are multiple steps to signing up for the classes, and you have to continually check with all parties involved to make sure that you’ll be receiving credit for the courses that you need.

I remember before coming to Lyon, other students’ advice to me was simple: “It works out in the end.” I can tell you, there were periods of time where I definitely did not think it would work out and I was worried about finding enough classes. (It adds to the difficulty when some classes are too advanced to take in a foreign language.)

I went to 12 classes in the beginning, looking for something interesting and manageable. That quickly got cut down to four or five for different reasons — whether I had taken the prerequisites for the class before, whether I could understand a word the teacher was saying in French, etc.

However, having finally submitted my learning agreement with enough classes to keep my advisors happy, I will now pass on the advice that truly got me through: “It works out in the end.”


Bridget McSorley is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City double majoring in Business Administration and Languages and Literature. Bridget spent the academic year abroad with the University of Lyon 2 exchange program in France.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.