●Make sure to plan your classes so you do not have a late Thursday class! In Florence, everyone is required to take Italian, which can either meet three or four days a week. So, you will definitely have a Thursday class because of Italian, but try to schedule all of your classes as early in the day as possible so that you can have more time for travel!
●If you can, try to take an art history class. I'm currently in Renaissance Art taught by Silvia Giorgi, and I absolutely love it! The professor is very nice and she takes us to a different museum or location every time the class meets. It's a good way to explore the city given our busy schedules as students.
●Make sure to not procrastinate! The laid back nature of Florence is not very helpful in trying to motivate me to complete my work as early as possible, so I constantly have to pull through for my classes. I do not have much work for all my classes, but Financial Accounting gives homework every single week, so I have to make sure to complete that early if I'm traveling.
●My Org Comm class in Prague is pretty small (20 kids), and so you really get to know your classmates. Plus, we record and watch our presentations, so it's easy to see what you can improve.
●None of my classes are super hard, and there's not a lot of written work to be done. There are quite a few readings, but the course load is a lot lighter than what I was used to in New York.
●My Introduction to Marketing professor is Muriel Anton, the former CEO of Vodafone Czech Republic. She's super sweet and very knowledgeable about marketing, and was voted as one of the “Top ten most influential businesswoman of the decade” in 2014.
●Definitely take a class that you wouldn't be able to take anywhere else, like Seeing London's Architecture or A History of London.
●Politics of the Near and Middle East requires a lot of time, but is really interesting and relevant.
●Intro to Marketing, Foundations of Finance, and Management & Organizations are all worth taking if you haven't already.
●Overall, the classes here are very chill and laid back. Teachers do not really give us many deliverables, but they expect us to come ready to learn and show up to class. The Stern classes are easy, and I think they are probably much easier than in the New York campus. I highly recommend going here simply for the diversity of the classes offered!
●Almost none of the classes here count for any of my majors or minors, so I'm using this semester as an opportunity to take electives I'm interested in, like art history and film! I don't have as much work as I did in New York and it's nice to have a semester to relax and enjoy the material I'm learning. I'm also taking a harder French class than I thought I'd be taking, so taking other electives gives me more time to focus on that, too!
●Take the highest level of a language that you can. I hadn't taken French since my junior year of high school, but because of AP credits, I was placed in a high enough level that I could be taking all of my classes en français. Even though my class is challenging, it's helped me get that much closer to being fluent and has made getting around Paris even easier. Being immersed in the language outside of class is an opportunity I probably won't get for a while, and I'll probably never take a French class again, so I'm glad I signed up for a more difficult one because this is a great chance to really learn the language.
●Taking classes that relate to your study abroad country (aka French Cinema, Napoleon and the French Revolution, and Impressionism for me) are really incredible because they often include lots of field trips to see the places where history actually happened or to study paintings in real life. I've loved walking around Paris and feeling like I'm immersed in the history - it's really exciting to know about what happened exactly where you're standing centuries before, and has made me really appreciate the city that much more.
●None of the classes here are super difficult but most of mine involve a lot of skills that I don't use in classes in New York, like analyzing artworks and films, which was a little difficult at first as I adjusted to it. There aren't any Stern classes here, though, so if you're in a time crunch for finishing a degree, Paris (unfortunately) isn't your best bet!
●Classes in London are not as hard as they say they are (at least in my experience).
●Try to take electives that either don't meet in the classroom or have a lot of excursions. That's usually one of the best ways to get to know the city more. (ex: Seeing London's Architecture).
●Plan. Book early. GO. This goes for everything from weekend trips to spring break.
●Buy a power bank, you'll thank me later!