Everyone has their own idea of what it is like to study abroad. What they don't know is, it's never what you originally assume it's going to be. Sometimes I talk about the misconceptions of studying abroad with my friends, and I have created a list of some misconceptions.

1. You don't do school work.

Actually, I spend a lot of my time researching and writing papers. Three of my classes here have been some of the more challenging classes I have ever taken. I spent a fair amount of my time in the library.

It's different for everyone, but I take my academics seriously. Not everyone does their work, but I am STUDYING abroad, not just in a different country just because. I do every bit of my school work, and it's a lot harder than I imagined.

2. All you do is drink.

I maybe have a drink or two a week. Some weeks I have nothing. On my recent trip to Rome, I only had one glass of wine. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people here who enjoy the presence of alcohol and drink regularly, but I'm one of the few who doesn't care. Drinking isn't a part of what I do here, and that's completely OK.

3. You skip all your classes.

You don't have a lot of classes you can miss here, so I don't. Don't get me wrong, there will be some days in the future where I just can't go, but one of those days hasn't happened yet. It's for the individual to decide when you go to your classes.

4. You only ever have free time.

Sure, I'm not working. However, I do spend more time on my school work. I have more time for myself and to plan ahead and work on projects. I have more free time than usual, but that doesn't mean I have an unlimited amount of it. I try to fill in my free time with things to do, so I don't ever get bored.

5. It's a waste of money.

Yes, studying abroad is expensive, and I won't deny you that. However, I believe it is worth every penny. The experiences I am getting while I am here are worth every penny. Who I was when I left the states and who I am now are two completely different people. That isn't something you can do overnight.

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So from this, you can tell I take school pretty seriously. You can still go to your classes and have plans, and not drink and still have fun. Studying abroad may not be everything I expected it to be, but it sure is a wonderful experience.