How to Prepare for a Professional School Exam While Abroad


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           Junior year is a busy time in a college student’s career.  While junior year is often the most common time for students to study abroad, it also the time where some students begin to tackle professional school exams.  Many students who want to study abroad and take a professional school exam often wonder, can you do both?  The answer is, YES of course, as long as you plan ahead!

One common tactic students use is to take the exam before their study abroad trip.  If a student is studying abroad their junior year, it may be a great option for them to take the professional school exam that summer before.  This way, students can maximize their time in a familiar setting to study for the exam.  The student will then also be able to complete the exam prior to their departure.   This will allow students to enjoy their time abroad with a clear mind and a heavy weight off their shoulders.

However, some students might not want to take their exam until after they return from their study abroad experience.  This option can still be done as well! Depending on how much time students have from their departure to their exam, the importance of studying for the exam while the student is abroad can vary.  If the exam is rather close to the student’s return, it may be important for the student to still study for the exam while they are abroad.  If this is the case, it is commonly advised for the student to use their time abroad to practice.  Students can prepare for their exam before they leave in many ways.  They can purchase study materials to bring in their suitcase, use the internet to complete practice tests, or even complete an online study course while in another country.  Students may even find their study abroad experience grants them with more motivation to prepare for the exam.  Just because a student may be in another country does not mean they cannot study for their exam back home.  The option is possible; it is simply critical that the student plans early!

Sometimes, a student may have enough time between their return and their professional school exam.  If this is the case, they may have the ability to avoid studying for the professional school exam while they are abroad.  This is a great option; however, it is critical that the student is still keeping track of their deadlines for their upcoming exam.

A student’s ability to participate in multiple areas should never be minimized.  Education abroad and professional schools are both incredible, academic enhancing experiences.  Neither experience should have to be tossed aside for the other.  A student can enjoy both experiences, as long as they plan smart, plan ahead, and plan right!

Shannon Murphy is senior at the University of Kentucky majoring in Political Science on the pre-law track.  Shannon spent the Fall 2015 Semester in Florence, Italy.