Taking online classes while you're volunteering abroad with with ILP? You'll want to know how to make a schedule so you don't miss deadlines, and you don't miss adventures!
If you'll be taking online classes while you're spending a semester abroad, you'll be busy busy! ILP volunteers are only teaching or volunteering part time, so you'll have free time, weekends off and other times to work on your classes to hopefully mean you'll be homework free when it comes to vacations.
Wait — not an ILP Volunteer yet?
Not a problem. Come fill out an application and get started!
To make sure your'e staying on schedule, follow these tips:
- Get A Planner
- Double Check Deadlines
- Map Out All Assignments
- Block Out Your Time
Get A Planner
...and write down every single assignment you have for the entire semester and when everything is due.
It will take a while, but we promise it will be worth it. That way, instead of worrying about when an assignment is due, you will be able to just open up your planner and see the dates.
We highly recommend writing down the assignment description, how many points the assignment is worth and which class it is for, just to make thing really clear. Trust us — your mind is going to be on your semester in abroad first, and your class paper second. But who can blame you? By having everything written down you can have a pretty visual way of looking at how much you need to get done.
Double Check Deadlines
Once you have every single assignment written down, double and triple check that you have your deadlines written down correctly. You'll be finishing assignments and tests in a totally different time zone, so making sure you've done the math between when it's due for you and when it's really due in the United States, you'll avoid turning in late assignments.
For example, midnight on Monday in Utah is actually 1:00 PM on Tuesday if you're living in China for a semester. Make sure you account for the time difference when you're writing down all those assignments in your planner!
Our advice? Maybe you'll want to just write down that everything is due 1-2 days earlier just to be safe, especially if you'll be penalized for late assignments. This will probably be the most helpful thing you do for yourself the entire ILP semester abroad.
You'll also be grateful you've left some wiggle room before any deadlines in case the internet cuts out right before something is due. If you turn it in 1-2 day earlier just to be safe, you'll be fine if a storm comes through and shuts down the WiFi! If you have internet where you're living (it's pretty common to have that) just know that the internet it typically slower than you're used to at home, and some blackouts are common in certain countries.
Map Out All Assignments
Once you have your calendar fitted with all of your assignments and when they are due, add your "ILP semester calendar" — you know, things like vacation days and weekend trips your group are wanting to take. You'll be able to add in your teaching schedule too. Once those details are in, you'll realize when you have time to study and any adjustments you'll need to make.
If you have a big paper due in the middle of your long vacation, you'll 100% want to get that paper done before you even leave for the vacation. That may mean staying pretty busy writing and researching and editing before you leave, but it'll be worth it to not worry about turning in a paper when you should be out sightseeing.
Block Out Your Time
Taking online classes while you're volunteering will mean making some sacrifices. You'll want to stick to a pretty strict schedule to make sure you're completing assignments ahead of time, and turning them in on time, if not earlier. Volunteers are only in the classroom or orphanage part time, but instead of sleeping in and teaching in the afternoon, you'll want to get up and study, then head to class. Make sense? It takes discipline, but blocking out your study time on your calendar will help you keep on schedule and make sure you stay organized.
Still have a couple questions about volunteering?
We've had lots of students volunteer with us — some take online classes and some have gotten college credit while volunteering! Come talk with an ILP representative about making that happen: