Conversations on Studying Abroad

Managing My Time While Studying Abroad

Apr 1, 2021 1:45:00 PM / by Andrew McKenzie

Find out how Andy overcame his initial struggle with time management in a completely new environment. With classes, internship, and daily responsibilities on his plate, he sorted out a routine that works on all fronts. Andy also shares the work he's done at his internship and an exciting marketing project he'll be a part of in class!

Greetings from Barcelona! This past week I was busy with my internship, school, and seeing the city. On Friday, my roommates and I went to Montjuic park. Montjuic is a beautiful, mountainous green area that has excellent views overlooking the city. Unfortunately, it was cloudy the day we went so the pictures aren’t spectacular. On Saturday, we spent the day at the beach enjoying the lovely spring weather. There is so much to do in Barceloneta (the beach neighborhood). On the beach, you’ll find people playing volleyball, paddleball, and Spikeball while others spread a blanket out and enjoy the Mediterranean breeze. We are going to buy a volleyball soon because my roommate, Barclay, and I are itching to get into a game.

By the water in Barcelona.By the water in Barcelona.

In this week’s blog post, I’ll be focusing on how I’ve been managing my schoolwork and internship, while still making time to explore the city. I’ll admit, the time management adjustment was difficult for me. I struggled during the first three weeks I was here. I was overwhelmed and felt busier than I had ever been in my life. A large part of this stress came from my lack of a set routine, a class schedule miscommunication, and a couple of issues in our apartment—including a broken radiator and an unstable Wi-Fi connection.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring2021_Barcelona_Andy McKenzie_A meal with fish and potatoesA meal of fish and potatoes.

Although I’ve finally got my schedule sorted out and the Wi-Fi working, I’m still extremely busy. Today, I worked from 9:30am-2:00pm, had an academic meeting involving my group’s research project, shopped for groceries, went to the gym, and attended my Advertising in London class from 6:45-8:00pm. I’m in desperate need of a haircut, but I haven’t gotten one yet purely because I haven’t found the time.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring2021_Barcelona_Andy McKenzie_Strolling through the local areasStrolling through the local areas.

However, busy as I may be, I was finally able to establish a set routine that has made my life here infinitely easier, less stressful, and more enjoyable. Typically, I go to my internship site from 9:30am-5:30pm every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays, but usually end up doing a double day on Thursday so that I can save three days for exploration. With classes on Tuesday night, Wednesday, and Thursday night, I have little time to waste, let alone time for a haircut!

Walking on the street with friends.Walking on the street with friends.

Looking back to a few weeks ago, I totally underestimated the importance of setting a routine and sticking to it. Paradoxically, waking up early at the same time every morning has made me feel more rested and energetic throughout the day than after sleeping in for multiple days. Also, being busy isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I would rather be very busy than totally bored. A year ago, I was devastatingly bored due to lockdown, while today, I’m busier than I’ve ever been in my life. I’m also not complaining about the busyness because I’m learning and doing so much. I’m being pushed in a way that I’ve never felt before and I think the benefits are beginning to show. At work, I’m executing our social media campaign, generating leads, and will soon be moving into writing articles for the magazine. In addition, I find my Global Marketing class extremely interesting and will begin to develop an international expansion strategy for White Claw in Spain, something I think would be a hit here. Looking forward to sharing more about my experiences in Barcelona soon!


Thanks, Andy!

Andy McKenzie

Andy McKenzie is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2021, sharing his story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Marketing major from University of Minnesota, he is studying abroad and interning in Barcelona this semester.

Andy's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

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Topics: Internships Abroad, Barcelona, Spain