LA’s traffic is notorious—going east to west or vice versa can take an hour. Since my hometown is roughly three hours away from UCLA in morning traffic, I wasn’t exactly eager to drive there for the first two weeks of class.

Lucky for me, the International Business Law & Taxation program offers an online real-time class option for the first two weeks of the program. Last Tuesday, I found myself rolling out of bed at 8 a.m. to attend the first class right at home. With participation counting as 30% of the overall grade, students joining the lecture online are expected to contribute as much as the students in the classroom.

Students who are unable to attend the real-time options – online or in the classroom – can watch a recording of the lecture on their own time. In that case, students must complete an additional assignment to demonstrate their class participation. Given the options, the first two weeks of the program allow you to attend in class no matter where you are in the world!

Like most other video chat technology, the one Professor Freixes uses allows students at home to see and hear him, his powerpoint, and all the other students online. Professor Freixes and the students in the classroom can see and hear everyone online. This way, it is easy for everyone to participate.

I found myself more engaged in this online style of learning than in learning in a live classroom. Furthermore, the Professor often discussed current events and encouraged students to look up information on their own laptops/phones in class.

Like with most 3-hour summer classes, our class got a 15-minute break, during which I turned off my laptop camera and wandered into my kitchen to grab a drink and snack. Super cool and convenient. Of course, if you live close to UCLA or are on campus, attending the class at UCLA has its own advantages. For example, it serves as an opportunity to meet other students and the professor.

I encourage those who decide to enroll in the program to reach out to the students on the Facebook group prior to the start of the program. It’s a great way to meet students to travel with, study with, or even share books with. Understanding what others are doing in terms of travel, packing, and textbooks can be extremely helpful for your own preparations.

A few months prior to the program, I reached out to some fellow travelers, met up at a dining hall, and started getting excited for all the adventures we were about the have abroad. Later on, I found another student to share textbooks with (ebooks are the way to go!). I couldn’t be more pumped for the abroad portion of Travel Study.

Stay tuned!


Sherry Wang studied abroad in Paris and Strasbourg, France, in summer 2017: