Make a four-year plan.
Your best friend when dealing with inevitable scheduling issues and mid-college identity crises will be your four-year plan. (Also, the gallon sized tubs of cookie dough they sell at Vittles.) Some majors require one, but everyone planning on studying abroad should put together a plan as early as possible. Throw together an Excel sheet that lists all of your requirements – general, major, and pre-professional – and then start parsing them out into 5-class chunks for each semester.
Pre-anything? Double up or take summer classes.
Most medical, dental, and veterinary schools won’t accept science courses that were taken abroad. This isn’t a huge issue, since you’ll only be abroad for one semester, but it's important to remember when planning out your year-long science courses like Physics or Organic Chemistry. You’ll either need to double up your sophomore year, take one as a senior and delay med/dent/vet applications for a year, or take one over the summer. I would highly recommend taking Orgo over the summer so that you only have to endure 2 months of agony instead of 9.
Going to grad school or straight to an industry job?
You’re in luck - course loads abroad are almost always significantly lighter than what we’re used to at Georgetown, which means that your time abroad is an excellent opportunity to study for the GREs or finally get around to removing the WordArt from your resume.
Save some of your general education requirements and major elective credits for your junior year.
It can be tempting to pump out all of your gen-ed requirements by the end of your sophomore year, but do yourself a favor and save a few. When you start looking at the course catalogs for international universities, you’ll probably find that there aren’t enough STEM classes that will transfer as elective credits to fill up an entire semester. Your best bet is to shoot for one or two STEM elective credits, which you should clear with your major advisor far in advance, and fill up the rest of your abroad course slots with general education requirements. This is an excellent opportunity to knock out your language requirement.
Use this opportunity to take a funky STEM class that isn’t offered at Georgetown.
The STEM departments at Georgetown are obviously fabulous pinnacles of science and learning, but I must say that international schools have some pretty wild science courses. Do yourself a favor and take an astrobiology (waddup History Channel’s Ancient Aliens) or food science (waddup Guy Fieri) class.