The point of study abroad is to see the world! Not to be shut in a classroom 5 hours a day all week. Some of us feel guilty about skipping class back at home (not me), but sometimes you need to ditch the goody goody act and LIVE!
It's not that hard to fit fabulous vacations into a short weekend because of those lovely things called trains. The teachers (in France, at least) are very understanding about letting you skip class to travel. Classes in Europe are pass/fail and the homework is optional (though they will sass you if you don't do it). It's quite fabulous really, aside from having to live off coffee to keep your attention span from dying throughout the long ass school days. Once you get to college, it's real hard to get used to being shut in a building for more than two hours again.
Anyway, tell the teacher when you're peacing out for a mini vacay, which should be every Friday if you're smart. They know that you paid gobs of money to go do fun stuff. I mean seriously, when are you going to be in Europe again? You don't know. So make the most of it.
Places We Went on the Weekends
Pros- really pretty, BEACHES!, Le Chateau D'If, really nice hostiles, amazing seafood, Nutella flavored ice cream
Cons - smelled like eggs in some areas, plethora of gross seagulls
Pros - Cooler weather, gorgeous, great shopping, CHOCOLATE, good bars, badass italian food, energy efficient hotels, the US dollar being worth slightly more than the Swiss franc, lots of British people, neat museums, wine tasting, every person you see is attractive, Voltaire's house
Cons - Um...nothing
Pros - Uh, it's PARIS!, shopping, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Champs-Elysees, Versailles, Moulin Rouge, and EVERYTHING ELSE
Cons - The rude old French lady that gives Asian kids tours of Versailles. BEWARE. Oh, and don't use your flash on the camera because this douche will scream at you in English. She's senile.