7 Thoughts Every College Kid Has When They Study Abroad

7 Thoughts Every College Kid Has When They Study Abroad

How do I get back to my hotel if I can't even pronounce the name of it?
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Last week as I was walking around campus, I started seeing posters advertising information sessions about upcoming study abroad opportunities for the summer. Having had the opportunity to take part in a study abroad program last summer to fulfill credit for my communications elective, it brought back amazing memories of my time in Thessaloniki and Athens Greece where I got to spend 3 weeks learning about gender in film.

Studying abroad has easily been one of the best decisions I’ve made in college. Not only did I earn three of the most exciting, diverse, and enlightening college credits towards my degree, I also learned about traveling to and in a foreign country. That’s not something you learn in a textbook or by sitting behind a desk in a classroom. From meeting new people who quickly became some of my new best friends to participating in cultural experiences unlike anything I have ever done in the United States, it was an all-around rewarding and life changing experience that I highly recommend for all college students.

When you study abroad, at first it's all about being in a new country, visiting the sites in the area, trying foods and drinks, getting to know the people at the local establishments and the hotel, learning the currency, and really trying to immerse yourself in the culture and learn about the country you are visiting. But once the weeks start to pass by and the hype has gone down, some thoughts begin to run through your mind…

1. I miss $2 drink specials

2. What exactly am I eating?

3. DOES ANYONE HERE SPEAK ENGLISH?!

4. I really hope this ATM doesn't suck up my card...

5. I miss my bed and AC

6. How do I get back to my hotel if I can't even pronounce the name of it?

7. How will I ever thank my parents enough for sending me on this amazing experience?

As you start to contemplate your schedule for Spring and Summer session, consider studying abroad. I can guarantee it will be the best class you've ever taken and the experiences you encounter will not only enhance your college experience but provide you with memories that last a lifetime.

Cover Image Credit: Kylee Rossiter

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I Traveled Abroad Alone For The First Time, Missed My Flight And Literally Nothing Went As Planned

But I managed.
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While I am in Florence living my best life studying (besides becoming a wine connoisseur and getting Italian boys to buy me plates of spaghetti every day), I have been traveling. I had Budapest planned with some of my closest friends; flying in from Berlin, Tel Aviv and Barcelona. It was the night before I was supposed to leave for my first weekend traveling alone and my friend from home was visiting Florence with his buddies. We went out to a lovely dinner filled with class and Chianti and to hit da clubs (just a bar).

Before this next part is told, I'm a freaking responsible person. I stayed out a bit too late (my taxi was picking me up at 3:45 a.m. for my 6:30 a.m. flight) and hit the pillow too hard when I went to bed. I woke up excited for some goulash only to see that it was 6:48. I thought to myself — that's weird? Because I set my alarms and my flight was at 6:30 so there was no way I missed it.

SIKE I missed it and was running around my apartment sweating and screaming.

I Facetimed my friend Mia who was about to leave for her flight (we get it, Mia, you woke up for your flight and didn't ruin your entire weekend). Seriously, some people just can't drop things. She told me it was OK but I really messed up. Get yourself a best friend that tells you that you are an idiot but that it's not the end of the world.

Good thing there is a six-hour time difference so my mom wouldn't pick up in my state of panic. My dad did though in which he told me he was disappointed but to get over it and "I hope I learned my lesson." No dad, I am going to miss all of my flights — it gets my heart rate up.

My mom called me at 1 confused as to how this happened (I don't know mom, you raised an imbecile) but she was more so upset for me. She knew how much I was looking forward to this and how great the people were that I was meeting and encouraged me to get a new flight. I sprinted back to my apartment, talked to ANWAR (bae) from Lufthansa and got a 6 o'clock flight — supposed to get in at 11:10 on Friday, perfect.

It was a connecting flight, but I got to the airport three hours early so there was no room for slip-ups (as if that would ever happen)! My first flight was delayed 20 minutes. It wasn't a problem though because I had a 50-minute layover. Two minutes later they announce there is a 50-minute delay. I thought to myself, are they kidding this is the rudest thing anyone has ever done to me.

I get on the plane, sit next to an Italian man in a fedora aggressively chewing his nails and panic for a whole hour and a half. We land and I am ready to BOLT to the new gate because I have 20 minutes but SIKE, we have to take a shuttle back to the terminal and THEN I can go to my new gate. I think snails were hired to pose as people because everyone was moving so slow from the plane to the shuttle.

I get to the terminal I have to be in and run for my LIFE. I am heavy breathing sprinting. I have two minutes and can't even see a sign for a gate but I hope that someone heard that a cute Jewish girl was on her way and to wait. Something clearly got lost in translation because by the time I got there no one was there — not even the help desk. I called my mom laughing because this is what my life has come to.

I am in Frankfurt and get a hotel voucher from the OPEN service desk. They tell me they will give me dinner there and breakfast I am pumped because I love free stuff.

I arrive and they hand be a boxed dinner with a Capri Sun, milk and a sandwich with a slice of bologna and cheese on it. I was HUNGRY (not in Hungary, though) and was not eating that nasty thang so devoured the mini bar instead. Chips, chocolate, drinks (non-alcoholic, I had an early flight dammit!) and bars.

I was not aware that they charge you for whatever you take from the bar. I didn't read the fine print nor will I ever.

The next morning the man asked me if I ate anything from the mini bar. I politely showed him the nuts I took and paid with euros. Not a trace of me was left behind in Frankfurt so hopefully, the cops don't call. I was excited about this breakfast because I haven't had a hot meal in 24 hours (cry for me). It was a plate of croissants with Nutella packets. I deserved this shitty, crusty breakfast. I treated myself to a salty spittoon pretzel at 6 in the morning at the airport bar.

All in all, I ended up making it, having the best 27 hours with my best friends and I wouldn't have given it up for anything. Also, a thank you to my mom for convincing me to get a new ticket and that this is a once in a lifetime thing — because it is. I am so thankful that it all worked out and that I was able to have time with them. This feels like a bat mitzvah speech at this point. Thank you to my Rabbi for helping me with my prayers.

This is actually the ugliest photo of each individual person I have ever seen except for Emma — she looks cute. Now Mia will probably be offended that I said that so, Mia, it isn't THAT bad of a photo of you. Here comes Matt saying "Dana, I actually don't look that bad my fur coat is showing and my hair looks good like that" and lastly Jared comes in with "Sheeeesh" because he agrees with me and we are on the same wavelength.

Cover Image Credit: Dana Joy Seigelstein

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Studying Abroad As Told By The Jersey Shore

"Taxi Sono Qui!"
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Studying abroad is such a crazy and new experience. You have to deal with jet lag, culture shock and home sickness, but once you pass that wall you get to experience an amazing new culture and travel the world. There will always be some bumps in the road during your journey. Here is what it's like to study abroad in Italy as told by the cast of Jersey Shore.

1. When You Get Accepted To Your Program

You call your friends and family to tell them your exciting news.

2. Trying To Juggle All Of Your Suitcases Through The Airport

You told yourself you wouldn't overpack, but here we are.

3. When You Get Lost Trying To Find Your Apartment

You don't have a map and you don't have any mobile data, you're lucky if you can find your way to your place.

4. When You Are Very Prepared To Go Exploring

You'e the mom of the group and made sure to pack all of the essentials.

5. Coming Back From Your First Day Exploring The City

You enjoyed every second of it and you know you're about to have the best semester of your life.

6. When You And Your Friend Are Getting Into The Culture

You learn how to say hello in Italian, and you already feel like a local.

7. When You Cook For Yourself For The First Time (Reluctantly)

When you realize you can't eat out for every single meal, but you realize you actually enjoy cooking for yourself.

8. When You Go Out For The First Time

You're excited to hit the bar.

9. When You Can Drink Legally

When you're finally the legal drinking age.

10. When All The Creepy Locals Try To Dance With You At A Club

You don't get why they like Americans so much. Just learn some curse words and you'll be okay.

11. When Your Favorite Restaurant Is Closed For Siesta But You're Hungry Now

There is nothing more devastating than being hungry during siesta. At least the tourist places will still be open.

12. When You Call Your Friends From Home And They Tell You About The Drama You're Missing

"She did what?!"

13. When You Have To Go Back Home

You can't believe you have to leave this beautiful country and go back home.

Have fun studying in Italy, you will love it! I never want to leave!

Cover Image Credit: The Daily Beast

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