10 Ways A University Is Like Europe

10 Ways A University Is Like Europe

If you notice most of these things, you've been in Europe the whole time.


Since being in college, I have noticed many similarities between Europe and the campus. Here are ten of the most profound similarities I see every day.

1. Different cultures/languages


When I went to Italy, I heard a very wide range of languages being spoken. I heard Spanish, French, Chinese, Latin, Italian (of course), English, and many others that I could not distinguish. Not to mention the many English-speaking people I encountered who each had a different accent than the last. In a university, when walking to my class I hear a different language almost every day. Of course, being in America, I mainly hear English but it is always amazing to hear a group of people speaking a language that you do not understand.

2. Uneven ground


I will be walking, not looking at the ground, and trip. Did you know that Venice is man-made from logs under the ground thus, making the ground uneven? This is what I think of every time I trip on a small area that is slightly elevated from the rest of the sidewalk.

3. Walking everywhere


You don't HAVE to walk everywhere, but you certainly cannot drive your car to every class. A lot of people will ride skateboards, bikes, or Birds, but for the most part, you walk everywhere you go. Every day I walk between 3 and 6 miles. In both Italy and France, I would walk between 5 and 9 miles each day.

4. Lots of food options


There are so many restaurant strips in Europe, usually in the middle there will be a small souvenir shop. They offer almost any food you can think of, and it is the same with college universities. There are some strips with multiple food options as well as places to eat on campus, including a restaurant that serves food from around the world; and you can't forget about the university store!

5. Expensive food


Have you ever gone to a tourist spot and the prices are just way too high to be what they are? It is definitely like this in college. Some places are priced well but some places you have to pay $7 for a pack of Oreos. I think some place's prices on a college campus could be considered a tourist trap. But if you have a meal plan card, it's not all that bad.

6. Small town


A lot of countries in Europe are kind of small but densely populated. This is a very similar situation in my college town. Even if the campus is in a bigger town, it still feels kind of like a small town within a bigger one.

7. More buildings than land

There are tons of buildings in Europe and on college campuses. Almost every one of them are generally pretty tall which create pathways like mazes on the ground. However, once you are able to navigate, it's not all that bad.

8. Gypsies


In Europe, when you go to landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum, there are people EVERYWHERE trying to sell you "one of a kind" items. This is very similar on college campuses as some companies will set up in the plaza, where many students are during the day, and try to sell things. Although, some of these people are in clubs with the University and are trying to get more people to join.

9. Expensive


It's expensive to travel and it's expensive to go to college.

10. Public Transportation


In the town I grew up in the only public transportation was school buses. Going to Europe, we would get on the metro and ride many different public buses (and some boats) to get to the places we needed to go. Being on a college campus, there are MANY different public buses, more than I have ever seen, which is rather helpful.

As you can see, you are basically in Europe when you go to college! The only differences are the history, architecture, and cultural norms.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Day 3 In Italy: Florence

When you're so used to your hometown, other people's hometown are far more beautiful


Our final morning in Venice, we boarded a ferry and rode to the other side of Venice where we got on a tour bus and drove for about four hours to Florence.

Your browser does not support the video tag. On the ferry from one side of Venice to the otherBrooke Burney

Upon entering Florence, one of the first things we saw were the Ponte Vecchio. Our hotel was also just adjacent to it so we got to walk across this bridge quite a few times.

Brooke Burney

Soon after we got to Florence, we put our luggage in the hotel and we were off to explore Florence. We went to a small town square and ate and met up at the church that was in that area. After this, we saw Pitti Palace, where there is a secret passageway lining the town where the chief could walk. The street that Pitti Palace is located used to be lined with butcher and leather shops, making the town smell unpleasant. The chief did not like this so he changed these butcher shops into jewelry shops where he was able to purchase whatever jewelry he pleased while it also did not smell up the streets.

Pitti PalaceBrooke Burney

After this, we walked to the Signoria Square where there were statues of some Greek gods and a replica of the statue of David.

Poseidon was under construction :(Brooke Burney

During this part of our tour it began raining, so we spent one or two hours trying to stay dry. Our tour guide had us huddle under a balcony but once that got crowded, we moved to a huge tourist shop where we stayed until it calmed down.

Brooke Burney

After this, we had time to shop and eat but once that leisure time was up, we were guided through the Signoria Square and were given the history of the buildings that stand there and we passed the church in which the Statue of David was originally supposed to reside.

The Statue of David was going to go in that nook on top of the dome, under the golden crossBrooke Burney

At this time it was about 7 PM and we were headed to a cooking school where our entire group prepared dinner for everyone. Some of us were making the appetizer, others making the main course, and rest were making desert. I made pasta, and we made it from scratch which was not as difficult as anticipated and turned out delicious.

Made from scratch pastaBrooke Burney

After dinner we went back to our hotel, however before entering, our tour guide asked if the group wanted gelato. Of course, everyone piped in, except for the four of us girls that went together. Our tour guide told us he would take us to a club if we wanted to and our supervisor was okay with it. So we went to our room, got ready and then we were off to the club that is right around the corner from our hotel. If you want to read about that experience here's the link!

Once we got back, we went to sleep around 3 AM, and we were ready for more exploration tomorrow; bright and early.

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