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Abroad Life: Couples Edition- Emily and Joe

Ever wonder what it was like for BC couples that study abroad apart? Will you be entering this situation next year and want some insight?  Currently abroad couple, Emily and Joe, have shared how their experience has gone so far.

*Please note the apparent sarcasm in some responses; clearly they are made for each other.

Emily and Joe at the top of the bell tower of St. Anne’s Church in Cork, Ireland

The Couple:

Emily Hoffman

  • Major: Accounting and Management and Organization
  • Hometown: Buffalo, New York (America’s Favorite City)
  • Current Location: Cork, Ireland

Joe Carroll

  • Major: Accounting
  • Hometown: Scotch Plains, New Jersey
  • Current Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

They started dating Fall semester 2013 (Or on November 16th to be exact).

Was your significant other a factor in deciding to go abroad or where to go?

Emily – Absolutely not because Joe has virtually no impact on anything I do. Oh and we weren’t dating then. 

Joe – Didn’t even know she was abroad until she happened to show up at my door in Copenhagen.

What is it like to be apart when you are used to seeing each other every day at school?

Emily – It’s definitely weird and much harder than I thought it would be. But I think we’re managing just fine. The only real difference is that all the interacting we do is via electronics. 

Joe – I was a little nervous at first, but then I realized the travel time to see her isn’t much different than the trip from my apartment to her room in Edmonds. Once I discovered that, it was much easier to cope with the distance.

Attempt at a selfie in Copenhagen

How much/how do you communicate?

Emily – Because our telepathy doesn’t always work accurately considering the distance, we use the lovely Facebook Messenger app (thanks Mark Zuckerberg). We could simply iMessage like I do with everyone else, but someone is too cool for Apple products. We talk the same way we would if we were at school – I give him a riveting run down of every single thing that has happened that day and he only uses sentences that end with a period. 

Joe – Yeah, she pretty much covered it there. I have nothing of any real interest to add.

Are you planning on visiting each other or have you?

Emily – Totes def. I went to visit him in Copenhagen and he came to Cork for my birthday. We also met up with our super cool friends in Berlin for a weekend, which was fun.  It’s really cool to be able to travel the world together.  

Joe – We planned really well and saw each other three times in four weeks without anything planned in the future. So probably could have done a better job in that regard. Hopefully we are able to figure something else out before the end of the semester.

Classic couple posin’ in Berlin

Does it worry you to be apart?

Emily – Nope. Joe always picks “loyal” as his best quality in Buzzfeed quizzes and I trust Buzzfeed with my life. 

Joe – If one of us wasn’t happy with where we were, I would be worried. But since we are both happy, I know that we don’t have to worry about being apart.

Do you feel like you are missing out on each other’s lives, especially with the exciting things happening abroad? 

Emily – For the most part, no. We both have our own lives at school and the same is true abroad. I know he’s doing fun things just like I am and I love hearing him tell me all about his Danish escapades. And while we are each having our own unique experiences, in a different way we have an abroad experience together. 

Joe – I don’t think so. If we were both in the same place, there wouldn’t be any stories to tell or things to talk about really. I think we both benefit from the fact that we are in such different places and are able to share those experiences with the other. We have still had the chance to experience a lot together when we visit each other throughout Europe.

What’s your favorite thing you have done together abroad?

Emily – Hands down eating an apple danish in Denmark. In my head there are danishes everywhere in Denmark and Joe tried to tell me there weren’t, but clearly he was lying to me.  

Joe – Hanging out with the animals at Fota Wildlife Park in Ireland. Emily was terrified of all the birds that were threatening to fly into her face and I got to chill with a new wallaby friend. Also, the selfies that we have taken are pretty incredible.

Selfie with the new wallaby friend in Ireland


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