Keeping Your Wits About You While Partying Abroad

According to among the 99 listed countries, Australia is ranked 14th for the best nightlife in the world. This definitely comes with its perks (fun memorable nights), but it also has its risks. Before going abroad to Australia, I had a couple of friends approach me warning me of the dangers that going out abroad might bring.

While Australia is similar to the US in many ways, (we both speak English, shop the same brands, and eat the same foods) us study abroad students stuck out like sore thumbs. Whether it was the random assortment of Greek letters on the “frockets” of our Comfort Color tee shirts or the white converse, our group of 14 American students were recognizable from across the bar. Because of our novelty, we were big red targets for those lurking around the bar looking for their next suspect.

Throughout my four months of dancing until the bars closed and singing until we lost our voices I learned a couple of tricks and tips that helped keep my friends and me safe abroad.


1. Check Your Drinks

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Look in the media for new revolutionary hacks you can take out with you to test your drink for roofies. College students at NC State have created a nail polish that turns a different color when dipped into a drink that has been roofied. This gadget is especially helpful for its subtly. One quick dip in the drink and you get immediate effects of its contents. With this gadget, detecting roofies can be subtle and easy for you and those around you.


2. Make a Plan

If the gadgets mentioned above aren’t at hand when going out, there are other strategies available to stay safe while partying hard. Whether it’s going out in a group of 14 people or just you and your best friend, having a game plan and coming/leaving together are ways to avoid splitting up and losing each other in the cowed of a Saturday night.


3. Be Able to Navigate Without a Phone/Know Your Area

If you’re going abroad, the likelihood of traveling to other countries with minimal phone service is high, so learning ways to communicate the old fashion way can be beneficial in keeping yourself safe. Many times (especially in New Zealand) we found ourselves at a bar in the middle of a novel city with no service or way of communicating with each other.

My group of friends and I decided that every night of going out we would designate a meeting point if anyone were to wander off. On one of our first nights in Queenstown we lost one of our friends to the crowd. After some slight panic we remembered our meeting spot, the hostel next door. We quickly ran back to find her waiting at our front door.


While studying abroad is filled with mental pictures, crazy nights, and endless moments, it is important to keep your wits about you (as my mom always says). Have a good head on your shoulders and live your best life abroad by living it with intention and intelligence!