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10 Thoughts You’ll Have Before Studying Abroad

We all dream of having the best of both worlds: traveling while going to college, AKA studying abroad. Preparing for international trips and temporarily living in another country makes us think about all of the opportunity that lies ahead. Here are a few things to consider before leaving the country and having the time of your life!


1. Money

Before even going abroad probably the biggest thing on your mind is all the beautiful places you’ll visit, all the alcohol you’re going to drink, all the desserts you’re going to eat and and all the new things you are going to want to buy. But, in the back of everyone’s minds is all the money we’re going to spend.

Sorry Mom and Dad.



2. Drinks

One of the reasons college kids get excited about going abroad is the ability to finally be able to legally drink. We no longer have to be afraid to pull out our U.S ID’s and show them that we are in fact legal!


3. Missing your Roommates

If you’re like me, then you will sadly be leaving your roommates behind as you go to study abroad. Despite the overwhelming excitement to soon be in Europe, you can’t help but think that it will be a long six months without them. You’ll miss your late night convos and the 2 AM ice cream runs the most.



4. European Boys

All girls are dreaming of our own Lizzie McGuire experience and expect to find a new Paolo over seas. European boys are definitely known to be cute. Add an accent on top of that and it will immediately make them even cuter.



5. Food

Something you will definitely not miss about being on campus is being stuck eating the same boring food. No more grilled chicken or soggy salads because we will be drowning in pasta, pizza, fish and chips, gelato and many more other famous European foods. If you don’t come back from being abroad thicker I truly won’t believe you went at all.



6. Fashion

It seems like every girl who goes abroad has a wardrobe trendy enough to walk in the NYFW. Europe is obviously known to be very fashionable but whether you are walking to the nearest bar or just going to your afternoon class, everyone seems to be dressed to impress.



7. Homesickness

Studying abroad is one of the most exciting and unique opportunities offered to a college student. However, after all the exciting news finally sinks in and you are getting ready to leave, you can’t help but think you might miss your home and family a little more than you thought. I know I am a little nervous being a seven hour plane ride away, living in a completely different culture than what I’m used to. But, after a couple of weeks and a couple bottles of wine later everything will fall right into place.



8. New Languages  

If you’re studying somewhere like England, Ireland or Australia this is not something you have to worry about. But if you’re flying over to Italy, Spain, France or another country with language barriers, it is something that has probably crossed your mind. Being surrounded by a different language might be a challenge at first but will actually be a huge learning experience. If you can’t understand someone usually, a confused look or head shake will signal that you’re American and have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.



9. Artsy Photography

Girls, we all know getting the cutest and artsiest pictures is a necessity when you’re abroad. There are so many picture perfect places and meals that will cross your path in a different country. Your VSCO and Instagram feed will be full of amazing pictures, making anyone sitting at home insanely jealous.



10. Jet lag

The time difference from the countries most students travel to is usually a couple of hours off from the timezones in the U.S.. It takes some time to adjust but normally won’t take more than a couple weeks to catch up on your sleep and adjust to the change. Studying abroad is worth the jet lag. 


Studying abroad is such a life-changing experience that will leave you with perspective on the world like never before. This opportunity of exploring the unknown is worth every moment, live it up!

Jess Rice is a sophomore at Sacred Heart University. She is an Education Major, with a Minor in Spanish. She hopes to be an Elementary School teacher one day. She has a passion to travel, and hopes to return to live in London again in the future, as well as Spain. Drinking less than four cups of coffee a day is considered an accomplishment for Jess.
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