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Lessons Learned While Studying Abroad

My friends and I often reminisce on those magical four months of our first semester of junior year- also known as abroad.  My time spent in Prague and all over Europe taught me a lot about art (The Louvre is big and Mona Lisa is small), food (cheese is its own food group), and wine (I miss you $2 bottles).  Here’s a run-down of what I learned during my travels:


No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to say more than hello in Czech (Dobry den!)

The hike up to Prague Castle is great exercise and then you can reward yourself with cake from Bake Shop aka the best bakery/café in Prague.

Trdlneks (cinnamon doughy swirls of heaven) should be eaten daily.

Street meat is very questionable. Eat at your own risk.

Yo Europe you’re really pretty and Imma let you stay that way, BUT PRAGUE IS THE PRETTIEST CITY IN EUROPE OF ALL TIME.



It is worth it to wake up at an ungodly hour to be in the Hofbrauhaus tent at Oktoberfest.

The mac and cheese at Oktoberfest has a specific German name-learn it so you don’t end up with a plate of random food that is “mac and cheese.”

Bumper cars and all carnival rides in general are amazingly fun.

The cheese stand in the cute market does NOT have free samples.



Leave everything that is valuable to you in a safe in your hotel room. You will be happy when you leave Barcelona with your iPhone and wallet.

Watching the sunrise while still out on the beach at 6am with your best friends is awesome.

Seafood paella will come with shellfish that still have their eyes….and may taste a little like the ocean.

Gaudi killed it.



Pizza, pasta and gelato is a perfectly acceptable diet and all Italians are living life the right way.

It is completely normal to have your life flash before your eyes several times while in an Italian cab.

The side streets in Rome have the best shopping. *Warning: you may feel inferior because everyone looks like they just walked off the runway at Milan Fashion Week.

The juxtaposition of the Coliseum next to a highway is absolutely mind-blowing.

You may or may not feel like you are living out “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.”



Everyone is blonde and I will never be able to tell people I am Danish.

Malmo, Sweden makes a great day trip.

Danish bakeries have the best chocolate cake.

Your YOLO abroad funds will be depleted by the end of a trip to Copenhagen.

Coats, hats, and 2 pairs of socks must be worn at all times.



All black EVERYTHING. Except for red lipstick.

The Paris Opera is the most beautiful building in all of Europe.

Chocolate croissants for breakfast and then consuming solely bread and cheese the rest of the day should be mandatory.

Some waiters in restaurants are really nice and will translate the entire menu for you because we are dumb Americans and don’t speak more than 1 language.



The Tube is the greatest public transportation in the world.

British accents will never get old and if Americans could all adopt them we’d be a lot cooler.

Afternoon tea is the best way to make you feel classy and important.

Borough Market may just be the best place in the entire world. (AKA the grilled cheese stand. And pesto stand.)

Top Shop is heaven and hours will be spent there and it will be wonderful.



Waffles. With chocolate sauce. And whipped cream. EVERYWHERE.

If your name starts with a B, sit in the “d” backwards in the Amsterdam sign and you too, can have a cliché abroad profile picture sitting in the first letter of your name.

The cheese shops encourage you to take samples on samples…take note market in Munich. (In case you can’t tell by now, I am very fond of cheese.)

After leaving the Heineken factory, you will know everything there is to know about how to properly drink a beer (or so you like to tell everyone else who didn’t go).


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