Highs and Lows of Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is an opportunity too little college students take advantage of, as only about 10 percent take the leap of faith and venture out of their comfort zones. Yet, for those who do explore, it’s expected, or at least hoped, that things will be smoothly sailing and that everyone will get along perfectly. An unfortunate reality I quickly discovered was that not only would unnecessary drama travel overseas with me, but that cliques are inevitable. Additionally, traveling on the weekends with the right group is easier for some and harder for others.

With all this in mind, here’s your quick breakdown to the highs and lows you may experience during your study abroad experience.

You’re abroad – You managed to escape your comfort zone and leave your family and friends, which is an accomplishment difficult for many to achieve. Once you’ve reached your destination, there’s no turning back and you’re officially independent and responsible for yourself, especially if you’re going by yourself.

With or without friends, you’re going to need space. Even the strongest of bonds and cliques have their shake-ups. Like in your real life, if you hang out with someone too much you will get sick of her or him. You’re going to need space from your roommate or friend and may need to get used to some solo time.

Food... enough said.

High school drama – The tragic return of high school drama may come around. Though everyone to some extent isn’t always completely real, you may find yourself questioning some members of your group to a deeper extent, and you’ll learn that some friendships are meant to stay abroad.  

Going out – Girls, we actually have to pay cover to get into places, at least in London. Also, pre-gaming is necessary in all major, expensive cities like London. However, going out in England and Spain are part of some of my favorite experiences while abroad because the people and places you see make it worth it. The culture and vibe of every location seeps through any place you go out to.

Needless to say, I cannot generalize my own experiences with everyone else’s. I know people in other study abroad programs who have had no issues with their groups and have planned their trips early on. As long as you’re open and flexible with what you do during your time abroad, you will survive and enjoy your time. Just remember, no matter what, always try to look for the positive sides of seemingly unfortunate situations to make the most of your experiences.


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