7 Steps to Studying Abroad
Study Abroad has been the absolute thing to do ever since Hillary Duff took her talents to Italy in The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Dudes, when that movie first came out you were what, like 9 years old, right? Well now you’re in college, and you’re old enough to have a sexual encounter with Lizzie if you meet her abroad after all of these years of carefully planning your pick up line and follow-up high five. Or if you’re a chick you’re old enough to have hopefully seen the movie Taken, so you’re balancing the upside of a hot European soccer dude with the downside of a Romanian with a syringe. Anyway, you’ve got to experience culture and shit or whatever, so here’s the realest way to do study abroad:
Step 1: Decide where to go. Africa? Come on, I thought everyone saw that documentary about Kony. Asia? You’re studying abroad to get sexed up, so probably no. South America? Parents could potentially drive there (I’ve always imagined going off a big ramp over the Panama Canal with a big banner trailing the car that says “Monroe Doctrine Bitches!!”), so nope. Canada? Fuck that. You’re going to Europe. You can flush your toliet paper down the toliet and the Magna Carta’s got your back if need be. Also why leave your comfort zone when it’s so comfortable? Apply to programs in Spain, England, or The Netherlands (insert witty reference to pot here).
Step 2: Receive acceptance email from study abroad program. Immediately go on Facebook and post something along the lines of “AHHHHH DREAMS COME TRUE, ACCEPTED TO STUDY ABROAD AT THE PRESTIGIOUS ABLESDORF SCHOLARS PROGRAM FOR THE SUMMER.” This is very important, a lot of people make the mistake of posting “OMGZ CANT BELIEVE IT, A PROGRAM IS LETTING ME PAY THEM 5K+ FOR THE SUMMER TO LIVE ON ITS CAMPUS AND LET ME TAKE SOME BULLSHIT CLASSES,” definitely a no-go. You have been accepted, implying that you’re hot shit. Works well with relatives too. Speaking of relatives…
Step 3: Call your grandpa on the phone and tell him that you’re studying abroad for the summer. At this point, he’s going to respond that he once studied abroad too, but that she slapped him after he stared too long. This is pretty funny, you should give it to grandpa on this one. Plus his actual study abroad experience was fighting Nazis, so definitely laugh at his joke and don’t bring up that you’re going to Europe…blond-haired Cousin Timmy is still scared to go near grandpa after the last war flashback.
Step 4: Catch your flight to London, or if you were feeling adventurous, your flight to Continental Europe. Post on Facebook all the fucking time about how you’re in a place that isn’t the United States. If you’re in a country where they speak a different language, post a status in the native language during your second week into the program. Be sure to fuck up the language enough so that your friends who don’t even speak it will still be able to call you out as bullshitting (well, they won’t actually call you out, they’ll probably just comment “miisssss youuuuuuu” or “follow your dreams”).
Step 5: Take pictures with little kids. This works on two different levels…on the one hand it gives off the impression that you’re on some sort of peace mission or something or are helping orphans. Everyone fucking loves other people who help orphans. It also works on a different level because the kids will be super happy to take a picture with you, purely to marvel at your magic picture machine powered by witchcraft (more applicable in Africa and Asia, but as discussed those are out of the question due to oh my god why did I drink water from the tap).
Step 6: Find out all the clubs and bars where other Americans in your city go, and go to these all the time. The Keg is closed? Not in Rotterdam its not, amirite? Deuce Caboose left without you back in Evanston? Better head to the local bar, I mean pub! Make friends with a local if they’re willing to buy you drinks. Be sure to take lots and lots of pictures with them as well to boost your cultural immersion cred.
Step 7: Return back to NU, continue to not read the world news, continue to not make an effort to be friends with the international students at NU, and pen a quick 250-page book about how much going abroad changed your perspective. London really made you realize how lucky we have it here in the US.
-The Infinite Guest