With study abroad decisions in the near future for many underclassmen, the campus seems overwhelmed with travel-relevant questions. Sophomores on BlogDH had our own questions, so we created a Blog panel in order to answer some of the basics, including the dichotomy between studying abroad in the Fall and the Spring. Our Fall correspondent went to Copenhagen, Denmark, and our Spring correspondent went to Paris, France.
Will I implode on myself if I miss Spring Weekend?
Spring: Um, no. If you go your junior spring, you’ll still have your senior Spring Weekend, which is the most important. Depending on where you go abroad, you might also get a Spring Weekend-esque concert. I was in France when gay marriage was legalized, and MIKA gave a free, outdoor concert. There were thousands of people, the performance was amazing, and I didn’t have to wake up at an ungodly hour to give BCA my money.
Is it more fun to have warm weather when I arrive or at the end of my stay abroad?
Fall: Particularly for the destination in which I chose to study abroad, it was really great having warm weather when I arrived. Being able to explore an unfamiliar, new home in the sunlight and warmth was a way to make the transition much smoother. More specifically, the place I went also increasingly loses hours of light by the minute, so by the time I left in December there were only six hours of daylight. I couldn’t imagine trying to navigate the streets of a foreign city in the darkness.
Spring: I enjoyed going from cold to warm because it meant the weather could only get better with time. I also chose to study abroad in the spring because I hate Providence weather from January-April. The way I saw it, if I’m going to be cold, I might as well be cold in Europe.
What’s the deal with commuting?
Fall: It differs based on what the details of your program are. Some are situated on campuses on which all students live, whereas others (like the one I attended) are more of “commuter” schools. If you are studying abroad in Europe, however, the public transportation systems are almost guaranteed to be very functional and easy to navigate. The program will usually cover your commuting costs, as well.
If you’re a junior, odds are one of your friends or acquaintances just got back from studying abroad. They made Facebook albums with stupid names that feature pictures of them in front of French landmarks or playing with children in India or drinking lots of legal beer. They’ve told you all the “cah-razy” things they did after drinking absinthe in Prague or staying out until 6a.m. in Berlin. You pleasantly nodded and remarked on how interesting their experience was for the first two weeks, but now you’re getting pretty sick of it. Why not just replace your friend with a random study abroad phrase generator (since that’s all they are now anyway)? Well, if you want to, Blog’s got you covered.
When I lived in Paris I always used to drink wine next to the Eiffel Tower with this artist you probably haven’t heard of .
The hardest part of muploading is, without a doubt, choosing a proper title for your Facebook photo album. Naming it seems as important to our generation as naming your first child. You know your title is something everyone will inevitably stumble across during their daily Facebook trolling. While you will never be judged upon your album name nearly as harshly as you will be by the blurry reminders of last weekend’s events that it contains, you can’t deny that an ample amount of thought goes into its christening.
You can take your title in a multitude of directions. Some name albums like a Nicholas Sparks book of nostalgic college memories, which usually just makes other people uncomfortable. How deep can a collection of iPhone photos, all showing the same ten people sitting on the floor of a dorm room and holding red cups be? Others give a total of zero fucks and go wild with the nomenclature–preaching school spirit, spitting puns, and tryna turn up as much as one possibly can on Facebook. Ultimately, the many traps of album naming the average college student falls into can be categorized neatly.
Together, the writers of BlogDH collected the best examples we found from our Facebook friends around the country —actually, around the world — to break down this millennial art for you. Read our epic catalogue after the jump:
It’s been three months since I got to Europe, and I have two months to go. While I feel I’ve been getting the hang of this whole living abroad thing, I consciously try to not let my head get so big as to annoy the hell out of my friends on campus. Because let’s be real… some kids can go a little overboard with their oversharing on Facebook and Twitter while abroad. A lot of the times they try to justify their humblebrags by tagging whatever they post with #abroadproblems. But #abroadproblems isn’t a scapegoat, and it certainly doesn’t give you permission to show off how ~fabulous~ your life is. Here are things that are not problems:
“Ugh I hate airport lines. But going to Rome! #abroadproblems!” Ah, the classic #humblebrag. Being drunk at an airport sucks, especially when TSA is in a foreign language and they’ve just started yelling at you for some inexplicable reason. But the privilege of traveling is the polar opposite of a problem. So kindly omit the hashtag, and make your way through security, s’il vous plaît.
“Changing your profile picture weekly. #abroadproblems” Studying abroad means taking pictures of any and every menial thing you do/eat. That’s a given. (Confession: my Instagram feed is now 70% food, and I’m not about to stop.) But if you’re constantly updating your social networks, you musn’t be doing anything too interesting. Plus, there’s no need to document every time you go to the Eiffel Tower/Tower of Pisa/Tower Bridge/any other European Tower. Continue Reading
Hours before you enjoyed a glass of mulled wine, watched a bunch of men toss around the pigskin, and sat down for dinner, juniors studying abroad this semester had the unique opportunity to engage in the Turkey Day festivities in different countries (and time zones) around the world. These students have more than their respective study abroad experiences to be thankful for—Thanksgiving proved to be a reminder of these students’ national pride as they were able to take this slice of Americana with them and blow it up in big and creative ways. Check out how your peers celebrated Thanksgiving abroad after the jump.
Really? Are you? As a junior, it’s disconcerting to feel like one-fourth of your friend group has disappeared from the Brunonian Bubble. Naturally, I have taken to Facebook to stalk my absent peers, hoping for some tidbits of information about their new lives. After poring through pictures, stalking their new abroad (replacement?!) friends, and of course reading the obligatory study abroad blogs, I have one thing to say to students studying abroad (if those studying in Paris will pardon my French…):
You are the most annoying group of multicultural motherfuckers I’ve ever met.
Now, hear me out: I set out to learn a teensy bit of information about your life and instead, I got your diary. Your blogs are ridiculous. Your albums are full of pictures and stories that no one wants to see or read about. We’re in Providence. It’s sleeting, and the heating in Grad Center hasn’t come on yet. Do you actually think I want to see you rocking that bikini on a beach in Cuba?
You really need to be more considerate of your American classmates if you want to have friends when you come back.
Check out some of our study abroad blog pet peeves after the jump. They’re only slightly fictionalized versions of the posts we’ve come across.
Ah, restless Brunonian, your intellectual curiosity knows no geographic limits! Why spend time reading about Joyce when you can truly experience his words for yourself in Dublin? Why study science in a lecture hall when you can visit CERN in Geneva? You have to go and see the world for yourself! So, at least, you told Mom and Dad as you signed your study abroad application last Friday.
But let’s get down to the real reason why you’re going abroad. That’s right, some good ol’ fashioned foreign sex. Brown is wonderful, sure, but it’s no secret that by senior year, you likely will have slept with all of your friends. We live in a small place. A place where your last one-night stand is lurking at every turn of the Rock and the most exciting sex news is a cameo appearance of the John Street masturbator… again. Let’s fly, fly away from Brown, just for a safe semester or two, and let our genitals express themselves globally! Before you go, though, a heads up on what you’ve gotten yourself into. Continue Reading
Fun Fact: Did you know that Ja Rule is a leaper? For anyone who doesn’t know what that means, a “leaper” (not “leper”) is someone born on Leap Day, or February 29. This is an extra cool birthday for anyone looking for the fountain of youth because you can technically exploit your age by saying you’re a quarter of however many years old you actually are. So, happy ninth birthday, Ja Rule!
As I recently learned from a particularly hilarious episode of 30 Rock, Leap Day is a day of endless possibilities when Leap Day William emerges from the Mariana Trench to trade children’s tears for candy. That sounds legitimate, right? Regardless, it’s made clear that Leap Day gives us the opportunity to do whatever we want just for the heck of it because it “doesn’t count” — after all, it’s a magical day that isn’t real. I’m not one to do things completely out of character, a situation Liz Lemon found herself caught in, but, as a foodie, I like to believe that Leap Day can be a day to eat whatever and whenever you want without consequences. In other words, Leap Day William tells me that I could eat anything in the world without running the risk of permanent arterial damage or becoming overwhelmingly full. Oh, what a joyous day that would be! Continue Reading
As it’s beginning to reach mid-October, students–sophomores, especially–are starting to think about where they might find themselves in the world, studying abroad, next year. When trying to decide where to go, there are lots of things to consider: do I want to spend three months in this country? Will I get to travel around? What will I be studying? How will I meet people? Will I speak the language?
These are all important things to consider, but according to The Huffington Post, there may be one more thing to add to your list of considerations: booze. An article in The Huffington Post entitled, “Students Learning Abroad Increase Drinking: Study,” declares, “Students who go abroad while in college are likely to increase or even double their alcohol intake while they’re away, a new study has found.” Maybe not, but isn’t that kind of obvious? In most other countries, drinking under the age of 21 is either totally legal or not a problem. And the survey mirrors that fact saying, “Students who were less than the legal drinking age in the United States increased their drinking while abroad by about 170 percent…The overall increase was about 105 percent.” It makes sense that if the drinking age is legal and you’re studying away from home, you’re probably going to drink more. But worry not, concerned citizens remaining on campus — your peers’ new drinking habits won’t stick with them when they return to their U.S. campus.
So if you’re considering studying abroad in Europe, Australia, or New Zealand, you may want to keep this so called “spring-break drinking culture” in mind.
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