15 Study Abroad Problems That Aren’t Actually Problems


As a study abroad student, you have four months to fill with nothing but sightseeing, partying with locals, and traveling on the weekends. (Oh, yeah, and going to class, too.) It’s easy to lose perspective on reality. If you’ve spent any time abroad, you might have encountered one of these soul-crushing problems… only to realize how lucky you actually are.

1. While traveling on the weekends, you’ve seriously considered taking a cab straight from the club to the airport to catch your 6 a.m. flight. It’s definitely cheaper and easier than going back to your hostel, catching an hour of sleep, and then taking a cab to the airport. Will the club allow you to put your suitcase in coat check?

2. You have too many good options for your new Facebook profile picture. Do you go with the wholesome photo of you and your friends cheesing it up in front of Big Ben, or the photo of you dressed to kill while clubbing on the beach in Barcelona?

3. You briefly consider throwing a tantrum when your local boulangerie only has ham and cheese quiches one morning and not your beloved mushroom quiches.

4. Last year’s spring break to your local beach was so much fun. I guess a week of partying in Santorini for this year’s spring break will have to do.

5. Ugh, you have to decide between Rome and Amsterdam for your next weekend trip. Life is so hard.

6. The cute, local guy you’re talking to at the bar flirts by teasing you about your American accent.

7. If you end up seriously dating a local, you’ll either: a.) eventually have to part in a heartbreaking goodbye reminiscent of Like Crazy, or b.) return home with an envy-inducing boyfriend with a name like Guillaume or Francisco.

8. You’re constantly mixing up words and expressions between English and the language the locals speak.

9. And even if you can keep your languages straight, your favorite foreign expressions don’t quite translate. (Sorry, francophones, verlan just doesn’t work in English. C’est ouf!)

10. You don’t know how you’ll fit all your new shopping purchases and souvenirs into your suitcase at the end of your semester.

11. You occasionally hesitate before posting social media updates about your life abroad. You ask your roommate, “Have my tweets been too obnoxious lately? Have my #humblebrags turned into straight-up #brags?”

12. Your phone keeps beeping every time you get a new like on your latest Instagram of a famous monument, and the sound is starting to give you a headache.

13. Wine only costs three Euros, so your collection of wine corks has overflowed out of the decorative vase you were storing them in.

14. Your Netflix and HBO Go accounts don’t work abroad, so you watch foreign films at local movie theaters instead.

15. Even your most euphoric moments are tainted with the bittersweet knowledge that you’ll have to leave when the semester is over. There’s so much you’ll miss.

image – tejvan