Remember that one time I went abroad and frolicked across Europe for almost 5 months? I wouldn't have really gone abroad if I didn't write some sappy post about it and I wouldn't be me if I didn't write said post like 3 months too late. so here it is: a post all about how “study abroad changed my life 5ever and how I’m so cultured and different now”
when you go to a school like nyu, studying abroad is the norm, and almost expected. I never really thought that I would spend a semester abroad until nyu came into the picture. for context, nyu has their own study abroad sites in 14 counties which makes studying abroad ridiculously easy. I’m really lucky to have this opportunity and for 70k+ a year there was no way I was gonna let this not be a part of my college experience.
my original plan was to study in Prague the fall semester of my sophomore year, when I didn’t get into the program I shrugged it off and spent my semester watching basically everyone I knew spend their time in Prague while I sat in New York. I felt a twinge of resentment watching their bonds grow closer as they travelled together and realizing that when I was accepted to study abroad in the spring that I would likely know no one.
after a hellish visa process (crying on the phone to my brother, parents, and friends, checking my application status religiously, losing paper work, almost losing $1500, and so much more) I finally found myself in the Prague airport, in the brutal cold (I did not know cold until I went to Prague) ready to have what should be the best semester of my college career.
in my eyes study abroad was a great experience, and again I am so grateful for the ability to study, live, and explore for four months, but I did not have the experience that is often promised to students by program administrators, brochures, or other students.
I did not meet my best friends for life, I did not particularly deepen bonds or grow closer to anyone. I have few stories from late nights in new cities with friends. I have even fewer good photos of myself. sometimes I feel like I did study abroad wrong because my experience doesn’t look like everyone else’s, but I realize that my experience is my experience and it is what I’ll think about and recall in 5, 10, 30 years’ time. sure, I didn’t get to go everywhere I wanted, see everything I wanted, do everything I wanted, but I had a damn good time.
I didn’t come back with any shot glasses, or t-shirts, or key chains. but I did come back with a postcard from each city, over 2500 photos, the ability to navigate any city, and 10 new countries under my belt.
oh, and a four minute recap video.