White Girls Guide to: Study Abroad
Words by Elaine Jackson
Ah, study abroad. It’s a Uni break, semester, or year spent overseas studying at a different University in a different country, where people haven’t even heard of ABS, the Quad or Courtyard. Eye-opening, exciting, and very extra, study abroad is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity that every student should try to do. The best way to do it? The White Girls way, obviously!
Boujee on a budget? Yes, please!
If you can’t put exchange on your HECS, your biggest expenses will definitely be flights and accommodation. Flights are a killer wherever you go, and honestly, fuck the planet for separating Pangea when it evolved. Stop-over flights are marginally cheaper, and you do get more time to tell the people on your multiple flights that you study at a sandstone campus, but you do have to spend some time in some very random airports. Keep accommodation cheap by piling into a room with 3 or 4 roommates – you won’t have a moment to yourself for months, privacy goes out the window, and somehow your deodorant gets stolen (bonus points if it’s a roll on…), but you’ll save some dollars doing it. Dollars that can be best spent on …
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Making friends during semester at home is hard enough. Add in potential language barriers, an entirely new city, and shitty campus coffee, and you’re in a more difficult situation than trying to find a seat in Lawbry during StuVac. One easy way to get around it: dating apps. Bumble and Tinder are sure-fire ways of finding people in your area who are keen to show you around. Plus, you can score some really good (read: better than the dining hall) meals for free #WinnerWinnerFreeDinner.
If dating apps aren’t your cup of tea, sharing your bedroom and bathroom with a floor full of people is a sure-fire way to intimate, close friendships. There’s nothing quite like watching someone clip their toenails in your dorm room while you’re trying to study, or having to wait in line to pee that bonds you for the rest of your life. Like the old proverb goes: women always make friends in the bathroom.
Want to come back to USYD as the biggest BNOC of your group? Pick up a university-branded jumper/t-shirt/hat/water bottle/shot glass/backpack/socks before you leave, and strut down Eastern Ave knowing you’re better than everyone else. A university-branded item of clothing should make regular, but humble, appearances in your wardrobe rotation during semester; don’t wear it too often that the excitement of study abroad wears off on both you and your friends, but just enough to make sure people keep talking about you.
But, Do I Have to Study on Exchange???
Honey, no. Opt in for pass/fail grading, scrape bare minimum in your classes, and never (I repeat: never) take 8:00am classes. Ever. Sure, your parents might be disappointed if you just managed to pass, but you’ll come home with a wealth of experiences and more knowledge than a sixth year Arts student.
So, embrace messy frat parties, take the train from London to Paris, or immerse yourself in Korean street food. No matter where you go, or for how long, you’ll have a once in a lifetime experience that’ll leave you with endless, albeit cringe worthy, stories (and maybe a couple of regrets…).