Friday, October 29, 2010

What to expect when studying abroad

By Neil Heacox

Guest Writer

Studying abroad is an amazing experience. You meet all sorts of wacky people in even wackier situations. You do things you would have never imagined, such as scuba diving, whitewater rafting, skydiving, or barhopping (the age is 18 in most other countries!).

There are some drawbacks however, like independence. You think independence sounds great, but with independence comes responsibility. Yeah, not as fun, but you learn how to shop at the grocery store, not only for your taste buds, but also your health. Not to mention all the differences like bell peppers being called capsicums, calories called energy, and for some reason there’s no yellow cheese--only white! Oh, and most classes meet only once a week. That means more homework than back home!

After you get over the funny accents, the quirky slang, and the amazing birds squawking at every hour of the day (Who am I kidding? You never get used to parrots flying by your window in the morning!), you’ll be really proud of yourself. Proud because you are in a place, all by yourself, where family and especially the study abroad office can’t help you out because they’re either halfway across the world or incompetent. And you’ll smile, knowing that the only step left to becoming an adult is turning 25 so you can finally rent a car!

P.S. Skype and your own pillow will become your favorite possessions!

Editor’s note: Heacox is currently studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia.

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