Dear Future ‘Study Abroaders’,

I am writing this letter as a warning to all of you.  Actually the word ‘warning’ seems harsh, call it more of an advisement.  If you choose to go abroad, which you definitely should, I would recommend that you go by yourself.  Don’t be swayed into studying with a friend or a large group of friends.  You may think it’s a great idea to go abroad with your clique but I think the only thing it creates is conflicts.

Think about it this way: what can you gain from studying with your friends?  I mean you would have a great base when you get there but then comes time to plan things.  Everyone wants different things while they are overseas.  Different trips, meals, and activities.  I think in most cases, one could argue that studying abroad strains previous friendships more than strengthens them.  (DISCLAIMER: This is just my opinion, if you want to study with friends, DO IT.)  I think that I was able to accomplish more by myself because I only had to worry about one person’s schedule: my own.  I was able to do whatever I wanted and that was a great feeling.

There’s an episode of How I Met Your Mother in which they discuss discovering people’s mannerisms.  I think that if you go through studying abroad with friends you discover these and sometimes they can be awkward.  I don’t regret going on my own because I learned things about myself and without sounding selfish, that’s the only person I cared to learn about.

Good luck with your travels,

Rob Fulton

Rob Fulton is studying abroad at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy.