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