I’ve been super nostalgic about my study abroad experience lately: all I do is listen to Stromae, crave fresh foot-long baguettes, and wish I could walk out of my dorm and find a macaroon shop around the next corner. It has been five months since I returned home from France. Post-study abroad depression is REAL and who knows if it will ever subside. If not, it just means I have to go back soon. Fineeeee, I’ll go.
In addition to the music and food, I miss the people that made my study abroad experience what it was: something that I will hold close to my heart forever. The people who you spend your abroad experience with are people that you will never forget. They’re engraved in you forever, just like a tattoo (shout out to all you Jodrin Sparks fans). But seriously, I wouldn’t have so many fond memories of my time living in another country had it not been for the people that were there to share the ride with me. After talking to other vet “abroaders”, they agreed that the people who surround you contribute substantially to making memories that will last a lifetime.
If you’ve studied abroad, you have undoubtedly met every type of person listed below. If you haven’t studied abroad yet, meet your new friends.
1. The Party Animal
There’s always that one kid that is DOWN to party. Granted, so many study abroad students are DTP. (What do people think we actually do? Study? If we’re being totally honest it should be called “Partying Abroad”.) But there is always that one instigator who is drinking during the day, drinking during the night, and inviting literally everyone along to do it with him. This kid knows how to have good time, and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Your only photos on Facebook together are when you’re both intoxicated, and you wouldn’t want it any other way. You plan on having reunions with this kid in Las Vegas, Cancun, and Ibiza. You keep in touch via Instagram, liking each other’s pictures that involve alcohol, commenting “MISS THIS!!! AND YOU! bisous xoxo”
2. Sexy Student That Everyone Wants
Oh my god. There is always a Ken and Barbie in every study abroad program. They make people wonder, “Are you a Calvin Klein model? You sure you’re not? YOU ARE FREE EYE CANDY.” #blessed. This person is super good looking and knows it – but that doesn’t stop them from being a nice and friendly person. You may be friend-zoned but you’re perfectly okay with it – everyone else is too. The only person he allows to step into his-more-than-friend-sexy-zone is his impeccable counterpart. You’re just grateful you’ve made a new friend with a sexy accent who is incredibly good looking that you can show off to your friends back home.
3. Foreign Person You Can Never Understand
Overcoming the language barrier is arguably the hardest part about being abroad. In a perfect world, everyone would speak one universal language. History and geography just LOL’d at that statement. Just about everyone you encounter during your time abroad is from a different culture, but you still want to be friends with them BECAUSE they’re from somewhere other than your home country. You’re not going to let a language stop you from becoming friends with the girl who seems super friendly and down to earth. You may have a VERY hard time understanding her English (or any other common language you try speaking), and she may have a hard time understand your super fast English speaking skills, but you both laugh at the same things happening around you, like when a guy is being creepy in a bar. When you can barely have a coherent conversation with someone, there is something special about being able to connect with that person through body language and sharing a laugh.
4. The Bartender At Your Favorite Bar
You wouldn’t dare leave your study abroad city without saying goodbye to your favorite bartender at your favorite bar. When you weren’t off traveling to some other city on the weekend, you went to the go-to, favorite establishment to have a drink or seven with your abroad pals. The bartender knew your drink and would sometimes even give you free Jagers on the house. You don’t want to know how many Euros you spent at that place, but you were okay with whatever that amount may be. You knew it was going to a good place – the bartender was super hardworking and made the best drinks at your bar in your new favorite country. You hope that one day when you return to your second home, nothing much will have changed. You truly hope to return to the bar someday and find your favorite bartender there, happy to see you again and hand you a beer.
5. Your Abroad BFF
What is adventuring abroad without your abroad wing-man or wing-woman? If you planned on studying abroad with a friend from school, you two totally became closer after the trials and tribulations of living together in a foreign country. Or, maybe you met your best friend while you were there. Either way, your abroad BFF is someone that you want to come to your wedding, if not be IN the wedding as a bridesmaid or groomsman. You two dreaded the day it came time to part ways and leave the beloved country that brought you two together. Tears were definitely shed, but you both knew that you would be seeing each other again someday soon.You keep in touch via all social media and your cover photo is still a picture of you and your friend group from abroad. You also Snapchat on the reg and have hilarious Whatsapp conversations that include a ton of selfies, funny pictures, and weather updates. Your relationship with your abroad BFF is one of the purest and truest friendships you’ve ever had.