10 Must-Do’s Before Heading Abroad For A Spring Semester

By Jillian Giannelli

1. Sit in an air-conditioned place for an entire day

Whether it be your living room, the library, or your local Starbucks (which you should fill up on as well), savor the moments you have in air conditioning. Before you know it, you will be living without AC, taking cold showers 4-7 times a day, and setting up fans that will blow in your face while you sleep.

2. Enjoy the Plumbing

We are absolutely obsessed with the old-fashioned beauty of European cities. However, what comes with old beauty is old plumbing.

Too many times have I tried to flush a toilet or find that perfect median between hot and cold only to start to panic or burn myself. Soak it in.. literally.

3. Drive everywhere

Us Americans take driving for granted. Say goodbye to your Range Rovers, Jeeps, and Honda Civics, and say hello to your own two feet and public transportation.

4. Watch a marathon on TV of your favorite show

For starters, your television abroad (if you have one in your apartment) is going to be in another language. I know, the nerve! Also, many shows offered on Netflix in the USA are not offered in other countries.¬†Also if you’re studying in Italy– sorry no Hulu here. However, don’t make the mistake of wasting your time away with television! You’re in another country, go explore. Four months may seem like an eternity but it will be over in the blink of an eye. Cherish every moment.

5. Get your fill of your favorite condiments

Honey mustard, buffalo sauce, barbecue sauce, whatever it may be. Ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise are about the only condiments that are up to par in Europe.

6. Go to an Italian restaurant

The Italian food you know and love in America is not the Italian food you’re going to find in Italy.Go out and order a dish of chicken parm. Get an order of fried calamari and smother it in marinara sauce. Quick, before it’s too late! (Side note: food in Italy is still better.)

7. Wear your highest heels every night

Ladies, say goodbye to your stilettos and hello to flats and wedges. Unless you want to end up face down in the road, heels and cobblestone are not a good idea.

8. Put all of your clothes in the dryer

Once you step foot in Europe, your clothes will be drying on a rack or on a clothesline outside your window. So, savor the softness, because pretty soon, you’re clothes are gonna be crunchy.

9. Spend lots of time with your family

As annoying as they may be sometimes, you are undoubtedly going to miss them when you’re gone. And, vice versa. They are trying to play it cool right now for your sake but they are crying on the inside. Spend some quality time and you won’t regret it.

10. Get excited for the most amazing experience of your life

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