By Becca Pilolla
You’ve finally arrived here in your new home, and you’re slowly getting settled. There’s so much to see in your new city, and so much to see surrounding it, not only other countries, but other near by cities as well. The best advice I can give to you at this point is to sit down and plan for a second. Take a night off or an evening dinning in and plan what it is you want to do, and where it is that you want to go, and why you want to go there.
There are 3 places I can think of off the top of my head that are not only a must see while you’re abroad, but also a must see within your first month here, the best time to see this places is now!
For starters, there’s Interlaken, Switzerland. A beautiful quant back packers town in Switzerland located at the base of the Alps. It’s a great skiing, boarding, and sledding area. People from all over the world head there this time of year to grab some powder! Even if you’re not into the whole snow sports thing, there’s always the best chocolate you’ve ever had, hot chocolate shops, nice warm fondue, and did I mention there’s a wonderful spa down the road as well. Everything is in walking distance, the guides for all the extreme sports are awesome, and who wouldn’t want to make all their friends at home jealous with a trip to the Swiss Alps their first few weeks here. Start it off right!
Another great place is Prague, Czech Republic. It’s cold there; I’m not going to lie. But it’s always cold there. So you could go now when it’s maybe 10 degrees, beautiful blue skies, and a chance of snow, or you could wait and go in April, May or June, and have it still be cold, like 40 degrees, and raining and gross out. Prague is always cold, but it’s the best time to go during the winter months. Again, start off going somewhere amazing, where beer is cheaper than water. Everything is so cheap; it’s a great trip to start with so you don’t spend too much money too fast! Lastly, there’s Carnivale. It’s a huge masquerade party. Think of the movie Casanova. Everyone is running around in costumes, celebrating, wearing masks, you don’t know whose who and it makes it all that much more exciting. It just makes you feel like you’re in a fairytale. Venice is obviously the place to go to celebrate it, but for those of you who are not into going to Venice just then, there’s always a big Carnivale celebration happening in the French Riviera and Sitges for those of you in Spain. Again, nothing beats starting off a semester abroad in a fantasyland that only Carnival can bring!
There’s a lot of time to travel this semester, and believe me by the end you’ll be thinking that there’s not enough time, but that’s why it’s so important to hit places like these three your first month here. It’s always a buzz kill come the end of April when you realized that you wanted to go to Prague, but it’s now too late and not a good time to go. Make sure to tick things off your bucket list while you’re here, such as skiing in the Swiss Alps, or canyon jumping. Take time to realize what you can do in all the amazing places you’re about to venture off to and make sure you experience them right!