In 2013 I Vow to….

By Tena Elman

When people make New Year’s Resolutions, most don’t survive past January. Let 2013 be the year you take control and follow through with them (or atleast for 4 months). You are setting out on a new journey you’ll remember for the rest of your life and it is imperative that you set out resolutions or goals for the upcoming experience. I’ve brainstormed five different ideas that will help make your time abroad memorable.

1. Attempt to learn a phrase in each respective language you encounter. I personally like to know how to say “hello, thank you, you’re welcome, goodbye” in the language of the country I am visiting. It gives off a good vibe to the people you are dealing with and maybe that person’s view of an “American” is altered for the better! They really appreciate the effort, and you’ll learn that as you’re traveling.

2. Promise to try the local cuisine of each country you visit! Dabble in the goulash in Prague, grab a bratwurst in Berlin, or nom hard on a French crepe (sweet or savory.. up to you). Doing this will leave you feeling a little more cultured than before :)


3. Cook more during the week. After the first few weeks of living in a new city, you won’t be able to use the excuse “but I need to try everything!” when you’ve been eating out every night and ignoring your kitchen. Grab your housemates and start the tradition of a family dinner once a week! The weekends are hard and you’re busy traveling, so make sure you attempt to cook more during the week so you can splurge a little on that local cuisine.

4. Vow to travel somewhere all on your own. Bring friends too, but plan out your weekend itinerary with accomodation, transportation and a city book guide. It can definitely be overwhelming, but it is possible.Bus2alps will be here if you need it, but so much is learned when you travel to places on your own every once in a while!


5. Take more pictures. No one wants to be the annoying girl with the camera who is always snapping shots of candids. And with twitter, tumblr, blogs and snapchat taking over the internet, you need to cherish these pictures of your short time abroad. “Oh I’ll get to that picture later.” Chances are.. you won’t. Capture the memories of what’s in front of you and you’ll thank yourself later during the summer when you’re going back through pictures of abroad and missing all your friends!

By following these 5 resolutions, you’re guarenteed to make the most of this opportunity abroad.You’ll have managed to travel to a foreign destination on your own, mastered a few phrases in different languages, attempted to eat local cuisines of different cultures, cooked and created your own new recipes with your friends, and have the ability to look back on all of these unforgetable memories through hundreds of pictures that were taken. Prepare for the best semester of your life and enjoy every moment!

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