You’re doing it. You’re really doing it. You’re running off to Sydney, Prague, Paris, Shanghai, or (insert one of NYU’s many study away sites here). But woah, woah, woah, hold on there young lady or sir. You need to get your shit together before you leave the country. The next semester will be one of studying (cough, drinking) across the country or continent, but there are some things to consider before you board that plane.
No Money, Mo Problems
All the money you had saved up during the summer vanished this past semester and now you’re broke. With your six weeks of break, get a job. Jobs that are great for break are babysitting, working for a catering company (holiday parties man), or tutoring for the SAT/ACT. If you can’t get a job, the next best thing is to sell things you don’t need or want anymore. Start by selling your old, unworn clothing to thrift stores. After a while, you’ll see a bit more money in your bank account.
Pro tip: get a currency converter to see how much you will have to work with when abroad, then budget (there are apps for that) your spending per week or month. Look online to get a sense for how much basics (like water) will cost in your city. Remember, beer is cheaper than water in some cities (Prague, we’re looking at you).
What Did I Just Order?
So you get to Florence, and you want the best Italian food of your life because you’re in Italy (duh). But wait. Your Italian 101 class didn’t teach you what “ossobuco” is and now you’re eating what translates to “bone with a hole.” Instead of worrying about what the next weird thing you’re going to stick in your mouth is, do yourself a favor and download Foodspotting–an app that shows you what dishes are in your area. It’s like a helpful version of food porn on Instagram!
New Friends, New Friends Everywhere
“The best place I noticed to meet people is in hostels, if you’re away for a weekend,” said Brigitte Berman, a sophomore in Gallatin. “It’s awesome because you’ll just kind of click with people, and you can meet up together in other cities.” She added trying to speak the native language is important as well. “Even if you don’t speak the language, trying says a lot. People really respect that, and you can always just smile at someone. It’s worked for me.” Finally, she added, don’t be afraid to wander. “Do we hang out at the statue of liberty? No way! If you want to meet the locals, you have to try to think like the locals. Don’t be afraid to explore!”
“I’m going to Sydney so I’m watching Kangaroo Jack, Summer Heights, Our Lips Are Sealed, and Finding Nemo to find out what the REAL Australia is like,” said CAS junior Julia Musto.
Movies never lie. Ever. Okay, okay, you caught us. They aren’t always the best source for information (but the internet isn’t always either). What does help, however, is watching local television shows and popular films from the city you’re going to. Netflix has a ton of foreign films available for your choosing, and we all know you’re going to be seeing a lot of Mr.Netflix this break.
Bon voyage! And good luck with all of your travels!