How Study Abroad Ruined My Life


That’s right. You read the headline correctly. It’s time for me to come out and be honest. I hate study abroad and all it stands for. After years of pretending that study abroad revolutionized my life and the lives of the multitude of students I’ve worked with, I’ve decided to come out with the truth and lay down all the ways study abroad ruined my life…and will probably ruin yours too. Here goes.

Future Study Abroad Student

Study Abroad Made Me Poor
I took out student loans to pay for study abroad. That’s right. Loans. And now as an adult and working professional I have to pay back those loans (what a bunch of hooey!). Every month when I pay my bill, I’m reminded of the mediocre architecture, weird people, even weirder languages, conversations about boring world issues/events, and more that I had to endure while studying abroad. What a waste! And now because I have that monthly payment I can’t afford that sweet lamborghini that all my peers drive who didn’t study abroad and who are, therefore, crazy rich. Not fair.

Study Abroad Made Me Learn Another Language
Learning another language is a waste of valuable brain power. Just admit it. I can speak a bit of French, a little Spanish, and enough Mandarin to get by because I studied abroad. How much more worthless can something like learning another language be?! I mean sure I can converse with the entire populations of France, China, Spain, Latin America, and a smattering of other African countries…but is that really worth the brain power and space I’m using for that data? After all, instead I could be using that brain activity for something awesome like producing the Real Housewives of Kansas reality show…or something.

Study Abroad Made Me Like Other People. Lame.
As a direct result of studying abroad, I now get excited to learn about other people’s study abroad experiences and to meet people from all. over. the. world. This takes a lot of valuable time and energy to care and want to interact with people across cultures. And frankly, no one has time to be interested in and nice to other people. After all, having friends and being nice to other people is so not exactly what my mom had in mind for me when she raised me.

Study Abroad Doesn’t Make the Rest of the World Want to be Like Me…or You For That Matter
While studying abroad, I learned very quickly that many people were not and did not want to be like me or my American friends. What gives?! We are awesome. How could people from around the world not recognize our American awesomeness and not work their entire lives to be EXACTLY like me…think like me, dress like me, of course, talk like me? Ridiculous. They want to speak their own languages, observe their own customs, eat their own weird food. I can’t understand it and now I have to live the rest of my life with this knowledge and confusion.

This is just a cursory list of how study abroad ruined my life. I’m sure there are many more ways that study abroad ruined my life and yours. Feel free to add yours in the comments below.

I declare this national “Stop Everyone From Studying Abroad Day.” Join the chorus!

Image found here.

*For those readers who haven’t caught on yet, this is an April Fools joke. Gotcha! You know I’m a study abroad super fan. Feel free to share the laughs. :) 

4 Comments on How Study Abroad Ruined My Life

  1. Michelle
    May 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm (5 years ago)

    Study Abroad ruined my life when it inspired me to see the rest of the world. Now i’m never content living in the same place for too long, or anywhere in America!

  2. Brooke
    May 13, 2011 at 11:47 am (5 years ago)

    Interesting that you use the word content. I’ve been struggling with that since my first study abroad experience in high school. :( I just need to learn to love the motion and excitment of travel, but be content with the stillness and security of staying put for awhile. Hope you’re doing great! Thanks for the comment. =)

  3. Study abroad not so great
    March 9, 2015 at 1:09 am (9 months ago)

    I really disliked my study abroad experience. It is probably the decision I regret most in my entire life. I did a postdoc for 4 months in Germany. It was supposed to be two years but I left early. I don’t really see a lot of value leaving Southern California beach areas for me and have no intent to ever do so again. Germany was polluted and smelly.I felt unsafe on a regular basis. Educationally the environment was not as good as in the usa. After a week in Germany I moved myself back to California time even though it meant that I missed most of the day events so I could interact via Skype and phone with my friends back at home. The difference in wages was over one hundred thousand dollars so the German pay was terrible. I have to leave the country occasionally for work to present research and I always dislike it.

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