Studying abroad places

Am currently at a target school and am planning on studying abroad in two semesters (Spring semester 2019). To the people on here who studied abroad in college, where did you go?
Already have an internship locked up for next summer so I'm just looking to blow off steam and have fun..haven't had much fun in college and am looking to make up for that.

Comments (31)

May 19, 2018

Great call. If you are looking to study in Europe I can definitely help you. What studies are you following? Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavian countries will generally be a higher level in Europe. Are you looking to learn a new language? Looking to party?

If you are studying something economics/finance related maybe look into Bocconi in Milan. Has a decent name and you won't have to put much effort in. Decent city to go out (for Italian standards) and close to plenty of beautiful places in Europe to travel to.

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May 19, 2018

Heard a lot of good stuff about Ireland

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

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May 19, 2018

I studied abroad twice:
- Valencia, Spain through University of Virginia
- Beijing, China through Columbia University

The UVA program was a lot of fun.

https://valencia.virginia.edu/
https://ogp.columbia.edu/program/columbia-summer-b...

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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May 20, 2018

Berlin is hands down the best city to study abroad in. The culture, nightlife, people, are fantastic. I visited most major cities in Europe during my time there and can honestly say that none compare.

May 22, 2018

Ignore everything everyone has said before this -

It's an absolute no brainer that Barcelona is the European capital of studying abroad and just the ultimate city. Beaches, mountains, girls (if you're into that), strong culture, 24/7 partying, easy access to other cities in Spain and Europe, safe, great weather.....

Need I say more? Berlin is awesome too, but a winter in Barcelona is like a winter in Florida. A winter in Berlin is, a real winter.

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May 22, 2018

London is a great exchange city but I've experienced it as someone who lives there. I did a semester abroad in Copenhagen and I would 100% recommend it

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May 22, 2018

I studied abroad for a month in Cyprus and a month in Greece; would highly recommend Greece. Safe as a modern European country, but cheaper and absolutely stunning, especially if you can get to some of the islands. It was like a month long vacation I got credits for and formed some amazing friendships.

Array
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May 23, 2018

Used to live in Greece at the height of the crisis, can confirm it's a lot of fun, but overall not a place you want to be in beyond 2 weeks or so, Athens is kind of a shithole, the islands are where it's at.

May 24, 2018

An exchange semester in Mykonos hahaha

May 24, 2018

I was in Athens for about a week, and absolutely loved it. Sure it isn't the most clean city, but the graffiti juxtaposed with ancient ruins was beautiful.

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May 22, 2018

I studied abroad in France in a small town in the middle ~100k people. I highly recommend Europe. I focused my time in France and then traveled around Europe to end my time there. Really enjoyed Germany. I didn't spend much time in Paris, as I was trying to get to know the local engineering students, some of which I am still friends with to this day.

May 23, 2018

I would recommend Florence and Berlin. Both are great in terms of culture, and Berlin especially has a great party, tech, food, concert, and pretty much everything else scene. All the beer is delicious and doner kebab at less then 5 euros is incredible.

May 24, 2018

Lisbon can also be an interesting option, great place to surf and great nightlife

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May 24, 2018

Redacted

May 26, 2018

IG if you don't want to deal with the high living cost in Shanghai (or any major Chinese city for that matter), you can find a place slightly out of the city (there's an abundance of apartment clusters outside of most major cities) that is connected to the main city by high speed rail and ride the rail to and from the city every day. China has a great rail network so it's really convenient, but yeah, living in the decent parts of Chinese cities can get very expensive.

Made ya look

May 24, 2018

I would avoid study abroad in Asia, not because its not cool ( it is, very) but because its too big and you'd spend more time travelling rather than staying. But if you do choose to go i'd settle for Tokyo

For Europe it depends what you want:

-Chilling, go out, hot girls, relatively cheap: Lisbon, Madrid

-Want to learn something, Milan (Bocconi), Mannheim (Germany), one of the Uk schools

-Want to be somewhere where they speak English and you can get around? then northern europe (spain, france and italy are terrible for this)

Personally I'd go for these places:

-Madrid, as said above its warm year round, relatively cheap to go out (relative to NYC/London). Cons are people in Madrid speak little to no english unless you hang out with IE kids

-Frankfurt, not as naturally beautiful but if you're trying to go into finance then you should probably see europe's most important city after london. Everyone speaks English, airport is one of the biggest so travelling is easy and its centrally located. Still pretty cheap

-London, its london, pretty self explantory.

I grew up in Europe, PM me if you want man

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May 24, 2018

I would totally disagree with the "avoid study abroad in Asia" - I did a year at NUS in Singapore and it was the best year of my life so far. Everyone I know who went to Singapore or HK had a great time.

Singapore is a really cool city-state, very modern, safe, hot, beaches (ok, the beach isn't amazing, but it's there), really nice campus, some very nice bars and clubs...
Traveling is super cheap and you can see amazing places, there are loads of other exchange students with the same mentality, in my case barely any studying (pass/fail, no exams, locals do most of the group work, 2 days in uni per weeks (6h Monday, 6h Tuesday) with the rest of time spent hanging out, traveling, swimming in the campus' infinity pool..) but you do actually learn a fair bit in that time. And obviously, if you choose more difficult courses, it will require more effort.

I love Europe, but from what I've seen the exchanges here are far different to the guys who go to Asia.

I wouldn't say not to come to Europe, but I would suggest to anyone to go to HK or Singapore instead, it was incredible.

Edit: Oh and about it being too big - You're not going to do everything from Japan to Sri Lanka. I visited 8 countries there quite comfortably (others were traveling a lot more and did a solid 12-15). Within 2 hours of Singapore you have Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Add a couple more hours you have Philippines, HK, Macau, China, India, Brunei.. It's too big to see everything in a year, but you can definitely see lots of it.

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May 24, 2018

I did a month abroad in Italy my junior year, would highly recommend. I had an apartment in the center of Rome, between the art, food, and nightlife, you will not get bored of it. Granted, I went there to study art history for a month, something I've never taken before during college and which some might consider almost the opposite of finance, but it's helpful to broaden your knowledge base.

Italy is also very close to Malta, which I'd recommend you spend 3-4 days if possible, extremely cheap country with beautiful beaches that parties very hard. One of the best extended weekends of my life.

May 24, 2018

If English is your first language, I would suggest that going to London or the UK may be a cop out. Don't be one of those obnoxious finance bros who studied abroad in London just to leverage it for career purposes. Go to Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, etc. - it will make you a more interesting person in the long run. Cool dude - your semester abroad was an excuse to intern with Barclays and go to EPL matches.

Jun 9, 2018

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May 24, 2018

Barcelona and Prague were clearly 2 of the best options in Europe in terms of nightlife and the amount of American kids. A lot of kids loved Florence, but bear in mind that it is a smaller city, so finding the cheap flights will be harder and sometimes the Florence kids needed to train to Rome for flights. I would personally avoid London. London is the boring option for people who want to avoid a language barrier and to a certain extent a culture barrier. Also, the weather is shite. I heard great things about Sevilla and Edinburgh as well. Sounds like a pretty personal decision as to Europe vs Asia. The kids I know who went to Asia/Australia had a great time. It definitely takes more of a go-getter attitude for going to places where they don't speak much English, but the culture/language shock is half the fun and you get what you put into things.

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May 24, 2018
Wolfie3:

Barcelona and Prague were clearly 2 of the best options in Europe in terms of nightlife and the amount of American kids. A lot of kids loved Florence, but bear in mind that it is a smaller city, so finding the cheap flights will be harder and sometimes the Florence kids needed to train to Rome for flights. I would personally avoid London. London is the boring option for people who want to avoid a language barrier and to a certain extent a culture barrier. Also, the weather is shite. I heard great things about Sevilla and Edinburgh as well. Sounds like a pretty personal decision as to Europe vs Asia. The kids I know who went to Asia/Australia had a great time. It definitely takes more of a go-getter attitude for going to places where they don't speak much English, but the culture/language shock is half the fun and you get what you put into things.

Yeah. The first time I decided to study abroad, it was to take classes for a Spanish major. I was looking at all Spanish speaking countries and eventually chose Spain and the UVA program. One of the main reasons I chose Valencia over Barcelona or Madrid was the absence of tourists and Americans. Valencia is the third biggest city in Spain and on the coast, so I figured if I needed to learn Spanish, it would be a great immersion program.

It was pretty awesome. I was there for Spring and Summer I (6 months) and it was probably 60-70% chicks in the program. I actually got in an relationship the last month of the program with a UVA chick that carried on long distance in the US, but I don't like long distance, so I had to end it.

I traveled a lot in Spain (Madrid, Sevilla, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Mundaka, Olviedo, Santiago de Compostela, Toledo, Calpe, Alicante, and a few others in Spain). I took my red Trek mountain bike to Spain and rode it through the rio to class everyday. I rode that bike to Calpe and Alicante (120mi one way) on the beach as well as to Peniscola (the girls loved the name of that city - they had a day trip to there).

Spain is a great spot to travel in Europe and the Valencia airport was pretty good. I went on Ryan air a lot and basically traveled by price on the weekends at times. I'd get tickets roundtrip for ten euros at the time. I went to Portigual (Lisbon, Ericeira). Had to check the waves in Ericeira - they sucked when I was there. I went to the Canary islands with four chicks one weekend. Of course if its 70% chicks, you're traveling with all chicks. I think I realized that trip that 4 chicks on a trip is too many. The limit is probably three chicks to one guy.

Every morning they would do their nails and stuff like that when I was ready to go to the beach. They wanted to go shopping, it was lame. One chick was really cool though and she made fun of them doing nails in the morning (and then did nails in the morning to be part of the group). I met this cute spanish 19 year old tattoo artist that trip who refused to wear bras, had pretty big boobs, and wore wife beaters with red hair. We hung out for a few days. I needed some 1:1 chick time vs 4:1.

I finally did find some surf on trip to France. I took a road trip with two of my spanish friends from the city. One dude was a photographer for surf magazines. So we went to Hossegor, France in his VW van and camped out there for a week. Waves were a lot of fun. 6-8 feet, large enough but clean, beach break, boardshorts.

In that program, I also went to Italy, England, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and Greece. I traveled to Italy with two chicks and they wanted to stay in Italy, but for days I was telling them that I was going to Greece. We had kind of an intimate moment in Cinque Terre, but then I had too much Grappa and passed out. We went to Lucca, Pisa, Florence, and then Venice. I told them I was leaving them after dinner and they kept wanting me to stay or something. It was ridiculous. Then they started playing around with it, but I think were still kind of serious. I was like ok, I'm leaving, hugs, then took a train to Brindisi and a boat to Corfu, Greece. The boat (yacht) was only like 40 euros.

In Greece, I stayed at this hostel called the Pink Palace. That was a crazy crazy time. What the hell is the Pink Palace?? haha. There were tons of hot chicks here and the first night they had so much cheap redbull vodka and ouzo that I thought for a second that the middle of the dancefloor was a urinal, so I guess I started to get ready to piss, but the bouncers threw me out and I passed out. I think I had 30 drinks that night and 20 redbull vodkas. I should have died, really.

They had 4 wheel rentals there so I got one and started cruising around the island of Corfu going pretty fast. I was on roads, beaches, everything. It was pretty fun. I flipped it on a beach and almost broke my neck, then it started rolling towards the ocean and I stopped it. Phew. There were two other people I met up with on 4 wheelers on the beach that saw it, they were like holllyyyyyyyyyy ... partly because when I almost broke my neck, the ATV rolled over me, didn't hit me that bad and landed upright. I was basically going real fast on packed sand and fishtailing. So I'd haul ass and then turn a bit. But, this time when I turned I hit this spot of loose sand that the front tire dug into and just threw me. I went to Olympia, Corinth, and Athens after that, then flew to Rome and back to Spain.

I wanted to learn the top three languages known by native speakers and was working on a Fulbright application to China in undergrad, so decided to go to Beijing the next year.

It was different studying abroad in Asia. I feel the 'party party party' of the Mediterranean beaches was definitely absent. But, there was much richness in culture and the like. It was a lot for me to take in moving to Beijing at that age.

I had a partial scholarship to Spain, but got fully comped to Beijing. Full airfare, tuition, food, covered by my undergrad. Everything but the beer. I wasn't even really planning on drinking or partying that much in Beijing, but then I didn't pass the admissions test for the level of Chinese I was going for, which was BS. I had done 1:1 classes for the past year in the US and some of the material that we covered was just a bit different than the test. I think the program was more focused on traditional characters than I was used to.

But, I was there. So I'm in Beijing taking classes that were pretty easy for me, the grades don't even transfer to my undergrad (it was pass/fail). I mean what should I do?

Partyyyyy

Man, I went out nearly every damn night. I think one day I was sitting in class and my stomach just burned of acid. My friend went out the last 5 nights or so with me and he was feeling the same way (guy was hilarious stoner from Cali who swam to get into an Ivy). I think I had gone out for 17 days in a row or something. One morning I went out so late to the clubs (usually MIX or VIX) that I guess I was crossing the library lawn back to my apartment and decided to take a nap. This is Peking University (the "Harvard" of China). Some white dude passed out at 10am on the lawn with a group of asians around him.

I woke up and a bunch of people were staring at me. I woke up, brushed off, was kind of like wtf, couldn't believe it was 10am and had conversation class at 11am. I ushered my way out of the circle-of-disbelief and went back to my apartment. How long were those people standing there - don't they have class? I mean really.

I was feeling good that day. Maybe I had a good sleep on the lawn. I decided to spice things up a little bit in conversation class that day.

Conversation class was basically talking to 2 different teachers for 10 min or so. You talk for 10 min, then you sit and wait and stuff, then you talk for another 10 min. Something like that. They assess your knowledge of the vocabulary covered in the week. If you use words you just learned they get all happy and stuff.

I was thinking f- all that today. Our teachers were all women. She started the quiz/convo. She was like "How are you doing today?", "What are your plans for today?".

I was like "I'm going to the club." "What time do you want to go?". She played into it like normal convo class, then I was like "We are going to Propaganda tonight", "You look pretty", "You should go" Then she bought into it. She was all like "really?" (zhen de ma?). I'm like .. "really" (zhen de).

I did the same thing with my other conversation teacher and convinced all the teachers to hit up this small club near the school that night (Propaganda). Most of the students didn't usually go out that night of the week (it was like a Wednesday). Most of the students came out for this. Hahaha that night was amazing.

Yeah, Asia was fun. But, it did seem a bit atypical for partying and stuff. There are lots of places to have fun and go out, just like any big city.

There was another Ivy program in Beijing when I was there from Princeton. We ran into some of those kids once. They said they never go out at all because the program is too hard or something, so I'd watch out for that one. Unless, you like being a book worm. But, part of the challenge for these program directors is to let the students have enough time to be exposed to the city and culture, while still maintaining relevant and applicable coursework. UVA was really good about that in Spain. If there was some event in the city, they would be light on homework and stuff. As we were just studying abroad temporarily - we might not see it again.

But, yeah, I'd recommend Europe in general. It is also a western style of life there. Even if you don't know the language, the way of life is similar.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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May 24, 2018

Two things europeans hate about americans:

  • your obnoxiously long personal stories nobody cares about
  • your obnoxiously long personal stories nobody cares about
May 25, 2018

Nice chill to pull ratio

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May 24, 2018

Just finishing up a semester in Edinburgh - it's really been a blast. The city is small enough that you don't get overwhelmed, but big enough that there's always something new to do every day. Nightlife is great and the Scots are genuinely some of the nicest people.

Also if you come to Scotland or anywhere else in the UK get ready to drink - the Scots and Brits really do love their alcohol

May 25, 2018

No need to say you went to Edinburgh for your exchange, the fact that you separate Scots and Brits makes it very clear you have become a Scot.

I know Edinburgh is a lot more "European / English" than most of Scotland, but did you not find their accent difficult to understand? I know a lot of Brits who can barely understand the born and bred Scots.

May 24, 2018

Studied abroad in Australia and Spain

Sydney was probably the best 4 months of my life. Classes were pass/fail so it wasn't all that difficult and your close to New Zealand and Fiji. HK, China and all the other countries up north aren't as close as they appear (between 8-10+ hour flights). It can get expensive fast and since I was going out every night it added up. Pre game hard with some goon (boxed wine) or little fat lamb (if it hasn't been banned) and you should be good to go. Also explore Melbourne and the Gold Coast, which are also a lot of fun (Australia is a big place)

Barcelona was also a lot of fun but there are a lot of Americans there and almost everybody speaks some English. Classes were pass/fail and my teachers let me skip class after I passed them in February, which basically turned my trip into a 4 month spring break. If you want to learn Spanish I'd suggest Sevilla or Valencia like a couple others suggested. Other pros to Barcelona are it's easy travel to the rest of Europe and it's relatively cheap (beer/sangria are cheaper than water).

WTF Option: Leeds, England
(Full disclosure: I've been hammered for about 80% of the time I've been there)

About 2.5 hours north of london it's a college town with 100,000+ students. Been here each of the past 3 years and loved it. Cheap food and drinks, beautiful women and easy access to Scotland, Ireland, and Wales (as well as liverpool and machester). If you want to travel further you'll likely have to fly out of London which is a con. In terms of attractions there are pretty much none other than some old castles and churches. My buddy has lived there for 3 years and has loved it. It's probably a place you'll never go again after your 30 but it's a perfect place for your early 20's. If you go do the Otley Run (20 bars in a day and people usually go in huge groups by bar 3 you'll know half the town).

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May 24, 2018
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May 26, 2018
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Made ya look