If you’ve been abroad this semester, by now you have probably bought your last budget airline ticket, bargained for your last “international piece of clothing” and filled up on whatever native food is your fancy (baklava, I will miss you).
You know what time it is: the end of study abroad. Some have been waiting for this moment since September, others wished it would never come. Nonetheless, it’s here. So it’s time to accept it. Soon you will be surrounded by your old Georgetown friends, bundled in your preppy winter clothes and doing the best you can to avoid the hellish Lau.
For some, this can be a very difficult change to deal with. Wine and beer will not be served regularly with meals, everything will be in English and you will have actual work to do.
In order to make the transition a little easier, here are some expert tips:
1. Plan study abroad reunions. You have been living with these people for 4 months now. At least in my program, we are basically a family (a weird, twisted family). Appoint someone as the “social coordinator” and have some amazing theme parties. It will be like studying abroad all over again, for like 4 hours. Extra points if you end the night back in the country you studied abroad in.
2. Make an American playlist. Get yourself hyped for the land of the free and the home of unlimited data. Make sure to add all your “pro-USA” songs. Because nothing screams America like Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA”.
3. Say goodbye to all the sights. This is probably the last time you will see these classic landmarks for a while so make sure to take your “goodbye pictures”. My first photo stop? The Starbucks on Ataturk street. So many memories, I will never find another place like it.
4. Speak only in the native language. Whether you have become proficient in the language this semester or just struggled along, use these last couple of days to prove your abilities, or lack thereof. When worst comes to worst, just say a bunch of words really fast in some kind of accent. The natives won’t know the difference.
5. Write a final blog post. I truly applaud those of you who have kept up with blogging over the last 4 months. Make sure to write an emotional, heart wrenching final reflection. Personally I wrote mine during history class and teared up a little.
Remember, despite your emotions right now towards your semester and study abroad location, you will at some point treasure this experience. Maybe you found your calling, maybe the love of your life or maybe you just found yourself. But that is none of my business; unless you want to gossip, then I’m ALL ears.
Signing off from Alanya, Turkey. See you in the place where the drinking age is 21 and the language barrier doesn’t exist.
Gifs: http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view/37874/party-in-the-usa-o.gif; http://www.headoverfeels.com/2014/01/23/a-gif-appreciation-of-troy-barnes/