Study abroad for most college students is probably the most coveted experience that we all hope to be able to look forward to- the one gateway into finally securing the “I’m a world traveler” stamp in your passport. One thing you can be sure of is that no matter where you study abroad, you’ll most likely come across a group of rather, um, interesting people. To help prep you for the experience of a lifetime, read on for the 7 types of people you’ll probably meet on your study abroad trip!
1. The Homesick Whiner
Are there a lack of pumpkin spiced lattes in your host country? Are there no functioning metro systems? No matter what, the homesick whiner will never fail to remind you that there is NOTHING like home. They’ll most likely leave halfway through the trip because they just can’t bear to live for 4+ months without Netflix and chipotle.
2. The Assimilator
This person swears they’ve suddenly become one with the culture of the host country and will do any and everything to distance themselves from other Americans. You’ll never find them speaking a lick of English, and they’ll most likely be missing from events and gatherings involving other study abroad students. You can catch them at the local pub mingling with other locals where they’ll probably act like they don’t know you.
3. The Adventurous Backpacker
This guy is notorious for jumping between country to country and hasn’t stepped foot back in the U.S. in God knows how long. He probably graduated from college 5+ years ago and is just using this trip as a jumpstart to his next adventure. When is he returning back to the states? No one knows. His Instagram is most likely filled with photos of him cruising on elephants in India, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and sand surfing in Morocco.
4. The Critical Asshole
Who in the hell would fly to a foreign country just to complain and criticize everything about the place? Why, the critical asshole, of course! The critical asshole LOVES to talk down on both the people and the customs of the host country. You’ll find this person often making snide remarks about the food, the attire, and cultural traditions and holidays- the list just goes on and on.
5. The Girl Who Dates Her Host Brothers
Aside from engaging in inappropriate relationships with her new family members, this girl will make sure that she does not leave this country without a foreign boyfriend of some sorts. Come back for a reunion in two years, and you’ll find that she never even left and is now engaged, pregnant, or both, to her cultural pal.
6. The Problematic Appropriator
You’ll spot the problematic appropriator already sporting a dashiki and Fulani braids one week into your study abroad trip. They probably already have a photo on their Instagram hugging unidentified children from a local orphanage, and you can bet that they don’t know any of their names. When you try to call them out, they’ll vehemently insist that their host family is cool with their antics. Sadly, appropriation remains appropriation despite traveling across the Atlantic Ocean.
7. The Trust Fund Baby
The trust fund baby has already traveled the world by the grace of their diplomat parents. They are most likely already fluent in the native language of the host country, and look down upon other students struggling to become conversational. While the rest of your study abroad group spends their holidays going on local excursions to other parts of the country, the trust fund baby will choose instead to vacation in some obscure Mediterranean island, distancing themselves from the other muggles in your program.