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18 Tips For Studying Abroad In America

With love from an Australian that's done it.

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1. Prepare to hear any and all combinations/variations of the following:

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"I wish I had an accent."

"I don't even care what you say, just keep talking."

"Are you English or Australian?"

"Austria?"

Someone actually made this face at me when I spoke to them.

Sometimes this can make it difficult to make American friends, but it will happen.

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And you'll never want to let them go.

2. Although chances are the only people that will REALLY get you are your fellow internationals.

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After all, they are going through the exact same experiences and feelings that you are.

3. They're also more likely to do stupid shit with you, like hectic road trips the week before finals.

Actual images of my English friend sledding down some stairs and smashing his face into a wall, Boyne Mountain, Michigan.
buzzfeed.com

Actual images of my English friend sledding down some stairs and smashing his face into a wall, Boyne Mountain, Michigan.

4. Get a decent sized wallet or purse because American money will probably make you feel like this:

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Seriously, $1 notes and 1 cent coins are actually the most unnecessary thing ever. Particularly when you're still getting used to the money system and so you end up with the worlds largest collection of change rolling around in your purse.

5. Try S'Mores. They will make you make this face.

6. Prepare to gain weight. There are free cookies EVERYWHERE.

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Just roll with it.

7. Literally roll. Down to the dining hall for free breakfast for dinner.

For real, I ate so much free food at college it's not funny. Many colleges have special events to help you taste the food of the town, or to help you get through finals week. Don't waste it!
Via weknowmemes.com

For real, I ate so much free food at college it's not funny. Many colleges have special events to help you taste the food of the town, or to help you get through finals week. Don't waste it!

8. On that note, find and frequent the local Farmers Market.

While I definitely encourage making the most of all the free food that college has to offer, a farmers market is a super great way to make sure you eat at least something healthy while you are studying abroad. Most of the time it feels like a giant holiday/vacation, but then you realise that you might actually get scurvy if you eat anymore bacon and/or cookies. Markets are usually very reasonably priced and offer delicious produce, home baked goods and fun things like pine cones and Christmas wreathes when the season calls for it. It's also a good way to limit your intake of high fructose corn syrup, which is really quite bad for you but is unfortunately in a lot of foods in America.
Via portstephens.org.au

While I definitely encourage making the most of all the free food that college has to offer, a farmers market is a super great way to make sure you eat at least something healthy while you are studying abroad. Most of the time it feels like a giant holiday/vacation, but then you realise that you might actually get scurvy if you eat anymore bacon and/or cookies. Markets are usually very reasonably priced and offer delicious produce, home baked goods and fun things like pine cones and Christmas wreathes when the season calls for it. It's also a good way to limit your intake of high fructose corn syrup, which is really quite bad for you but is unfortunately in a lot of foods in America.

9. Buy all of the college merchandise, like this totally necessary fire pit.

The level of hysteria and pride that you will encounter for your school will seem funny at first, but by the end of your time there you will totally feel like getting the school fight song tattooed over your heart.
Via mden.com

The level of hysteria and pride that you will encounter for your school will seem funny at first, but by the end of your time there you will totally feel like getting the school fight song tattooed over your heart.

10. Buy season football tickets. Even though you don't understand the sport.

There is nothing quite like getting up at 6am to party in the street with 1000s of strangers and then scream your heart out at a game that makes no sense to you. You will learn that Saturday morning really is the best night of the week.
buzzfeed.com

There is nothing quite like getting up at 6am to party in the street with 1000s of strangers and then scream your heart out at a game that makes no sense to you. You will learn that Saturday morning really is the best night of the week.

11. Go to a frat party, at least once.

Even if it's just so you can understand how accurate the stereotypes are.

12. Befriend a bartender.

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Tip them well. Trust me.

13. On the 4th of July, celebrate like you are an American.

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Because they're not patriotic enough on a normal day?

14. Find an American family to take you in for Thanksgiving.

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The food will be worth the mild awkwardness that comes with intruding on a family holiday that you don't totally understand.

15. Get excited about Halloween, they take it very seriously.

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Go out the weekend before halloween. And the weekend after. And every week night in between.

Here's a picture of some girls dressed as a beer pong game. Perfection.

And commitment.
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And commitment.

16. It's easy to forget you're actually there to study.

Take fun and weird and interesting classes. You will meet awesome people and class won't feel like such a chore. I'm still not quite sure what I was supposed to gain from this one, but I wrote a picture book about a sexually confused tomato for the final project.
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Take fun and weird and interesting classes. You will meet awesome people and class won't feel like such a chore. I'm still not quite sure what I was supposed to gain from this one, but I wrote a picture book about a sexually confused tomato for the final project.

17. Basically, just embrace every second that you have there.

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Because when it's over, you most certainly will not want to leave.

18. And if you are Australian, don't forget to tell them about drop bears.

Look up, Stay alive.
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Look up, Stay alive.

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