Studying abroad seems like a fairytale, and quite often, it is. While living in Budapest, and traveling across Europe, I’ve learned a few things you might want to know when contemplating studying abroad. Here are some:

  • You will smell things you never knew existed.
  • Your feet will be constantly swollen or sore, or both!
  • Foreign money is real money, not Monopoly play money!
  • You’ll reach more step goals in one day than you would in an entire week at home.
  • Don’t mess with the lady at the exchange rate window. She means business.
  • You’ll consume massive amounts of bread.
  • Master the art of packing your life into a backpack.
  • You’ll need a lot of Dramamine to sleep on planes, trains and buses.
  • After a few cathedrals and castles, they all start to look the same.
  • Your earpiece on guided tours will always fall out.
  • Waiters don’t appreciate if you order goat cheese salad without goat cheese.
  • Your weekend-trip airline might be named “Wizz Air.”
  • Bagging your own groceries into one tote should be an Olympic sport.
  • Your camera-holding bicep will be significantly larger than the other.
  • You’ll need unlimited data. Don’t believe otherwise.
  • You actually will miss your family and friends!
  • Dryers are as common as free water (pretty much nonexistent).
  • A lot of new foods means having Pepto-Bismol handy!
  • Knowing how to say “Thank you” in the native language means a lot to the locals.
  • Your currency rate app will be your best friend.
  • Public transportation isn’t as scary as you once thought. You’ll actually like it!
  • You will meet some of your lifelong friends.
  • You’ll fall in love with every city you visit.
  • You’ll probably learn more about yourself and others than anything in the classroom.
  • The memories you will make are the ones you’ll tell your kids about.
  • You won’t regret it for a second.