When I was in college I spent the spring semester of my sophomore year in Paris. It was an amazing experience and has since led me to traveling out of the USA as much as possible (aka, when I can afford it). But as great as my semester abroad was, there were some things I wish I had known before arriving in the City of Lights. For example, I wish I had known that though being a polite American will help you get around town, being an angry American who can yell at Parisians in their own language will get you even further. There are just certain important facts that the travel books won’t tell you. They don’t tell you that refusing food in Taiwan is a grave insult, but burping loudly is considered a compliment to the chef. So from my experiences overseas, here’s a list of do’s and don’t when spending a semester abroad: *Do bang anything that moves. Even if she’s ugly, she’s still foreign. *Do not bang bareback. Foreign girls tend to be skanks. *Do take advantage of the lowered drinking age and the late night bars. The beer tastes better and has a higher alcohol content.
*Do not do drugs (Amsterdam excluded). If you doubt me, go watch a little movie called “Midnight Express”. *Do say that you are American. Pick the closest big city and say you are from there. *Don’t pretend to be Canadian. You will just get laughed at. *If you go to Italy, do eat everything. Nothing tastes bad in Italy. *If you go to China, don’t order the lobster. They will bring it out slightly alive and moving and even though that’s the freshest way to eat it, it’s still creepy. *Do go out and experience as much of the music, art and culture as you can. *Don’t think you have to like it. Trust me, Europe has as much crap as America. *If you are in Thailand, do get a massage. They are cheap and awesome. *If you are in Thailand, do not get a hand job after your massage. More than likely your masseur is a dude.
*Do spend some time and learn the language of your host country. Even if it’s a couple of swear words – it will make you sound cool. *Do not come back with a fucking accent. Unless you want your friends to beat the shit out of you. *If possible, do take a train to other countries. They have sleeper coaches that are relatively inexpensive and pretty comfy. *Do not share your sleeper coach with a German. They smell and insist on keeping the window closed and you will have to battle them all night (luckily you’re American so you will win…again). And the most important of all the do’s and don’ts when traveling abroad: *Do make sure you get school credit before you leave. Nothing’s worse than having to repeat Freshman Comp. *Do not skip classes. Save that for when you return back to campus.
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