NYU students are studying all over the world and having unforgettable experiences at their abroad sites. The fear of returning to the normalcy of real life, however, hangs imminently in the air. It is easy for study abroad students to forget that both positive attitudes make for an amazing experience anywhere, anytime. Regardless of your location, these activities are fun to try and may even become habit.
Travel does not just happen in Abu Dhabi or Amsterdam. It can also happen close to home by taking advantage of public transportation for day trips. While New York City is truly amazing, getting off the island every once in a while can give you a much-needed break from the chaos and fast pace of city life. Hop on the subway to other boroughs like Brooklyn and Queens for an entirely different experience. Take advantage of Grand Central Station and Penn Station trains to visit places in the Tri-State Area. Buses are a cheap option to easily visit cities like Washington D.C., Chicago or Boston. Going back home should not be the only time to leave Manhattan. There is so much to explore outside of the greatest city in the world.
Not every New Yorker bites. Occasionally branch out from old high school friends and other NYU students by befriending the locals. Study abroad students strive to make a Buenos Aires or Prague local friend while abroad, but the same cannot be said for those staying in New York City. Change this pattern and talk to the barista at your favorite cafe, or make friends while waiting in the long line at Trader Joe’s.
Regular, communal meals
Aussies have weekly barbeques, and Italians consider every meal an art form. But Americans stereotypically eat fast food. All over the world, eating with others is traditional. Make an attempt to eat a weekly meal with friends. Being far away from family can be hard, but a Saturday picnic potluck or Sunday brunch are easy ways to eat something other than ramen with your friends.
Take a risk
Skydive. Try a new food. Ask a stranger out on a date. It does not matter how big the risk or where you are, but doing something that scares you or that you would not normally do keeps life interesting. Don’t live to regret all of the things you did not do while you were young — do them now. Live the life of the person you want to be.
Be thankful for what you have
It might sound cheesy, but you really should be thankful for all you have. Despite the glamour that studying abroad may seem to posess, people everywhere live in poverty, and there is always someone worse off than you. It is easy to find fault in some aspect of your life, but consider being thankful and humble. Keep in mind that you are better off than 80 percent of the world who live below the poverty line. When you have clean water and probably know when your next meal will be, it is hard to complain.
Sarah Kamenetz is a foreign correspondent. Email her at email@example.com.
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