15 Friend-Ventures to Take Before Studying Abroad

By Lorena Roberts on November 12, 2017

You’re stoked about studying abroad. You’re probably already halfway packed. You’re making travel plans for once you get there. And oh, yeah, you’ll have to go to class sometimes.

But you’re about to embark on the trip of a lifetime and you can’t stop thinking about it! But regardless of how long you’re leaving for, your friends from home will miss you. And believe it or not, you’ll probably miss them. There will be times when you’ll wish they were with you!

Before you leave for your study abroad adventure, here are some ways to embrace the time you have with your homies.


1. Amusement park

Spend a little too much money on a much-needed bottle of water, eat some disgustingly greasy food, and ride all-too-familiar rollercoasters with your buds. You’ll appreciate the screams.

*Pro tip: visit one of those photo booths and make enough copies for all of you to keep one!

2. A night under the stars

If it’s even a little bit warm, get some wine and blankets and spend a night under the stars. You’ll appreciate nature so much more with people that you love.

3. Movie marathon

Spend an entire day watching all your favorite movies — yes, High School Musical included. Don’t even be ashamed of snuggling up in front of the big screen.

*Pro tip: pick a rainy day — it’s much better that way. And stock up on your favorite popcorn and M&Ms. Salty and sweet, that’s the best way to watch movies.

4. Visit a pet store

Hold every single one of the puppies and cry about how cute they are. Promise each other that before you get married, you’ll each get dogs that you’ll absolutely fall head over heels in love with. Boys don’t mean anything when you can have a dog!

5. Instagram too many photos in one day

Make sure all the photos are at cheesy locations: the pumpkin patch, an apple orchard, a hipster coffee shop, the railroad tracks, maybe even a grassy field.

6. Take a weekend road trip

Go somewhere you’ve never been before. Look up fun things to do, even if it means restaurant hopping all weekend. Take lots of pictures — for memories, of course.

7. Go thrift-shopping

Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty fun. There are some pretty shiny diamonds hiding away at the local Goodwill.

*Pro tip: When you take it home, it’ll probably smell like Goodwill — good possibility that it was boxed up for a while. Use fabric softener and dryer sheets when laundering for the first time.

8. Revisit an old hangout and bring your yearbooks from high school

Even if you didn’t grow up together, talk about all the crazy adventures you had. Really listen to each other and understand where the other person is coming from. You’ll learn so much about your pals.

9. Craft night

It’s always fun to create something for the other person. Like paintings. Swear you’ll hang them up in your apartments and never regret them. Even if they look absolutely terrible, hang them up anyway — and no, not behind a curtain or under the stairs. No cheating.

10. Baking date

Take an entire day and bake all kinds of goodies. Of course, eat them ALL.

*Pro tip: gift them to people you love — you’ll feel a lot better about it that way.

11. Have a picnic

Rarely do we have time for picnics these days. Make time for one with your bestie. Square sandwiches and juice boxes will never disappoint.

*Pro tip: hit up the local farmer’s market. You won’t regret it.

12. Volunteer together …

… for a cause that matters to both of you. You’ll meet people you didn’t previously know and you’ll have a total blast doing it.

13. Try a new exercise class

Endorphins are good for everyone and before you know it, you’ll be giggling up a storm.

14. Visit local bakeries and speak in accents

You’ll only begin giggling at yourself the moment you mess up the word you’re trying to say and totally embarrass yourselves. It’ll be a blast to eat goodies with your new best pal.

15. Go to the mall …

… and pick out outfits for each other. No peeking until the outfits are complete. Buy them. (With a price limit, of course).

Then go out to dinner together wearing those outfits and act like you’ve been treated to something nice by someone special because you have.

When you leave to study abroad for however long it’s going to be, you’ll appreciate the memories you made with your buds before you left. Take some pictures with you from your adventures. Hang them in your new digs. You’ll be so happy you brought them with you!

Lorena graduated from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a BA in Honors Psychology. She is currently interviewing for PhD School Psychology graduate programs across the country and hopes to research early math curriculum and instruction. Along with writing for Uloop, Lorena is a preschool teacher, K-12 substitute teacher, and math tutor. She enjoys taking her Whippet mix, Gio, to the dog park and drinking hot chocolate in front of Netflix. She's known for her strong opinions, busy schedule, and obsession with cute dogs. If you want to reach her, email her at grober18@vols.utk.edu

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