Morgan: Homesick

As December continues to creep up on us, I am getting more and more homesick. But not in the same way that I was homesick my first year of college. I’m homesick thinking about leaving the place that has seen my grow. The place that has fostered my education. The place that has provided me with a bigger, brighter family. This time, it is Boston that I’m homesick for. 

Okay, maybe I’m being a little melodramatic. I can look out my window right now and still catch glimpses of the Citgo sign and hear the buzz from Storrow Drive; however, as I write my final blog post for COM Ambassadors, I can only reminisce. 

The unknown: FRESHMEN YEAR

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Freshmen year Morgan entered Warren Towers wide eyed, overpacked, and lost (both literally and figurately). I knew no one and knew nothing about living without the ease of having my parents at my fingertips. I was shocked when I teared up when I talked to my parents, for the first time after school began, through my computer screen while sitting in the common room of the 16th floor. But I quickly was able learn how to navigate my way through BU’s campus. After a few latenesses I figured out how to get to the fifth floor of CAS. I made friends in my WR100 class. And I figured out what times were best for showering when there are about twenty other girls vying for the same shower stalls.

I surely missed my group of friends from home and was sad to miss out on my family’s weekend dinners out together, but I learned to find places at BU where I discovered people who would become my family away from home.

That’s new: SOPHOMORE YEAR

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If freshmen year was my adjustment period, sophomore year was my time of discovery.

I moved out of my comfort zone by taking on new leadership positions. In BU’s Asian Student Union (ASU), I progressed from being a freshmen representative, to secretary, to vice president internal, and this is where I formed some of my closest friendships. With ASU I was given the opportunity to see events grow from being ideas to huge events, such as Breaking Boundaries, for upwards of 500 people. ASU introduced me to people who built me up and always showed me unending love and support in an environment where I was lost, and for that I am so very grateful.  

I further explored beyond people’s expectations of me by taking hip hop dance classes! As an extremely inexperienced dancer, performing in front of a crowd for the first time in my life taught me confidence and has furthered my mentality of having no shame as long as you are having fun.    

The Revival: JUNIOR YEAR

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At the start of junior year, I was close to comfort at last. I was rooming with three great friends of mine, and was fully acclimated to BU with all of my involvements in organizations fairly finalized. But studying abroad my second semester once again placed me in an unfamiliar setting. 

I studied abroad in Sydney, Australia, and let me tell you, it was incredible. I thought that I had dedicated my last two years to learning who I was, but there’s nothing like moving across the world to force you into some serious self discovery. I experienced life like I never was able to before by being granted the privilege of having time and constant creative inspiration surrounding me. I was more active, cooking for the first time, and interning at a huge global media company. Study abroad was the much needed break that I needed to be rejuvenated at a time when the pains of college were becoming heavy.

Retirement is on the horizon: SENIOR YEAR

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 Senior year is a short one. Being that I am graduating early, my time at BU is coming to an end this coming December, and I am ill prepared for the reality check that is about to come my way. However, I plan to make the most out of these six remaining weeks that I reside on Commonwealth Avenue. I am going to miss hearing the passion from my history professors. I’ll miss having late night talks in my apartment with the people who have made my time here special. I will miss the dining hall. And I will student discounts. (Just to name a few things). 

During my senior year I have truly felt like an upperclassman as younger students come to me with the same questions that I once asked my own mentors and friends, which scares and excites me at the same time. In college I am currently at the height of my career, but in just SIX WEEKS, yet again I will be pushed down to the bottom ranks. For the first time I have no idea what I will be doing, who I will be with, or even what city I will be in post graduation. I will definitely return to those uneasy feelings that haunted me freshmen year, but now at least I’ll have the experiences of my last few years at Boston University to guide me. 

Geneve: 5 Tips to Spice Up Your Instagram Stories

Maybe you’re an Instagram fanatic and are very familiar with the platform, or maybe you’re just looking to get started building your social media brand. Instagram stories are super fun ways to share moments of your everyday life with a pizzazz.
1) Letter Ombre-ing 
I find this technique to be especially useful if you have one word that you really want to highlight. It does take a bit of practice. This website gives a pretty thorough tutorial on how to do it, but tldr: Select your font (this technique usually works best with “Strong” or “Classic” fonts) and type your text. Then, select all and place the cursor to the furthest right, then select a color with your other hand and slide the cursor through each letter, choosing the colors as you go.
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2) Font Combining 
I love using this to add a “caption” to a picture. You are essentially spelling out a word using a different font for every letter. This tool works best if you use letters from the same color family. Feel free to mix lowercase and capital letters as you go, and repeat fonts as you find necessary! I find that if you include a squiggle, it helps to draw the word together more if you find it looking a little disheveled.
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3) Color Blocking 
I love color blocking if the image that I’m posting has a lot of of color that I want to bring out. For this technique, I will highlight each letter in a certain color (often pulled from the image) and stagger it just a little to spell out a word. I find that staggering actually helps to bring the word together rather than just leaving them straight. This technique works best with “Strong”, “Classic”, and “Typewriter” fonts.
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4) Pinpointing 
I recently learned this technique through one of my favorite influencers. I find that pinpointing is helpful for if there is a lot going on in a photo that you want to explain. I use the white pen at a medium thickness and make a singular dot, but if your photo has more light colors, a black pen would work efficiently as well. This pairs well with the “Typewriter” font justified to the left and highlighted to bring out the text.
P.S. Highlighting works well to bring out dark or light text from the background. I like to use the transparent pen but the regular pen works also. You can do squiggles or just two lines like I did here. Don’t forget you have an eraser tool if you want to clean up the edges, if that’s your taste!
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5) Handwriting
A lot of people will ask if I use a stylus to do handwriting on my stories, and I always tell them that practice makes perfect! I find that making the pen thinner will also help make it easier to control. Handwriting looks best when combined with some typed font. I try to avoid the “Neon” font, because it is so similar to cursive handwriting.
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Hopefully with these tips, you are able to take your Instagram story game up a notch! If you need any advice, please feel free to dm me on Instagram @genevelau!

Steven: How to stay organized in COM

When you’re in COM, your class schedule may not look packed, but I can assure you, between clubs, jobs, and the daily hustle of college, your schedule fills up quickly. Sometimes managing all these plans can be difficult, and slip ups will happen; sometimes you’ll forget to grab that lunch you had planned with a friend, and sometimes you’ll forget to write your blog post for COM Ambassadors (oops). Either way, you’re going to have to find a way to manage it all. Every person I know at BU has their own system of organization that works for them, so in my blog post today I’d like to share some useful tips and tricks to stay organized that I’ve learned so far during my time here at BU.

Get a calendar

If you get anything out of this blog post, let it be a calendar. Calendars are a way of living, and the only way I function. Everyone has their own preferences, whether it be a traditional print calendar or an online calendar like those offered by Apple and Google. Every class, club, work shift, and haircut of mine gets input into my Google Calendar. Without it, I would be an unorganized mess. Find what works for you, and commit to it!

Plan ahead

Give your calendar a good overview at the beginning of each week and at the end of each day. It helps you keep track of everything you are doing and what you will need for tomorrow. There’s no worse feeling than showing up to a photo shoot and forgetting an SD card! Looking over your calendar the night before can help prevent these mishaps and ensure you’re ready for every day!

Set reminders for small tasks

Need to get laundry in forty minutes? Have an assignment due at midnight that you need to start by 9 p.m.? Set yourself small reminders for short term tasks that might require a little nudge to do. Why remember to grab your laundry if Siri can do that for you? 

Don’t overbook yourself, and schedule “me” time

You think you can do it all. You can’t. While coordinating a day full of activities from 9am to 11pm may seem like a good use of your time, you will burn yourself out—quickly. I have been there, and every COM student I know has been there. Only do what you can, and try to schedule time for yourself; listen to music, watch Netflix, or do whatever relaxes you. This time will help you collect your thoughts, and will do much more good than that extra shot of  espresso you’re banking on to get through the day.

And there you have it! Stay organized, find what works for you, and remember that no matter what life throws at you, you can do it!

Remy: 5 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health

I recently read Katie Morton’s book, “Are u ok?” where she guides readers through common mental health questions. On the first page, Morton poses the question, “what’s the difference between mental health and mental illness?” 

According to Morton, “mental health is how we are doing psychologically and emotionally.” 

Alternatively, “mental illness is when our mental health is so compromised or neglected for so long that it affects our ability to function in our everyday life.” 

This introduction stood out to me for three reasons. First, although I know these two terms are different, I have never stopped to define them. Second, we all have mental health. Therefore, you do not need to be experiencing any sort of emotional difficulties in order to care for your mental health. Lastly, I think it is important to understand how you can best take care of your own mental health needs, especially as a busy BU student. 

As a result, I have decided to share five techniques/activities/reminders that I am putting into practice this fall. *Disclaimer, some of these tips work better than others and I turn to each one for different needs, so feel free to try them out. 

Meditate 

Over the summer, I spontaneously signed up for a six week group meditation class once per week. I have learned different meditation techniques, but my biggest takeaway is that meditation looks different for everyone. It may be outside in a scenic location, your dorm room, or even an office. Some people like to meditate alone, some people prefer groups, some people meditate for hours. For me, meditation simply consists of taking deep breaths for about 5-10 minutes when I wake up. It allows me to set intentions for the day and refocus my energy. There’s lots of resources out there to discover what meditation looks like for you. For example, I love the Headspace app. It offers a free meditation trial, and also an online blog! https://www.headspace.com/blog/

Keep A Gratitude Journal 

This is one of my all-time favorite practices. Carving out just three minutes a day where I jot down or take mental notes of everyone and everything I am grateful for helps me put my responsibilities and worries into perspective. What I love about this, is that no matter where you are, if you find yourself worried, anxious, or feeling down in any way- you can simply think of what you are grateful for and move forward with a clear mind and in a better mood. 

Answer a Prompt 

In my meditation class I mentioned earlier, one question the group leader posed was, “what does it mean to be present?” I noticed while answering this question that my thoughts flowed freely and it helped me relax. I reflected on this and realized that I tend to associate writing with deadlines and grades. After all, the majority of my writing is for school purposes. I had forgotten that writing can serve as a tool to relax your mind and generate creativity. Therefore, my new goal is to answer one prompt per week. This could be a question I hear in passing, google and find randomly, or make up on my own. 

The point of this exercise is simply to let my brain have a break. This may sound counterintuitive, because writing requires brainpower. However, I have found answering questions reenergizes me. 

Exercise 

Working out has always been one passions. I am not a competitive person, so simply working out at the gym, running, or taking a fitness class allows me to focus on myself and no one else. Obviously, there are countless health benefits from working out. While I keep those benefits in the back of my mind, I try to focus on why I am exercising in that moment. Personally, I love cardio and find that it almost serves as a type of meditation. 

Physically taking care of yourself goes hand in hand with mental health. 

Set Aside time for friends 

Lastly, I think there is nothing better than spending time with friends. I know it may sound crazy, because many of us as college students live with our friends or are a five minute walk from everyone we could ever want to hangout with. However, I noticed that I constantly found myself running into people and muttering the same line over and over again, “Oh my gosh, we need to catch up soon. Sorry, I have been so busy!” I also realized that almost every single response I received was identical to my own. Moral of the story- we all are busy! But, its OK to prioritize spending time with friends, even if it’s a 30 minute coffee or quick lunch break. My friends always boost my mood. They remind me that even though we are all here for our education, a huge part of college is about building relationships. So let yourself have fun and take advantage of having all your friends right around the corner. 

Whether you try these specific tips or not, I hope that this blog serves as a reminder to take time for yourself and your mental health. Thanks for reading friends, have a happy and healthy fall 🙂

Mira: Remembering Self Care

With Thanksgiving break a month away and midterms happening in every class, this time of year is ALWAYS incredibly stressful. It’s constantly GO GO GO, and because of that, it’s easy to forget to stop and give yourself a moment to breathe. 

That’s why I wanted to take a second to remind all of you beautiful people to practice self-care! I know it can feel like a waste of time when you have so much going on, but it’s BECAUSE you have so much going on that it’s even more important to set aside some time for yourself to recharge!

The advice I’m going to give you might seem like common sense, but these are things I constantly see my friends (also myself) forgetting to do when we get busy. Taking time to do the following will give yourself the strength to get through this stressful time of year and stay healthy!

STAY HYDRATED

Remembering to drink enough water is difficult enough already, but when you are pulling all nighters to study, and drinking coffee to keep yourself awake, drinking water becomes even more essential. Caffeine might help us get through writing the last page of that essay, but it’ll also dehydrate you fast, so make sure you switch out that coffee mug for a cup of water every few hours!

MAKE SURE YOU ARE EATING ENOUGH

I know that I’m guilty of skipping breakfast to rush to lecture or grabbing a snack instead of a full meal for dinner when I need to study for an exam. That being said, let yourself take the time to eat. It’s not a waste. Your body needs the nutrients and energy to keep yourself going under pressure! Food is fuel and don’t you forget it!

TAKE A WALK

When you’re stressed out and have an intense workload, it can be easy to hole up in your room and read for hours on end. However, when you find yourself losing focus, grab a light jacket and head outside! Taking a quick walk (even just 15 minutes) can help clear your head and get your back in the right mindset to continue grinding for that exam you have the next day!

CALL A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER

Don’t be afraid to lean on those around you for support! It can be a really nice break to talk to someone and get your mind off of your stressors for a little while. Meet up with a friend, or call someone from back home! I guarantee you’ll feel a lot better afterwards!

Those were just a few reminders to look after yourself! They’re simple self care skills, but important nonetheless. College is not supposed to be easy. There are times that are going to be super fun, but also times that will be insanely stressful too, and that’s okay! Just make sure you are taking care of yourself during those stressful times and know that it’s okay (and necessary) to take a break every once in awhile. Wishing you the best of luck for the rest of the semester!

Becca: 4 Last Minute Halloween Costumes Everyone Can Do

With the widely raging debate of what weekend is the true Halloweekend coming to a close, so does another issue. If you are like me, you used all your good costumes last weekend. (Was I Edna Mode? Follow @beccabuchholz to find out.) But, if your friends are dragging you to the various activities around Boston that require some semblance of a costume, you’ve come to the right article. 

Tina Belcher

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All this requires is a denim skirt, a plain shirt, tube socks, glasses, and your black vans that we all know you have. Bonus points if you have a strong love of a boy named Jimmy Jr.

Identity Thief

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One of the easiest costumes if you pass a Questrom networking event. Get a bunch of name tags and write everyone’s names on it. Boom. Identity theft is not a joke, Jim.

Eye Candy 

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This is for everyone who doesn’t want to lose an outfit for a holiday. Cheap sunglasses, Gorilla glue, and stolen candy from COM Undergraduate Affairs. An easy costume that looks sweet!

Dwayne the Rock Johnson

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If you don’t own a black turtleneck, chances are you visiting from a warmer climate. Throw on that (or borrow your roommates), some jeans, and a gold necklace. Really commit with a fanny pack addition. Print out his picture for free in the COM lounge so people know who you are. 

If you aren’t a fan of Halloween, relax! Spooky season is coming to an end real soon. You need not fake a love of Monster Mash for much longer. 

Up next is the season of binge eating and capitalism!

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Ali: Some thoughts on long-distance best friends, FaceTime, and family dinners

My best friend and I have been best friends for 11 years. From ages eight to 18, I saw my best friend at least once a week.

Think about that. I’m only 19, so I’ve spent more than half my life being best friends with the same person – Val. We wrote a contract in elementary school proclaiming that we had to be best friends forever and the contract would never be void, no matter what (then we threw it under her bed – it might still be there now).

In elementary school we spent lunch together every day and had playdates on the weekends – to this day, her home phone number is one of the five or six phone numbers I have memorized, purely from the amount of times I dialed it before we got cell phones. I’ve gone on vacation with her family, and she’s come on vacation with mine. Our families hold joint “family dinners”, where her parents and my parents and her and I can all get together on a Saturday night and have dinner and play board games because we really are one big family: we’re practically sisters.

My best friend is a year older than I am (she’ll turn 21 in March, and I’ll turn 20 in May), so she graduated high school a year earlier than me. It wasn’t that bad, though – she goes to college 45 minutes from our hometown and comes home every weekend. I saw her all the time throughout my senior year. 

Then I graduated high school.

And left for college.

And moved 700 miles away from home.

I think you can see where this is going.

See, when we were in high school, Val and I weren’t constantly texting each other. If something important was going on, sure, but otherwise we didn’t text a lot. We didn’t mind it, because we saw each other all the time. But when we knew I was leaving home (leaving the entire state, and leaving the Midwest, no less), we said we would call each other every weekend to catch up.

We didn’t.

We talked once a month, maybe twice. We texted sporadically throughout the week. At first, this really freaked me out. I made new friends in college and they made me happy, but I was so afraid to go home and find out that my best friend wasn’t my best friend anymore. What if we didn’t gel like we used to? What if we didn’t get along anymore? What if she found new friends who went to school with her and were always around to go to Target or get coffee together when I was 700 miles away?

Everyone else I knew who had friends back home talked to them constantly. They texted every hour and talked every weekend and planned trips to visit each other. I felt like I was doing something wrong.

I should have known better. 

When I went home for Thanksgiving break, our families held a joint Thanksgiving dinner. I got to tell them all about how great Boston was, and how much fun I was having. But I also got to tell her just how much I missed her. And she missed me too, which was such a relief. She missed me too. We were still best friends.

The next few weeks before winter break flew by, and then I was home for over a month. And we were hanging out on weekends again, just like we used to. We were having movie nights and getting lunch and going shopping together, just like nothing was different.

During my spring semester, we still only talked once or twice a month. But our phone calls started getting longer, sitting and doing homework while we chatted or eating dinner “together”. We would talk for an hour and a half at least.

When I went home for summer break, we went to a concert together, and it didn’t feel like old times anymore. It felt special, because we were together for the first time in months. The next week, we went to the beach, and it wasn’t the same. We swam for a little bit longer, soaked up the sun and talked about school for a little bit longer.

We planned a road trip to Toronto together, a five-hour drive both ways and a shared hotel room where we spent 72 straight hours together. When we had to leave, we wished we had booked a longer trip and stayed for the whole week. We weren’t bored of spending time together because there was always something new to talk about.

What I realized through all of this was that it didn’t matter that we didn’t text every day, or FaceTime once a week. What mattered was that I sent her a postcard from the MFA, and she sent me one back from Detroit, and that when I got my nose pierced I called her that night because I couldn’t wait to show her. She sent me pictures of my dog when she went to my house to have family dinners, because me being gone didn’t mean Saturday family dinners were over. 

I stopped comparing our friendship to other long-distance best friends and started focusing on the little things. Our families are having a joint Thanksgiving again this year, and I might come stay the night in her fancy college apartment while I’m home for winter break. We’re planning another summer road trip. She might even come to Boston and visit, if she ever gets over her fear of flying. We still do all the things we used to do together, but they mean so much more now because we can’t do them every weekend. We hug each other a little tighter and a little longer now. 

If you’re worried about losing your friends when you move away from them to go to college, don’t be. You’ll find ways to connect, even when you don’t talk like you used to. The ways you communicate and keep up with each other might not seem conventional, but don’t sweat it, because no one knows your friendship better than you. My biggest fear when I left home was that I would lose my best friend. What I could have never imagined was that our friendship would grow even stronger, 700 miles apart.

Hannah: Why Fall Study Abroad is Underrated

Listen. Studying abroad in London in the spring looks lovely! Flowers are blooming, the weather is warm and you have mini spring breaks every weekend!  When I came to BU, I was certain I wanted to do the COM London Internship program, however I wasn’t sure which semester was the best time to do it. I always imagined myself studying abroad during the spring semester. After all, most people make the decision to fly off then. However, last spring, at the last second I changed my mind and decided to apply for this fall’s program, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision! 

If you can’t decide when to go abroad, here are a few reasons why I think London in the fall  is da bomb: 

It’s a smaller program 

Since it is more popular to study abroad in the spring, the fall program is much smaller. You have better luck getting your favorite classes, housing location and internship. Also, classes are smaller so you can get to know your inspiring British professors!

You can make new friends 

In the fall, there will be fewer familiar BU faces. A lot of students from other universities enroll in the BU program in the fall. Therefore, you are able to meet a ton of new people. It can be wonderful to take a break from the BU bubble and get to know people with different college experiences. 

Just a few amazing people I have met while abroad!
Just a few amazing people I have met while abroad!

Pumpkin spice weather arrives faster

September in Boston is still summer. Move-in is a torment of sweating, panting, and searching for the last available fan on the store shelf. When I arrived in London, I was shocked that it was already sweater weather! You can really enjoy some quality tea time with three months of perfectly crisp fall weather.

Enjoying a crisp, crisp fall day in Ireland!
Enjoying a crisp, crisp fall day in Ireland!

There are fewer tourists in the fall 

After summer vacations, tourists tend to forgo traveling in October and November. Therefore, if you plan on traveling while abroad, lines are shorter, museums are emptier and tickets are cheaper. Woo!

You have internship experience for the spring 

One of the best parts of the COM London Internship Program is a guaranteed internship. When you land in London, you are certain that you will be leaving with a new experience on the top of your resume. This is helpful because you can use that experience to find an internship for the spring in Boston.

Being in Boston in the spring is beneficial (and fun)

The spring is when you accomplish your planning for the summer. It is much easier to make summer plans (such as housing and applying for internships) when you don’t have a 5-hour time change. You also have a chance to say goodbye to your senior buddies. Also, Boston’s spring includes snow days and the Boston Marathon! Those are two things you can’t miss! 

Here’s the thing. The London study abroad program will always be a blast, no matter if you go in the fall, spring or summer. There is no wrong decision about when to study abroad. But, if you are truly stuck, I think fall is the way to go 😉 Cheers!

Magdalene: Why You Should Shop Local, Even In College

You’re running on fumes and need a pick-me-up. And there it is, in the distance – Warren Towers Starbucks. The overpriced caffeine penetrates your bloodstream and with relief comes an unshakable feeling of shame for not buying local. This is obviously a highly dramatized account, but I think we could all (myself included) do a bit better at shopping local. 

Why shop local? Great question. There are several answers. On a basic level shopping local is a great way to not only support the community but also to get to know people you may not interact with on a regular basis. Making intentional choices about where to put your money can help stimulate the local economy and therefore keep more of your dollars within the community. Food that is sourced locally is more “green.” There is less travel time between where the food is grown and sold. Eating seasonally is also cheaper and arguably more delicious. (Which is great for those of us trying to save wherever we can!) 

A few suggestions around BU:  

Pavement Coffeehouse 

736 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Local coffee shop in Boston with multiple locations, one being right on campus. Fills up quickly but is a great place to meet friends and professors between classes. Quality coffee and tea plus yummy bagels, too. 

Taqueria El Barrio 

1022 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Quick counter-service Mexican restaurant. Really delicious and authentic tacos among other dishes.   

Farmers Market 

775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Held at George Sherman Union Plaza on Thursdays from September 5 to October 24. This is a fantastic and convenient way to buy from local vendors who care about sustainability. Select vendors sell unique art, as well. 

The Goodwill Store 

965 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Well not exactly a “local business” per se, going thrifting is a sustainable way to be a fashionista without hurting the environment. This Goodwill is a prime donation spot for BU students, so you can actually take home some really great finds for little cost. 

This is obviously not a comprehensive list. Just a few of my favorites.  

Feel free to reach out with any questions! My email is: jsoule@bu.edu

Frank: Is Abroad Really That Cheap?

You’ve heard the tale. “A semester abroad is cheaper than one at BU.” I heard it on my first tour of COM. I’ve heard fellow COM Ambassadors say it on their tours. I’ve even said it on my tours and now that I’m abroad in London, I’ve gotta say the rumors are true. A semester abroad is definitely cheaper than one at BU. Well, um, it’s technically cheaper. 

It’s true that when the semester bill came I did end up paying less, but I failed to account for a few things when I applied for my abroad semester. The first one being maybe the most obvious: airfare. I’m from Puerto Rico. I’ve been hoping on planes all the time to get back and forth between home and BU, but for some reason the fact that I’d have to pay for an even more expensive plane ticket to Europe completely slipped my mind during the whole process. Imagine my surprise when the modest $160 plane tickets I usually bought so far off in advance had become almost $800 ones. Buying these tickets also proved to be a terrifying endeavor. Like, I know Boston and I know Puerto Rico. They each have like one airport and a half. London has three airports. Three full airports. Can you even imagine how terrible the headaches me and my mom had while trying to buy these tickets? Thankfully BU offered a group flight, or else I really would have not figured it out… Like really? Three airports? Do you really need three airports?

Another thing I just fully blanked on was the fact that both the UK and Europe have their own currency. “What? They don’t use American dollars?” Yeah, they don’t. I know. Crazy. A non-american country that won’t take American dollars? It’s honestly preposterous. The thing that stings most about it though is that you essentially have to become an economist while you’re abroad. Every single day, you wake up, brush your teeth, check the updated conversion rates, and cry because you’re not living in the parallel world without borders and a shared currency. Oh and also: did you know that banks have a thing called “international transaction fees”? It’s as terrifying as it sounds. Essentially every time you pay for something with your American card the higher ups at your bank go “hmm, this poor fool seems to be out of the States, how about we make them pay for the mere attempt to use their money, won’t that be a hoot!,” and then they have a big ol’ laugh as they strip between 25 to 50 cents from your bank account. Yeah, well I’d like to see you laugh when I decide to start Venmo-ing all my friends for groceries. You’ll get these 25 to 50 cents from my cold dead hands. 

You might think I’m having a miserable time abroad. That honestly couldn’t be farther away from the truth! I’m truly enjoying my time here in London! London is a great city that I honestly wouldn’t have been able to visit were it not for BU. I’ve gone to Spain and Ireland, I’ve met some really cool people here in the abroad program and in the general London area, and I’ve taken some of the most fun and interesting classes in my entire college experience. I can’t really put into words how much of a great time I’m having. Honestly, I think every BU student should go abroad AT LEAST once! But only if they can afford it. What I’m trying to say with all this is that you should really think beforehand if you should go abroad. As much fun as I’m having, if I didn’t have a job during the summer I would probably be struggling really hard to get by. Going abroad is actually a bit of a strain on your wallet and like every big financial decision you make, you should really think it over. If I started saving up money for abroad earlier than this past summer, I would honestly be less stressed about the whole experience. So before you pay that $55 non-refundable application fee remember that when COM Ambassadors say it’s cheaper to go one semester abroad, they only mean it technically. Really think about if you want to go abroad before actually going. Or go to DC or LA. Those might be actually cheap. I hear they take US dollars.