How to Deal With Study Abroad Envy

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Summer is here which means study abroad season is upon us. MSU is known for its study abroad programs, and it’s likely that someone you know and follow on social media is off somewhere in the world having the adventure of a lifetime. The real reason people study abroad is to spam everyone’s Instagram feed with amazing photos, and get really drunk in foreign places. While you can’t disagree that this is an amazing way to spend a summer, the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) can be real if you’re at home missing the fun. As someone who was never able to study abroad during undergrad (thx Brexit!!), I know the feeling and offer some coping suggestions:


Start your own “study abroad” finsta to be passive aggressive.

While your friends are galavanting around Europe, posting photos of every meal they have, make your own Instagram dedicated to the mac and cheese you made for dinner. Make sure to capture it “Never coming home”.

Plan a weekend trip.

It may not be Europe, but planning a fun weekend trip to one of Michigan’s beautiful lakes can feel like a mini-vacation. No one ever gets tired of seeing boomerangs at the beach on their feeds.

Eat at an authentic ethnic food restaurant.

Just because you’re not traveling the world, doesn’t mean you can’t eat like you are. Check out that local Indian food restaurant you’ve been meaning to try, bonus points if you try to order in another language.

Remember that you’re not in school.

One of the downsides (okay really the only downside) of study abroad is the STUDY part. Be thankful you can always go on vacation and not have to worry about doing homework.

Get really good at photoshop.

Photoshop yourself into pictures that your pals post abroad. FOMO solved.

Go to Disney World Epcot.

Just because you can’t travel around the world, doesn’t mean you can’t drink around the world.


However you spend your day dealing with the fact you’re not abroad, just keep in mind that spending a summer at home can be just as great. Luckily traveling the world doesn’t have a diploma tied to it, so even if study abroad doesn’t fit into your undergrad experience, there is always the opportunity to take a trip.


Jessica Kukla is a senior studying professional writing and minoring in documentary production. Outside of class, you’ll find her listening to podcasts, and tweeting at celebrities like they’re friends. You can follow her on Twitter at @jesskuks.

Tags: college, disney, epcot, food, photoshop, study abroad, travel