Goodbye bedroom, hello world: How to feel like you’re studying abroad when you’re quarantined

Illustration of student thinking about studying abroad
Armaan Mumtaz/Staff

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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, everyone’s favorite subsection of UC Berkeley students, study abroad kids, have had to return home early after many study abroad programs were canceled. This leaves us with all sorts of questions, like, “Did they have enough time for studying abroad to change them?” or “Is the second half of your time abroad vital for the change to truly take hold?” Despite these unanswerable questions, it is clear that their time abroad being cut short did not disrupt their ability to post a carefully curated “Goodbye, abroad” Instagram post. Now, it may sound like I’m not sympathetic to the strife of study abroad students being sent home, but au contraire I am here to help them cope.

Hello, (or perhaps I should say “Ciao!”) study abroad students, this article is directed at you: Here’s a list of activities that can ease the pain of the “best experience of your life” being cut short.

Utilize the “Effects” feature on Photo Booth

You might remember this helpful trick from computer lab sessions way back when. I recommend you open the Photo Booth app on your computer and click the right arrow thrice — here you will access the classic “Eiffel Tower” backdrop. If this doesn’t satisfy your need to post on Instagram, click the arrow again and upload your own backdrops. Find images of all the places you planned to travel to and post them on the dates you planned to visit. Here’s to praying Ryanair refunds your €23 flight. Hopefully this handy tip serves you well and allows you to continue to wear extra outfits and bombard our Instagram feeds with photos!

Communicate only using WhatsApp

You may have popped your U.S. SIM card back into your iPhone, but that doesn’t have to stop you from living like you’re abroad. Forget iMessage and stick to your European roots by only using WhatsApp, or even Facebook Messenger if you’re feeling adventurous.

Go on Chatroulette/Omegle to keep meeting interesting and diverse people

One of the best parts of going abroad is that you meet so many people! It’s crazy how you didn’t become friends with your new best friend, a fellow UC Berkeley student and member of Greek life, until Madrid! Let’s humor ourselves and try to finally get some cultural immersion, which in this case would be hopping on Chatroulette and Omegle. This will help you recreate the experience of meeting fun and exciting people from the confines of your bedroom.

Incessantly talk to your co-quarantiners about studying abroad

The good news is that the end of studying abroad doesn’t have to stop you from talking about it all the time! So, go ahead, tell your mom/dog/roommate for the 100th time how much better Zara is in Spain and reminiscence on those times you stayed out all night clubbing. The best part is your audience can’t leave, they have to listen! Although this doesn’t exactly mimic your experience, it will help you cope.

I sincerely hope that these tips ease the pain of not being abroad. We at the Clog commend you for doing your part to #flatten #the #curve. Grathias y adioths!

Contact Elena Cavender at [email protected].