37 Memorable Moments that Every American Studying in Europe Knows


  1. Having to hold your pee because you didn’t have change to use the bathroom.
  2. Asking a stranger to take your photo; they then precede to take 6 shitty photos that look exactly the same and crop the major monument.
  3. Learning how to use a selfie stick so you don’t have to ask strangers to take your picture.


    Even the president struggles to take selfies

  4. Trying to decide which Italian meal to post on Instagram, then picking a filter, then accidentally uploading the same photo twice. The horror!
  5. Getting to practice that one european language you took for two semesters; realize you can’t even order gelato.
  6. Spending more time getting somewhere on the bus than actually being there.
  7. Attending lectures where only four other students actually show up.
  8. Having a ghost devour you in the Tower of London.
  9. Coming back to life on top of Tower Bridge.
  10. Taking a selfie in front of Tower Bridge, Big Ben and the London Eye.

    Future president of the United States Kanye West and his lovely wife Kim.

  11. Pretending to knock over the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  12. Accidentally knocking over a greek bust and releasing a powerful blue smoke that sedates you and you wake up under the ruins of Pompeii dressed like an ancient roman.
  13. Trying Crystal Meth for the first time with your German friends.*
  14. Gazing into the glorious eyes of the Mona Lisa then getting trapped in the Lourve, slowly going insane from the repeated pictures of Mary and baby Jesus.
  15. Why does baby jesus look cross eyed?
  16. Seriously, these people look high af.9Yzauxv
  17. Being able to enter the bathroom without worrying about making awkward eye contact with a stranger taking a dump in the stall. (Looking at you America. Why do your bathroom doors have awkward gaps?)
  18. Being made fun of by the British for saying the word pants, which to them means underwear (they call them trousers).
  19. Waiting in line forever to use the bathroom, especially if you’re a girl.
  20. Not being able to use your accent to get laid because few people find American accents sexy.
  21. Going broke from all the sneaky Ryanair fees.
  22. Going broke from the lack of free refills.
  23. Going broke because you had to take a taxi to get to your 7:00 a.m. flight.
  24. Going broke.
  25. Developing a slow and intense hatred for Stansted airport.
  26. Doing the sorority squat in front of the Colosseum.7673874934_564101c50c
  27. Looking at the floor to avoid the gaze of the multitude of scammers.
  28. Learning that the UK isn’t considered as “european” as the rest of Europe.
  29. Not being able to understand the Scottish accent.
  30. Sitting next to a european teenager on the train as they take orange juice and vodka shots (no open container laws).**
  31. Imitating your favorite works of art.


    Me imitating a grumpy-looking bust.

  32. Not worrying as much about being devoured by massive bugs as your friends studying in Australia.
  33. Getting angry because you walked around for half an hour and still haven’t found a place to eat.
  34. Going to Dublin and drinking the freshest, most wonderful Guinness.
  35. The wonderful rush of glee when you realize you can order drinks by the liter in Germany.
  36. The rush of despair you feel when you wake up in Bulgaria after a night of clubbing.
  37. When you return home and you literally can’t stop talking about all the crazy shit that happened to you while you were abroad — from the homesickness, to the weeks of nonstop traveling and sightseeing. You try to put it into words, but you can’t. Sometimes an experience is beyond your capacity to think and feel and that’s okay. So you try your best to mix fact and fiction in a simple list.
For more information about study abroad and all the programs UNC offers, be sure to visit the Study Abroad Fair September 11th to create your own memorable moments away from home.

*When I went out clubbing in Berlin, my boyfriend and I were offered speed. This is pretty common, I think.
**When I was taking the train in The Netherlands, I happened to be on a train going to a music festival, which was packed full of teenagers. One guy was pouring vodka into his orange juice.

Author: Kristi

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