So, your year abroad is coming to an end… here’s how to cope

Step one: cry

If you’re like me and spent the last 10 months abroad, whether it’s Erasmus or work abroad exchange, you’ll feel a familiar sense of dread in your stomach as it becomes July. The end of our glorious year abroad is looming, and the rose-tinted glasses are slowly coming off as the prospect of fourth year looms.

So here’s how to cope as you reach the end of your year abroad.

Start preparing your year abroad anecdotes to annoy people with 

Most importantly, you need to memorise the classic phrase: ‘when I was on my year abroad.’ Annoying your flatmates with reminiscences of a year abroad adventure is quite literally the only reason we choose to do a year abroad.

No story is too small, or too boring. In fact, the more people don’t understand it the better.

Book a holiday elsewhere so you can have a proper end-0f-year-abroad-summer 

The best option is to simply go elsewhere. Why bother worrying about internships, when you can extend your year abroad and go and have the ‘Mamma Mia’ summer of your dreams in Greece.

Go to the country next door, visit your friends on their own year abroad, or go somewhere completely far-flung.

Be warned though, that a British passport and the Schengen area aren’t your best mate in this scenario – go scrounge out your Irish grandmother’s birth certificate to get that holy grail of an EU passport.

Photo dump as much as you can 

Your future self will thank you for this. You want everyone to know that you’ve lived abroad for the past year. It makes you more exciting, more intriguing, and more aesthetic. Even boring streets abroad are going to make your Edinburgh mates jealous. Move over sunsets in the Meadows – hello sunsets in Cannes.

And why post one photo, when you can post them all. The hottest Instagram trend this year is practically made for students on their year abroad – the photo dump. Comprised of several photos all on one carousel, show off your never-ending stream of fun abroad.

From local food to words in another language that literally no one else can understand, you want to show aspects of everything!

Cracking open a book or two might help for next year 

Let’s admit it – we’ve all been faffing around this year doing nothing but bask in the glorious Spanish sun. I personally have forgotten how to write a sentence in English, never mind an entire essay. Call it full language submersion – but it won’t get you the grades next year.

So, crack those books open and let the revision begin!

Let us not forget that the dreaded dissertation is looming. No more arguing that the Portuguese that you know is colloquial and widely used in speech – a formal language all the way from now on.

Buy all the summer clothes

Your friends are going to love you bragging about how you bought your stuff in a vintage off-the-grid flea market, even when they don’t ask where it is from.

Not only is it exotic, making you stand out from the hordes of flares seen around at any given moment, but it is often handmade, vintage, and cheap. You can trick yourself into thinking that it definitely makes you look like a local.

Or, if it’s not going to last that long in your wardrobe, simply pop it on Depop, add that you got it abroad, and add £30 extra.

Stay up and out as late as you can 

This should be pretty self-explanatory, but the clock is ticking and sleep is for the weak. Go to all the parties in Berlin clubs, all the raves, all the house parties. Those European parties are going to make more memories than blurry memories of VKs. (And they stay open later – no more 3am walks home in the dark)

If that hasn’t convinced you, think of the euro trash music that you’re going to hear and associate with your year abroad. If you’re mad enough and stay out long enough, you’ll be able to recite them off by heart at a pres in Newington by September.


This one is pretty self-explanatory. It’s better to let it out. Let’s weep together.

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