Your Year Abroad: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Rebecca Barton takes us through the symptoms of ‘Year Abroad Fever’

Erasmus photos year abroad

If you’re reading this, there’s a chance you, or one of your friends, might already be gearing up for a year abroad. A whole year in a foreign country, paid for entirely by the University?

This thought is most likely filling you with anticipation of a journey of self-discovery, cheap booze and one night stands with people called Paulo. Before you set off however, it could be worth taking a glance at our list of the pitfalls to avoid during your year out:

Good: Learning a foreign language

Bad: Only making English friends and forgetting to learn said language

Ugly: Claiming that you’ve “grown” so much as a person. Yes, it might have had its benefits but essentially all you’ve been doing is getting drunk on boxed wine somewhere slightly sunnier

So much self-improvement in one small space (Flickr)


Good: Starting to enjoy black coffee and maybe, just maybe, become French enough to start smoking too

Bad: Thinking that drinking coffee and smoking makes you a) French and b) cool

Ugly: “Sorry what’s the English word for it again?”


This does not make you French (Flickr)


Good: Having far less work to do for university

Bad: Ostentatiously drinking from red solo cups

Ugly: Ostentatiously drinking from red solo cups


Pure class (Flickr

Good: Gaining the confidence to not care about making a fool of yourself

Bad: Adhering to national stereotypes so much so that you find yourself hosting afternoon tea every Sunday (and yes you did get your mum to send you Tetley’s in the post)

Ugly: Thinking that writing an Erasmus blog is an original idea


This definitely doesn’t make you French (Flickr)



Good: Getting the chance to do freshers week all over again

Bad: Using foreign words in blog posts (and then translating them in italics)

Ugly: Complaining about moving abroad when actually you’re incredibly lucky


What a chore