Study Abroad Bucket List: Asia Edition
College Life |  Source: @marjramos

Study Abroad Bucket List: Asia Edition

Wanderlust but still Zen.

If you get to study abroad, you're pretty lucky. If you get to study abroad somewhere in Asia, you're even luckier.

Every country (and province and city) has unbelievable cuisine, vibrant cultural sights, charming people, unbelievable nature, and fun night life. Anywhere you go there is so much to do and see and eat and drink.

If you're studying in Asia for a semester, you're probably also kind of cool. If you chose your destination for something a little off the beaten path from typical study abroaders, you clearly value adventure and exploration. You might also have had language study in mind when applying to your study abroad program, which means your bold and diligent (hello new alphabets) and set on opening your world wider with the skill of foreign conversation. Either way, for any reason you chose Asia, you're lucky you did because it is awesome.

During your time on the Asian continent, take advantage of every opportunity you can to live. To help keep your wanderlust spirit excited and motivated, I've created a list of things to do before you leave. While neither an exhaustive list nor necessary items for experiencing the different cultures, the Asian study abroad bucket list will, nonetheless, keep you exploring.

  1. Get a Shanghai style foot massage in Shanghai
  2. Master eating with chopsticks
  3. Make like Michael Phelps and do Chinese Cupping
  4. Go to an ethical elephant sanctuary and play with the elephants
  5. Go to a Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan
  6. Get certified in scuba diving
  7. Climb the Great Wall in Beijing
  8. Celebrate Chinese New Year with locals (anywhere in Asia!)
  9. Wake up and watch the fish auction at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo (and then eat sushi for breakfast)
  10. Gamble (and eat egg tarts) in Macau
  11. Visit the Taj Mahal
  12. Explore Angkor Wat at sunrise
  13. Learn to make dumplings
  14. Swim in Luang Prabang in Laos
  15. Trek Mount Rinjani in Indonesia
  16. Take a cooking class to learn how to make curry
  17. Buy rolled ice cream
  18. Go to any and all of the Disneylands (Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai)
  19. Dress up and go to Harajuku in Tokyo
  20. Visit the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Bali
  21. Tour the Tea Terraces at Maokong in Taipei
  22. Master the Squatty Potty Situation
  23. Get custom clothes made
  24. Cruise the islands of Halong Bay by boat
  25. Attend a sumo wrestling tournament in Japan
  26. Buy and wear face masks in South Korea
  27. Ogle at pandas in Chengdu
  28. Explore the world's oldest rainforest, Taman Negara National Park, in Malaysia
  29. Take a tuk tuk ride
  30. Take pictures of the cherry blossoms in China or Japan
  31. Visit the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong
  32. Go to a music festival in the Mongolian desert
  33. Do a meditation or yoga retreat in India
  34. Visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Phillippines
  35. Trek part of the Himalayas
  36. Celebrate Holi in India
  37. Visit Bhutan
  38. Get full on street food for under $10
  39. Explore a Bamboo Forest in Kyoto
  40. Go on a hot air balloon ride in Myanmar
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Study Abroad Drunk City Guide: Istanbul, Turkey

How to get down with the locals.

I don't think I truly understood the expression "sensory overload" until I traveled to Istanbul. The ancient architecture stacked so close together was one thing, and the fact that the two-continent city straddled a sea-path with constantly hovering pigeons was another.

It was also the genuinely friendly locals, the shouting in the Grand Bazaar, the food from the street stalls, and the hookah smoke that added to the mysticism of the stone alleyways. I suppose, to put it simply,Istanbul is just the epitome of charming.

While studying abroad in Prague, a trip to Istanbul seemed like a no-brainer. If you're in Europe, the Middle East or Asia studying abroad or travelling, find a way to get there. Or, if you're deciding where to study abroad, it's a great choice.

Although the drinking culture here isn't as wildly boisterous as many cities due to Istanbul's close connection with Islam, there are still lot of ways and places to get your drink and fun on.

Get Your Drunk On:
Duty-Free alcohol from your travels
Alcohol is taxed quite heavily in Istanbul, making your guilty-pleasure purchase feel a lot more guilt-ridden. If you can, save yourself some money by buying liquor with a duty-free price tag in an airport during your travels.

Efes Pilsner
The most popular (and one of the only) Turkish beers that you should undoubtedly buy in a tall boy, ?i?e (brown bottle), or f??? (on tap) along your journey. If you're feeling a little extra rowdy,you might upgrade to Efes Extra for that nice 7.5 percent alcohol content.

Known as "Lion's Milk" by locals, Raki is a brandy made from grapes and raisins that is typically anywhere between 80 to 100 proof. Mixed with water, it turns a milky white. Usually, Raki is drunk while eating small-plate style meals of fish, cheese and bread. It smells and tastes like anise (think licorice), but if you don't mind and you're looking to turn up, this is your Turkish beverage of choice.

How to Cheers:
-Glasses raised and say ?erefe!
-Pronounced: Sher-i-feh
-Translation: "To your Honor"

To Tip or Not to Tip?
If there is no service charge included (check your bill!), you should tip between 5-10 percent of the bill at restaurants, cafes and bars. Be prepared to leave this amount in cash!

Get Rowdy At:
Istalkal Street
At night, this avenue is inundated with people drinking. The bars on the main avenue are a bit pricey, but wander down any given side street and you'll see bar after bar teeming with interesting people to drink with.

Eski Beruit
One of the most popular drinking joints for study abroad students. It gives off the chill vibe of a bar, but still offers plenty of opportunity to dance.

Also popular with students studyingabroad, this bar is a nice place to kick back, drink beers, and dance to funmusic. It often holds fun events or good drinking specials.

Reinaand Sortie
If you're feeling alittle more classy, hit up these establishments on the Bosphorous in Ortak?y. While you'll pay a bit more than theside bars of Istalkal Street, you'll get a bougie experience worthy of anInstagram (side note: please make sure to use #TurkishDelight in the post).

Eat the mussels being sold on thestreet as drunk food. They are extremely cheap, but more importantly, mind-blowingly delicious. Plus, you won't feel as bad the next morning knowingthey aren't that many calories. You can thank me later.

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College Life |  Source: Elena Medvedeva (edited)

Where In The World To Study Abroad (Quiz)

The world is your oyster!

If you're planning on studying abroad, congratulations, you're about to have the best semester of your life! Think hitting international beaches on the weekends, casually exploring world renowned museums and monuments after classes, and food that in no universe can be compared to that of your dining hall.

The only problem now is picking where to go...

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Don't Let Anxiety Keep You From Studying Abroad

Going abroad is scary, but so worth it.

Going abroad has always been a huge dream of mine ever since I was young. I've never really had the chance to experience other cultures that differ from mine and now as a rising junior, I'm set to spend my spring semester in Australia.

The mere idea of my departure in February since shivers up and down my spine, both of excitement and of apprehension. I know that going abroad is going to send my anxiety through the roof, but it's a challenge that I've come to accept and hopefully will learn to overcome.

If you're considering studying abroad, but you also suffer with anxiety, then you might go as far to let this be a reason against you studying abroad.

Trust me, I've been there. I always had that little bubble of worry in the back of my mind asking me, "are you sure our anxiety can handle this?" I still haven't quite mastered the art of pushing that bubble away and making myself confident enough to know I can handle this, but I'm getting there.

It's not a secret that studying abroad can be a huge key to having a successful college experience. Everyone that takes the chance to go abroad usually comes back with positive stories to tell and a shiny, new outlook on their life.

It adds an interesting detail to your resume and can make you stand out in the life-after-college real world. Although it won't be easy, you shouldn't let your anxiety cripple you from this experience because you will make it through.

Whether your anxiety is diagnosed or undiagnosed, going to a foreign country for an entire semester can put anybody out of their comfort zone. Studying abroad comes along with a multitude of different worries, like leaving your friends, leaving your SO, leaving your family, making friends in a foreign country, having fun, and homesickness.

Although these all seem like pretty average concerns, us anxiety people blow them up into huge issues and this can cause us to panic more than usual.

There are ways to help keep your anxiety under control even while abroad. Learn to communicate about your fears, talk to anybody whether it be a parent, mentor, fellow study abroad student, counselor, or friend. Remember that even though you might feel like you're alone in a new world, you aren't.

There will be people in your travel group, your classes, even your new roommates who you can surround yourself with. Don't close yourself off to meeting new people because that will be the key to a happy study abroad experience.

Although I consider myself an introvert, and know putting myself out there in order to make new friends will be out of my comfort zone, I know I'm ready for the challenge.

Remember that you're in a completely new environment so make sure to keep an open mind when it comes to meeting people and nights out with new friends in a new culture. It's a learning experience for everybody!

As Billy Joel once said, "you can get what you want or you can just get old." So this choice is yours: Would you rather opt out of studying abroad and stay at your home university completely in your comfort zone, or would you rather take the chance to experience a million new things all at once and discover yourself along the way?

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(Cheap) Culinary World Tour

Expand your palate, children.

If you're sick of just eating pizza and stir-fry, it's time to expand your palate. And this is the perfect way to do it. We're talking different cultures, cheap ingredients, and impressive names. Perfect for cooking for your boo or just making sure you don't gain the freshman fifteen. Time to step it up, fuckers.

Greek - Gyro

All you need to do for this one is get some chicken, onion, tomato, spinach, feta cheese, and pita. You dice up your protein and grill that shit, then cut up your onions, fry them up, add the spinach, cooked chicken, and feta and then throw it all in the pita. If you are using pita in general, you're way ahead of the game. Killing it.

Italian - Eggplant Parm

Eggplant is much more than just the emoji that means penis. Eggplant is an unsung hero. Skin it, dip it in egg and then flour and throw it into some burning oil. Once you have it nice and fried, stack it with some sauce and cheese and throw it in the oven. You could make a side of pasta to serve it over and hook up the meal with a great bread choice. The vegetarian option will win you the hearts of animal lovers everywhere.

Mexian - Spanish Rice

This is almost like a stir-fry but it will definitely be an improvement from constant teriyaki bullshit. For this you boil your rice, cook up some ground beef, and then throw in whatever vegetables you want. Some fan favorites are onions and peppers supplemented with wild cards like mushrooms and black beans. And then hook it all up with some shredded cheese. Fantastic.

Japanese - Katsudon

Katsudon just sounds impressive. If you could make that shit, you must know a thing or two about cooking. Just bread and deep-fry a pork (or chicken) cutlet, cut up some vegetables, put it over some rice and then add a tasty egg to complete the dish. Easy meals, big taste, low budget.

Ethiopian - Shiro

Since I was just kicking it in Ethiopia, I figure I would share the one dish I learned. It's insanely cheap and easy and delicious. You chop tomatoes, onions, and garlic and boil them with some water. Then you add chickpea powder to make it a paste before you blend the fuck out of it and make it a soup. Serve it over rice and you're golden! You are now officially a globe-hopping chef supreme.

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Study Abroad Drunk City Guide: Beijing, China

How to make the most of China's party city.

You can't quite imagine Beijing until you've stepped inside it. Descriptions of China's capital abound: nefarious smog, perpetual crowds and traffic, temples and hutongs inlaid with historical charisma, artistic vibes that have hipsters labeling it the "New Brooklyn," and a constant influx of new skyscrapers.

But, that only goes so far in helping you really feel Beijing.

It's a bit like Willy Wonka's Wondrous Boat Ride. With a bit of the feels of 22 by Taylor Swift. But, maybe a Picasso painting too (probably The Three Dancers). And Jack Kerouac's On the Road thrown in there as well. Beijing is in constant motion; a place that is equally as enchanted as it is eerie, that must be explored to be understood.

It should be of little surprise, then, that Beijing is a city that likes to party all the time. There always seems to be a reason to make a toast, grab a drink, dance, and eat late night street food like calories don't matter. In the event you need an insider opinion on partying in the North Capital, read on.

Get drunk on:

B?iji?: This white grain liquor boasts an alcoholic content of around 40-60 percent (and it tastes like it). It'll only set you back a few dollars for a convenience store bottle, but it might also come at the cost of your dignity, night's memory, and the cell phone you'll forget at the bar.

Tsingtao: Buy a bottle of this cheap light beer from a local store (ask the owners to open it), and walk around drinking at your leisure (because no open container laws-HOLLA!).

Local craft beer: Jing-A Brewing Co., Slow Boat Brewery, Great Leap Brewing, Arrow Factory Brewing are only a part of the (awesome) local breweries. Drink in the taprooms, or find them on tap or bottled across the city.

Night Light

A photo posted by Kelsey Clough (@kelsclough) on

How to cheers:

1. Announce G?nb?i

  • Pronounced: gahn-bey
  • Translation: "to dry the glass".

2. Clink glasses with everyone else toasting

  • As a sign of respect, try to clink below where the other person is clinking.

3. Finish your drink

  • It doesn't mean dry your glass for nothing... try your best to finish what you have.
  • If you don't want to participate or have a liquor too hard to finish, opt out or take it easy.

To tip or not to tip?

No tip! And so we tip our hats to you Bei.

?? #ganbeijing #killingtime

A photo posted by Kelsey Clough (@kelsclough) on

Get rowdy at:

Ron Mexico: If you get the reference, then you can already guess this small hutong bar is something cool. Quality cocktails, interesting owner and staff, and always an eclectic group of bar-dwellers to swap life stories with.

The Local: A sceney expat bar that serves up beers on tap, decent cocktails, great grub, and the occasional one-night stand. Awesome in the way that it can create a chill bar night or a raucous evening, depending on what you and your gang want.

Dada: A club to keep you dancing all night. From the patrons to the DJs -- up and coming spinners to big names -- Dada is an international party to count on.

Sanlitun: Walk around the street for bar after bar, with live performances and people shouting at you from every direction. Head here if you like bar-hopping around rowdy places.

KTV: You'll see them everywhere, so there is no excuse. Stock up alcohol and rent out a room to sing to your soul's content. Best done with a fun (and inebriated) group of troublemakers.

Other Tips:

If the price on your drink seems too low to be true, it probably is. Beware of fake alcohol (unless you love mind-blowingly bad hangovers, and probably permanent damage to your innards)