HALVEY: I Am Better Than You Because I Studied Abroad


By Meghan Halvey

Ciao, Bonjour, or whatever the fuck they say in Europe. Get used to it because I won’t be saying anything else for the next couple of months. It’s just so natural! I completely forgot that people even say stuff so awkward sounding like “hey”— it even sounds funny in my mouth! I might have come over not knowing any Italian, but I essentially don’t even remember English now. I mean, god, even writing this is difficult. You probably wouldn’t understand though — you know —  because you have never truly experienced another culture before. It is just such a completely indescribable experience. It’s kinda like when I read Pride and Prejudice in high school and I realized that I was Elizabeth Bennet and my English teacher was my Mr. Darcy. I was once again enlightened, but this time, in another fucking country. 

Since getting back, I have been hearing over and over again how much of a “privilege” it was to study abroad. I have to say this, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, that opinion is absolutely stupid. If anything, it was a privilege for y’all to stay on campus. If you just consider the cost of tuition, studying abroad for a semester is often cheaper than studying at Vanderbilt for a semester. Taking away the cost of flights, travel, daily living, food, rent, healthcare, international cellular data, and visa applications, it was essentially a financially smart decision to study abroad. So let’s really consider the privilege here. 

One thing is just that I feel so different from everyone else here now. Like, I had this life-changing experience and you all didn’t, you know? You all just stayed here, and what, took econ? While I gallivanted around Europe? And you’re gonna look me in the eyes and tell me we are the same? I mean, you probably stayed here for some god-awful reason like to make out with your boyfriend or you couldn’t afford it or some bullshit. There’s no genuine reason I can see for not studying abroad. 

Now I mean, it’s not like I am necessarily better. It is just something to consider, overall. I am not saying I’m better than you, maybe just more culturally advanced. I am sure you agree. 

Anywho, Ciao bella! Tata!!!!

  • September 20, 2023