09/17/2014 11:43 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What Your Study Abroad City Says About You

By: Kevin Alexander

Credit: Shutterstock (edited)

Going abroad is one of the most important choices in your life, outside of choosing a mate and picking a brand of American cheese. But what does the city you chose say about you as a person? Well, I'm glad I rhetorically used that device, because I'm about to tell you:

More: 10 Things Foreigners Love About The US

Credit: Flickr/Pedro Szekely

Sydney, Australia
You didn't apply for abroad programs until late in the game, because that's just how you do everything, which sounds cool but is actually very stressful. You have always kind of considered yourself a surfer, even though you grew up outside of Dallas, and only know the terms from Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer for Playstation 2. If you're smart, you applied to New South Wales, so you don't have to do work and can actually try and pretend to surf. If you're not smart, you applied to University of Sydney, which is actually where all the smart kids go, and thus you will spend most of your time feverishly trying to understand Australian politics and type in Australian English Word Docs, while all the other kids go from Coogee Beach to Scruffy Murphy's to The Star casino to get comped drinks past 2 a.m.

Melbourne, Australia
"Did you know that the Australian Open is played in Melbourne?" you tell people often, after you finish talking about how Aussie Rules Football is the best sport of all time to watch live (go Dees!), and then get into this rather detailed move on how Sydney is like New York, but Melbourne is the cultural center of Australia, more of a combination of the best parts of Boston and Chicago, but with a climate like LA, and you'd totally move back here if you could get a work permit, but that seems hard and, well, you haven't really looked into it, but you will eventually.

Perth, Australia
Wait, people can go to Perth?

Credit: Flickr/Harrison Gulliver

Auckland, New Zealand
You care enough about your reputation as an individual that you didn't want to apply to the Australian programs, as those are too conventional. You enjoy sailing and have one parent who owns a boat, though you hardly ever go on it, because that would mean you have to hang out with Kathy too, AND YOU HATE KATHY BECAUSE SHE'S SO DAMN SMUG. Ironically, you're deathly allergic to kiwis.

Christchurch, New Zealand
You experimented briefly with wearing a bandana in the Jimi Hendrix style, wear a lot of corduroy, and have a thing for large, friendly dogs that require an alarming amount of walking. You often talk about how big city life moves too fast, and, after a few drinks, tend to idly muse aloud about how many people in those huge cities just die alone without anyone knowing or caring. Also, you applied too late to get into the Auckland program.

Stockholm, Sweden
You're extremely interested in being close to the Nordic social, economic, and cultural hub. You've long had an infatuation with the inner workings of the Nobel Committee and with learning how the government of Sweden and the Swedish monarch operate hand-in-hand (you heard all the girls in Sweden are tall and blonde and speak perfect English, and you kind of think you're going to be able to do sex with them).

Credit: Flickr/echiner1

Florence, Italy
You are either a straight girl from New Jersey who kind of wanted to major in art history, but really just wanted to go make out on the dance floor at Central Park with Italian guys; or a gay guy from New Jersey who actually is majoring in art history; or a straight guy named Chad who kind of accidentally lucked into being one of only, like, three available American guys for the straight girls to go back to when they tire of making out with Italian guys at Central Park. You ate the Prosciutto Arrosto e Salsa Verde at I Due Fratellini four times a week.

Rome, Italy
You tell everyone you love Fellini films, even though you've definitely only seen La Dolce Vita once in class, and you secretly thought it was boring. You want to own a Vespa, but you can't afford it, so you have a gently used Piaggio. You pronounce words like prosciutto, mozzarella, and eggplant Parmesan in an infuriating way, though, to be fair, you did that before you went to Rome.

London, England
You often mention shows you've DVR'd from BBC America for no reason while in conversations about trail mix at Whole Foods. You like to wrap things in newspaper, have a favorite EPL team (Chelsea if you really don't care about soccer, Arsenal if you wear hair product, QPR if you're just trying to be different), and say "cheers," even though you grew up in Kansas.

From Barcelona to Tokyo, head over to to check out more study abroad cities and find out what they say about you!

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