If you’re heading on a year abroad soon, you’ll probably bump into a few of these people during your time away…
1) The one with the native girlfriend
Max claims that they locked eyes – and lips – when she whacked him with a tomato at La Tomatina. They were actually a match made on Tinder, where the offer of “Netflix and chill?” bagged our charmer a date with his amante. After all, his lecturers said that going out with a local was the best way of improving your language skills. What they didn’t count on, however, was Max and Maria speaking purely in English for the duration of their 3 month dalliance. Well played, Casanova.
2) The homesick one
Jen has been sobbing into her pillow for the last 15 minutes at this week’s episode of the Great British Bake Off. Surprisingly, it’s not the sight of a crap croquembouche that’s brought on the waterworks; it’s the absence of her weekly care package from Mum. Her sadness is understandable, since she’s down to her last square of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and her stash of Yorkshire Tea is running dangerously low. She’s about to make a teary phone call home until the doorbell rings, and she happily snatches this week’s box of goodies from the bemused postman.
3) The one who’s reliving his gap year
Ben wrinkles his nose when he hears that you brought – heavens above! – a suitcase with you to Italy. His enormous, moth-eaten rucksack was literally a life saver on his gap year to Thailand, when he used it as a float during a horrendous tropical storm. Stick around long enough to hear more of his thrilling adventures and you’ll start wishing that he stayed in bloody Bangkok.
4) The one whose boyfriend is surgically attached to her hip
Sara survived approximately 6 hours of solo life before her knight in shining chinos was summoned to accompany her on her year abroad adventures. You think his name is Max, but you’ve never been formally introduced because their every waking moment is spent playing tonsil tennis. Nevertheless, Max soon buggers off back to Britain after Sara notices him paying a little too much attention to the dirndl-wearing girls during Oktoberfest.
5) The one whose Erasmus money vanishes in the first week
Ben’s managed to tick off most of his travel bucket list before September is over. Weekends in Milan, Monaco and Marseille have all been funded by his grant, but the fun soon ends when his cash runs out. “The tan fades, the memories won’t,” he tells himself over and over again as he tucks into yet another dinner of pasta and butter. He plans to do it all over again in January.
6) The one who tries way too hard to be a native
Eleanor – sorry, Eleonore – is recognisable by her red beret and striped Breton shirt as she creeps into the exchange students’ introductory lecture and hides at the back. That’s what real French people wear, n’est-ce pas? If any of her friends – they’re real French people, you know – find out that she’s really a dreaded Erasmus student, they’ll ban her from their cheese and wine nights. That’s what real French people do, n’est-ce pas?