10 Hardest Things About Working in Study Abroad

  1. Students tell their parents little to nothing.  This is scary because then they call you, usually owing money or unable to locate their child or crying.
  2. Most people are fairly certain that they are the first human being to ever go abroad, and there’s just no way you actually know what you’re saying.
  3. Travel-envy!  Seriously, I have mentally planned so many fantasy trips that when I have the time and money I can just pull one out from the vault.
  4. The things you can’t help students with.  There are so many different programs, so many students, and so many intense visa regulations; I cannot memorize them all.  I wish I could help you, but I am not in charge of everything, and I’m not responsible for ensuring that every possible aspect of your trip is covered.  I am not a travel agent, and you really need to talk about Financial Aid with Financial Aid, and your Academic questions need to go to your Academic Advisor.
  5. The stuff you can’t tell students.  Yes, most of you will get in.  Almost all.  But if I tell you that, two things will happen.  1) You won’t turn in all your stuff on time, and 2) via Murphy’s law, you will be our only rejected student.  So no, I can’t tell you your chances.  Just turn in your damn application on time!
  6. Everyone else on campus thinks they know better.  So often other students, administrators or faculty members start telling people what will or won’t happen, how much things cost, or a what a policy is.  If it didn’t come direct from this office, don’t trust it.  We can’t make them stop talking, and many people believe policies to be true that were never even in effect during their time at NU.  Nonetheless, they persist.

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