Madison Polkowitz / Gavel Media

Perks of NOT Going Abroad

Maybe your GPA isn’t high enough to make the 3.0 cutoff. Or maybe you can’t afford to spend thousands of extra dollars overseas. Or maybe you recently decided pre-med just wasn’t for you, and if you go abroad you will NEVER graduate on time. In any case, not all of us are going to have the experience of studying abroad during our time here at Boston College—and that’s OK.

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate spending the entirety of your junior year on campus, but just in case you forgot any, here are a few reminders.

Off Campus Housing: Sure, Prague may have $1 bottles of wine, and maybe you could go bungee jumping in New Zealand or even fall in love with a local, but nothing compares to living off campus. Only once in your life will you have the opportunity to be surrounded by all of your friends and classmates at the same time in a central location. You will never again be able to jump from house to house across Brighton, MA, where basement parties are at their finest. And let’s face it: the boxed wine has never tasted this good. Nights you can remember (or not) with your friends of three years are arguably better than nights out with your short-term mates abroad.

Boston College Traditions—Football Games and Marathon Monday: If you are abroad in the fall, you have to miss the entire football season. You’ll miss one fourth of all the tailgates of your college career.  You'll miss all the early morning shouts of “It’s Game Day Bitches” and the Super Fan section sing-alongs. I’m pretty sure an entire stadium is shouting the lyrics to "Mr. Brightside" when your Spotify playlist loses connection in the middle of the Alps.

People who study abroad in the spring must be crazy because they are missing the best day of the year: Marathon Monday. No one in their right mind would miss waking up at the break of dawn to start the festivities early, somehow making it to Comm Ave just in time to watch the first racers go by. Rain or shine, always a great time. 10/10.

Relationships: Professors, romantic partners, academic advisors, best friends, and mentors cannot come with you abroad. While others are far overseas, being on campus allows you to create strong, continuous connections. Whether it be for personal reasons, academic support, or future networking, BC is the place to be junior year. Bonus: Career Fairs and the Career Center are on campus, and junior year is the time to start preparing for the future! Reap the benefits of the resources!

New England is great! Boston is better: Worried you’ll miss out on a lot of fun by not going abroad? Think again. Boston is full of engaging and exciting activities year round. From fairs to concerts to restaurants to rallies and marches, there is always something interesting happening in the city. Just a short T ride downtown and you could be in a museum, contributing to social justice, or eating dank food.

Maybe some of the appeal of going abroad was to get away from BC for a little bit—completely understandable. But easy access to entertainment, history, scenery, food, and outdoor adventures are closer than you think and far enough away. Places like New Hampshire, Maine, and even Montreal are only a short and cheap bus or train ride away. Escape the BC bubble without breaking the bank!

Money $truggles: You save SO much money by not studying abroad. Period. This also means that you will not have to slave yourself working senior year in order to make up for all of your travel and living expenses abroad.

You have your entire life to travel: Unless you are studying abroad to fully immerse yourself in a country that speaks a completely different language, let's be honest, you’re really only going abroad for a 3 to 4 month vacation. You will have plenty of opportunities to go to Oktoberfest if you want to after you graduate—or maybe during spring or summer break! Take the time to focus on school and friends, and save seeing the world for after you’ve received your diploma.

I’m not going to lie, it will be tough for a little while if you stay at BC and most of your friends abandon you for Europe all at once. Some of my best friends are away right now, and it does suck. There is a HUGE silver lining, however: You get to grow so much closer to your friends that are on campus. It’s even a time to build new friendships with people you would have never met if you were not forced to navigate the social scene like the first week of freshmen year all over again. If your new and improved pals decide to desert you for Europe during the next semester, your “cultured” friends are returning!

Being denied by OIP or having to decline the opportunity to study abroad is a tough reality, especially when it seems like everyone else in the class is going abroad. You will have different experiences on campus than you would in a foreign country, but they are useful, engaging, and memorable experiences nonetheless. Junior year is one of the best years of your life; the workload may be hard, but the partying is harder. The world is not going anywhere. BC is a temporary home for four years. You will not regret your decision to stay on the Heights, I promise.

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