Study Abroad, But Travel Far
BY COLBY CALISI // NOV. 19, 2014 //
Most college students tend to do a study-abroad semester somewhere in Europe. But wherever you study, you will have time to travel outside of your host city.
With limited funds and time, you must choose wisely. Here are a few top destinations from my time abroad.
Once the black heart of Hitler’s Third Reich, Berlin has transformed into a city of creativity and serious partying. Visit the Brandenburg Gate, an iconic monument still riddled with bullet holes from the war.
Just a short walk away you will find the Topography of Terror, a memorial to the Jewish population killed in the holocaust. You will see a parking lot close by where the Reich Chancellory and, more famously, Hitler’s suicide bunker once stood. Take a walk over and put things into perspective of the context of history.
After learning something, go treat yourself. Berliners like to start their nights late, which means going to a secluded, graffiti-covered disco-tech at 1 a.m. and not returning home until you see the “purple sky.” The dancing style is notably different than in the U.S., but throw yourself in there and go with the flow.
Sex, drugs and Heineken basically sum up my time in Amsterdam. The most popular destination here for students are the coffee shops, where marijuana is sold legally.
Spark up a joint or two to check it out. But please, seriously, only eat one space cake. One is all you need.
Afterward, stumble into a waffle house for the best Belgium Waffle you’ll ever eat, sober or not. Once you get your wits together take a trip to the “IAmsterdam” sign at the Rijksmuseum for a must-do tourist picture.
Just a short, scenic and canal-lined walk away you’ll find the Heineken brewery. This place is like a brewery on steroids; it is very interactive. But no trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to De Wallen, or the Red Light District. If you please, check out one of the many shows or museums.
Ah, Sweden, where do I start? The homeland of Avicii, Ikea and Absolut Vodka.
Upon arrival you will understand why people say the Swedes are among the most gorgeous people in the world. Plus, they love Americans. Points for us!
Once you settle in, take a walk to Gamla Stan, or, the Old Town. This section of Stockholm is lined with cobblestone streets, tight allies and medieval architecture dating back to the 13th century. Stop for lunch and grab some Swedish Meatballs. These little scrumptious things are absolutely delicious and even to the point of funny—especially with the sweet Lingonberry sauce.
Afterward, check out the Spiritmuseam, which chronicles the many aspects of alcohol. You can always buy a bottle of Absolut, but plan ahead. There is only one store selling spirits in the whole of Stockholm, as it is not a big drinking culture.
Get your pregame on and head out to Odengatan, a lively area known for its shops, restaurants and night clubs. Swedes are known for their fun nightclubs and deservingly so. From my experience, students tend to overlook Stockholm and Scandinavia as a whole. If you check out Sweden, you will not be disappointed.