Pics or It Didn't Happen: 9 Tips for Making the Most of Your Trip to France This Summer
Every year, hundreds of Georgia Tech students pack their bags and head to Europe for a semester at Tech’s famed campus in Lorraine, France. Though earning 9-12 credits is undoubtedly the first priority of all these students, it doesn’t hurt to come back a more enlightened global citizen and a seasoned traveler. Here are the Crouton’s 9 tips for doing just that. We considered giving you 10 tips but the metric system blows.
1. Pics or it didn’t happen: If you don’t Instagram your travels, did you really travel? Make sure you post that totally original picture of yourself holding up the Tower of Pisa or put #explore and #discover on that picture of you and your besties drinking coffee in front of the Eiffel Tower, France’s least visited attraction.
2. Meet new people: “Travel isn’t about the places you’ve been - it’s about the people you meet.” - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love (Honestly, we never read the book, we’re just assuming this was written at some point or at least ad-libbed by Julia Roberts in the film adaptation).
Take advantage of the opportunity to expand your network and hang out with other like-minded travelers from different parts of metro Atlanta. Did you grow up in Midtown? Hang out with someone from Marietta! Are you originally from Roswell? Complain about Europe’s lack of Chick-fil-a’s with someone from Decatur! Also, take pictures with your new friends in front of the Eiffel Tower.
3. When in Rome, do as Romans would never do: Europeans are known for their elegance and fashion sense, but they lack the sense of individuality that makes America the greatest country on earth. Your frat mixer T-shirt or that adorable tank with pink pastel shorts are perfect for the summer weather. You’ll be drawing looks from everyone around you as they long for your insistence on demonstrating your individuality by dressing exactly like everyone else on your trip. Sure, you might look a bit out place wearing shorts and sandals at a sit-down restaurant in Paris, but it won’t lead to any discomfort that can’t be solved by chugging a few glasses of pinot grigio. And let's face it, your sorority formal shirt really complements the Eiffel Tower.
4. Remind the French that they’d be ruled by Nazis if not for the military actions that you take total credit for despite the fact that they occurred 70 years ago: Just wear that "Back to Back World War Champs" tank top you've been saving for just this purpose. Because ‘Murica, that’s why. And make sure to get a picture of yourself wearing this icon of American fashion in front of the Eiffel Tower.
5. Share your culture: Trust us, there is nothing the French want more than to be lectured about the superiority of American culture to theirs. Walk into a french bakery and exclaim, “Panera is actually higher quality and better value!” Get into a discussion with a French citizen and tell them, “Honestly, the electoral college is a much more efficient way to elect a leader in a democratic system - you Frenchies have no idea what you’re missing out on!” By the way, this conversation will go a lot better if you conduct it in front of the Eiffel Tower.
6. Speak the language: And by that we mean speak THE language, and the only real language is English. Does your French waiter look perplexed at your inability to speak a single word of the language of the country that you’re planning on living in for months? Too fucking bad. That’s what France gets for stealing America’s flag colors. Also, the Eiffel Tower's got nothing on the Statue of Liberty. Gosh, the French just don't know art.
7. Take that special trip to Amsterdam: You know exactly what we're talking about. Go ahead. Hop on the train to Amsterdam and spend a weekend getting baked like a cake. How high are you gonna get? How about smoking in Amsterdam...IN FRONT OF THE EIFFEL TOWER? Yeah, that's how high. You're the coolest smoker ever now. Even cooler than those cool Korean kids that smoke in front of the library. You know exactly who we're referencing.
8. Fulfill everyone’s dying need to know about your study abroad: When you come back from Lorraine, remember that most people on campus weren’t as fortunate as you and had to spend their summers interning with potential future employers or conducting research instead of expanding their souls by taking selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower. You should tell them absolutely everything even when they don't ask.
9. Show the liberal arts kids who’s boss: Sick of those liberal arts kids in that one international affairs class that you have to take showing off and dominating the conversation with their years of study and theoretical expertise? Show ‘em you know a little something about contemporary European security threats too by regaling them with your harrowing story of how you were stopped by airport security at de Gaulle because you had three bottles of rosé in your carry-on. Also, did you mention that you saw the Eiffel Tower?