7 Most Common Study Abroad Student Personas

7 Most Common Study Abroad Personas

The students who choose to study abroad all come from different backgrounds. Everyone from the student with a full-ride to an Ivy League school to the student going to a small university. No matter where they came from, they all have their own reasons for studying abroad. These reasons give this student a certain persona. Below, you will find the 7 most common personas that study abroad students take on.

The Foodie: “What other reason is there to study abroad than to get a chance to eat AUTHENTIC food??” This is the main thought of the foodie study abroad student. Besides finding a school that offers courses in their major, the main factor for choosing a study abroad location, for the foodie, is their obsession with the local cuisine. The first thing they do after arriving is go out into their city and start their food journey. Their Instagram will mostly be filled with tons and tons of pictures of food, likely at “the perfect angle”. This is also the student that you will want to go to for suggestions on where to eat or where to get the best of something. If you introduce them to something they haven’t tried yet, they will most likely explode with excitement and become your new best friend.


The Culturalist: This is the student that has done their research on the location they are studying abroad to. Once the culturalist arrives to their new home, it doesn’t take long before they start acting like a local. They are fascinated by and have a deep love for every aspect of their host country’s culture. If you are wanting to know about why locals do certain things, why specific things are right and wrong, or just wanting to know more about the place you are studying abroad, then you should become friends with the culturalist. It is likely that they even have thoughts becoming an expat and moving their permanently.


The Patriot: This student is quite the conundrum. In most cases, the patriot is the student who compares everything about their host country to their home country. They take great pride in being from their home country and sometimes even think that their host country is inferior. If you start talking about how much you love studying abroad in your host country, the patriot may go off on a rant about how you’re not patriotic enough. If anything, this person is fun to have around for (sometimes) intellectual debates and their rants can (sometimes) be entertaining to listen to.


The Socialite: The socialite has one goal in mind. Get to know as many people as possible! They know you and just about everyone else in your program, other programs, and even locals. They see study abroad as a way to network and make friends with people that they normally wouldn’t get to. The socialite knows about all of the parties/hangouts that are going on at all times; they might even be the ones that are hosting them. You will rarely ever find the socialite by themselves, as they have a severe need for being around other people.


The Wild One: “They did what?!” This is a common question when other students talk about the crazy shenanigans of the wild one. This student will literally do anything to have a good time and get a total adrenaline rush. Climb out your apartment window and hang out on the roof? Done. Antagonize a bunch of soccer fans (even if the wild one doesn’t watch soccer)? No problem. If you ever here this student say, “Watch this”, then you can be sure to either A. be ready to be wildly entertained or B. get ready to run. This is definitely a person you want to have around just to be able to tell crazy stories to your friends about their antics.


The Study Bug: Aah, the study bug. This student is very dedicated to their schoolwork. They will spend most of their time in their apartment/dorm studying…and studying…and studying. It is likely that the study bug signed up for a schedule full of classes that are for their major and, possibly, that their school doesn’t use a Pass/Fail grading system. It can be somewhat frustrating if you end up being roommates with the study bug, especially if you are very social and want to hang out often. This person can sometimes seem overly serious and unsociable, but when they finally decide to put the books down, they tend to really cut loose.


The Nomad: “Who’s that?” This can be a common question that runs through other students minds when they finally meet the nomad. This student not only studied abroad to be able to visit their host city, they did so they could go visit EVERYWHERE. They are taking every available day they have to go travel. If you find them on social media, they probably have a ton of photo albums full of amazing photos from their last trip. Staying in one spot for too long will make the nomad uneasy, so they constantly plan out trips or just go somewhere on a whim. In the beginning of the study abroad program, if you get a chance to become friends with the nomad, then instead asking yourself “Who’s that?”, you will be asking them “Can I come with you next time?” While some would prefer to do solo travel, most likely they will love to have a travelling companion.

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(Are you one of these personas? Do you know someone who is? Are you a combination of two? Let me know in the comments!)

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