Celebrating your birthday on your year abroad
The majority of year abroad students will spend a birthday abroad and, because most students go abroad during their third year, this birthday is usually a big one: the 21st. We chatted to students on Twitter to find out how you get past the homesickness to make your birthday as memorable as possible!
Many students dislike the idea of spending their birthday abroad and worry that they'll feel lonely without their British family and friends. However, for many year abroaders, it turns out to be their most memorable birthday so far!
Here are some tips for making the most of the day:
- Make sure that all your friends and family have your foreign address (hint hint).
- Plan at least one fun activity for the day, even if it's as simple as going out to dinner with other Erasmus students.
- Check out local traditions around birthdays: in Spain, for example, it's traditional for the birthday girl/boy to bring their own cake to the office/staffroom for everyone to taste!
- Don't expect people in your year abroad location to know it's your birthday by some kind of crazy telepathic connection...
- ...but don't be afraid to tell them! Their enthusiastic good wishes will be the quickest way to put a smile on your face. If you're feeling awkward, make a badge and pretend you were given it!
- If your birthday falls early on in the year, think of it as the perfect opportunity to bond with your new flatmates by including them in your plans.
- Birthdays are the best excuses for travel: plan a trip to that city you've always wanted to visit.
- Spoil yourself: take the day off work/studying, sleep in late, go and have tea and cake at that amazing cafe down the road, browse the shops and buy yourself a birthday gift, and generally spend the day however you like, guilt-free!
Twitter Q&A: Did you celebrate your 21st on your year abroad? How did you spend the day?