Experiencing delicious and exciting food adventures while studying abroad is one of the highlights of being an international student. Many of the popular destinations for studying abroad, such as the USA and the UK, have a wide variety of foods to offer. This is only magnified by the multiculturality of those societies, creating a microcosmic tapestry of different culinary cultures just waiting to be explored.
However, being an international student can also be financially challenging, which means that it is not always a simple matter of just going out and ordering whatever you want. Often, you are forced to make calculated budgeting decisions that sometimes involve giving up things you really want to do (or eat).
Student life is difficult enough to navigate as is and adding the extra stress of trying to experience the local food culture is not something everyone is prepared to do. However, it is our contention that it is more than worth it! By following our tips and being smart about things, you can finish your studying abroad experience happier and having tasted more delicious foods than you ever thought possible!
Though the idea that many have of fun and exciting food adventures while studying abroad involves trying strange and exotic meals, it is important to remember that, when all is said and done, food has to be something that you enjoy and that feeds you. For this reason, it is sometimes best to stay away from foods that are too impractical in this respect.
Many traditional meals do not take nutritional value into account, being either too heavy on carbohydrates, for example, or using an unhealthy amount of unsaturated fats. Some meals can also simply be too small to be filling.
Additionally, it is entirely possible that you may not find some foods delicious, whether they simply seem too uninteresting or downright offensive to your pallet. The key to enjoying food when studying abroad is to take calculated risks when it comes to what foods you decide to try out, especially if we are talking repeatedly.
Making your own food as a college student is one of the best budgeting decisions you can make. The good news is that doing this does not prevent you from enjoying some awesome food adventures while studying abroad. Most foods can be prepared with fairly simple kitchen equipment, and access to the internet means that incredible recipes may be just a Google search away!
On top of that, you can also ask some of the locals for advice and guidance on making dishes that you are curious about. Going over to their homes to try out different foods is another valid option, while social gathering events like putlocks can be a great opportunity to cement bonds with your fellow students.
Obviously, as you are going about your food adventures while studying abroad, you want to get the most bang for your buck. Oftentimes, this means that you want to avoid shopping at popular chains and especially big, international megacorporations. The reason for this is their heavy and often unnecessary price inflation combined with the fact that their proceeds do not directly support the local economy.
Instead, especially if sustainability and ethics are your concerns, shopping at local mom-and-pop shops and farmer’s markets is your best bet. Not only will you be able to find interesting foods that you might not have found elsewhere, but you will almost always get them at a cheaper rate.
Furthermore, the locals might be quite passionate about what they are selling you and might be able to give you advice on how to prepare and eat the things you purchase. You will also be supporting the local economy much more in this way.
Finally, as we have mentioned, a lot of popular studying abroad destinations are multicultural societies with many different cuisines available. This leads to the creation of exciting events like food festivals and markets that allow you not only to experience some incredible food adventures while studying abroad, but also mingle with others as you do so.
Another cool thing about food festivals is that there are often people coming from abroad and bringing their food into the mix. This means that you not only get to taste what the locals have to offer but also international foods from all over the world! These are truly wonderful opportunities to experience a range of different meals that you have hitherto only seen in movies or heard about from foreign friends.
As we have mentioned earlier, food is often an existential worry of college students rather than a luxury. However, we do also think that with smart money management, even international students can experience the joy that exciting foods have to offer!
Keep our tips in mind as you explore the foods of whatever location you decide to study at and you should be fine! Who knows? You might return home with a new favorite meal and impress your friends and family when you make it for them.
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