Studying abroad is as much a part of the college experience as day-drinking, napping, and road-tripping. But instead of getting a boring summer job that will pay you minimum wage (hello, day camp counselor!), why not spend the summer seeing the world?
Plus, in keeping with our Puritanical roots, America is one of the few industrialized nations to still insist that the legal drinking age be 21 and not 18, so you can drink legally if you spend the summer semester in one of these cities.
Here are five amazing places to consider checking out these countries for studying abroad.
Studying Abroad In 2015
Oh, Canada! Montreal is often described as the Amsterdam of North America—a legal drinking age of 18, a casino within the city limits, and, oh, did we mention strip clubs that go by European rules? That’s right—you can touch the strippers! America can keep its obesity and Big Mac—we’ll take the Royal (it’s French-Canada, after all) with cheese and a population of polite people.
Hit up: Crescent Street and St. Catherine Streets—it’s best to just ping-pong to bars on these wildly popular streets.
Hungary, one of the hidden gems of the world, isn’t in the European Union, so the American dollar has tremendous value there. $1 gets your 281 forint. You’ll be a baller all summer. Plus, Hungary is known as one of the world’s leading producers of wine, but they drink so much of it that they don’t export much, so you know you’re in for a good time. Also, it is one of the world leaders in the sex industry.
Hit up: Szimpla Kert in Budapest. This is the best of what the Hungarian’s call ruined pubs, bars a direct result of the ruin left by the fall of communism. Instead of wasting the debris, they’ve turned it into recycled tables, chairs, etc. It’s amazing.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague may be most famous to American pop culture enthusiasts for being the location of the climatic action scene in xXx, the Vin Diesel action film. But the second best benefit of the collapse of the Iron Curtain—you know, behind the first one, which being the end of a horrible murderous communist regime—is that some of these Eastern European gems can be discovered for an amazingly reasonable price. Most importantly, Czech has a 17 day—you read that right—beer festival in Prague in May. No amount of frat parties could prepare you for that.
Hit up: The Prague Zoo, since Forbes ranked it the 7th best in the world. Because bears and stuff are cool.
Ah, the City of Love. Home of the Louvre. The birthplace of smug that has now been perfected by American hipsters. Why not fall in love for the summer with a sophisticated French woman who can teach you the language of love? You can follow in the footsteps of such legendary ex-pats like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald—just don’t try to mimic their drinking patterns.
Hit up: The Seine. In the summer, they put sand on the banks of the river to give all Parisians a beach experience. And don’t listen to Buzz McCallister—French girls do shave their pits.
Incredible architecture? Check (See, Antoni Gaudi–Gaudell Park and the still-incomplete-but-completely-breathtaking Sagrada Familia). Beautiful women? Double check. Good liquor? Ask for a crema Catalana. Las Ramblas is one of the most famous avenues in the world. And if that’s not enough, Barcelona features a beach, Barcelonita, which also has a very loose bathing suit policy (they also serve alcohol on it, too). It sure beats the hell out of Seaside Heights, NJ.
Hit up: Sonar Summer Festival. From June 18-20th, experience great EDM and urban art. And, apparently, puppet shows.