A study abroad experience offers students a great opportunity to get cultured, educated, and according to a new study, drunk. A study published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors found that students studying abroad consumed double the amount abroad as they would at home- roughly 8 drinks per week!
The study surveyed 177 University of Washington students about their drinking habits before, during and after their time spent abroad (3-5 months). The amount consumed did depend on the countries of travel. The top drinking locations were Europe, New Zealand, and Australia while Middle Eastern countries had lower rates. While most students returned to their pre-travel amount of drinking, those that drank heavily abroad tended to bring the behavior back home with them. For more on the study, click here.
While lower drinking ages and a sense of curiosity of a new land may contribute to the increase in drinking, it's important to note the dangers that accompany such behavior. Without familiarity of the area and language, students may find it easier to be separated, lost, and vulnerable. If you choose to drink abroad, play is safe. Stick with your group, stay in well lit and well trafficked areas, and always know your route back to safety. Remember you're there to learn, not to nurse a hangover! Enjoy the trip, but Stop@Buzzed!