Remember that family vacation when [awkward relative] would enter a museum sporting the Hawaiian button down, khaki shorts, point-and-shoot camera and a giant map, to boot? If you don’t know who I’m talking about, it’s possible that person was you! But have no fear- we have all been “that tourist” before, asking for directions directly in front of our intended destination, purchasing a t-shirt conveniently alerting others what city you are in, or getting the Queen’s guard to laugh at Buckingham Palace. (Just kidding, that was hysterical and highly encouraged!)
One of the biggest complaints we hear from students when they return from their time abroad is “I wish I got to know more locals and further integrate into the culture.” In other words, we all have a desire to experience our new foreign home as a local, rather than merely hitting the “tourist traps.” However, often times it can be difficult to be “in the know” if you are busy adjusting to the new culture and haven’t yet mastered the language. While we strongly encourage you to fall in love while abroad, there is another resource we just learned about that can help you connect with locals: Triptrotting!
Triptrotting uses an e-harmony-like algorithm to match student travelers with knowledgeable, like-minded locals, forming connections that can help you fast forward your integration into your new home before you even arrive. According to TripTrotting, “Whether it’s meeting for a meal or a tour of the town, being matched with someone who is like-minded helps enhance the experience for both the traveler and host, allowing both parties not only share their cultures, but expand their international networks.”
Plus, for all of you travel enthusiasts looking for a more adventurous summer internship, check out Triptrotting’s Ultimate Triptrotter Contest! You can win a chance to travel the world, guided by some of the leading Triptrotting hosts (certainly beats sitting in a cubicle!)
Now, about those “Paris” t-shirts…