The Study Abroad Urban Dictionary

We are educators.  We want to share our wisdom, our experience, our hard earned life lessons.

We are also aging.  Each year, my students appear younger and younger.  And then I realize that students are always going to be young.  It is me that is becoming older….or as I like to say, “increasingly wise.”  🙂

Over the years, I have heard students talking in the halls, in campus dining rooms, and on the quad. And on many occasions I’ve had to rely on the online Urban Dictionary to have the slightest clue what they’re chatting about. Urban Dictionary is a website that houses over 5 million slang terms that are written by the site’s users. For example, when one of your students says “I got my ears lowered today,” it is slang for “I got a hair cut.”  Cute, right?

I decided to look up “study abroad” on the Urban Dictionary site and wow, was I surprised.  This is what comes up first:

Slutty Abroad
1. A variation of study abroad where one’s ambitions change from being academic to purely erotic.

2. Traveling to a foreign country with the intention of engaging in sexual intercourse with one or more of the local indigenous people.

3. Having more than normal amounts of sex outside of one’s homeland.

Meg: “I’ve only been here for a week and I’ve already slept with ten people… and only seven of them were boys.”
Al: “Wow. Way to be a slut Meg.”
Meg:”Oh my God! Slutty Abroad! LOL!!!!!

Hmmmmm.  Apparently I am more out of touch than I realized.  Slutty abroad?  Really?  Is that the clever slang students have come up with for their time abroad?  Note to self:  Revisit the section of pre-departure orientation that covers health (physical and mental), safe sex and access to condoms and clinics abroad.

Here is #8:

The act of getting Europed is when someone binge drinks and cheats on their significant other while studying in Europe. This normally ends the relationship after it is found out.
“Man, when Pete’s girlfriend goes abroad, she is going to get Europed.”
“Yeah, Pete is going to be pissed.”

I have to admit, I have heard many heartbreaking stories over the years of students who have been “Europed.”  Ok, I said it, Europed.  I have used a word from the Urban Dictionary.  My students would think I’m hip.  Somehow, it just doesn’t feel quite right.

Another note to self:  Revisit the section of pre-departure orientation that covers alcohol policy, alcohol abuse, AA and defining healthy relationships.

I will be thinking about my virtual stop at the study abroad section of the Urban Dictionary for some time.  It makes me think that there is a strong need for some innovative pre-departure dialogue.  And an aspirin.

There are other “gems” in the Urban Dictionary.  I won’t repeat all of the study abroad “terms.”  Some are simply references to organizations that host study abroad programs (take note marketing gurus.)  Others are the lingo of our youth that will make you gasp. And frankly, some will make you laugh out loud.

I just hope that our potential study abroad students won’t be ‘ants on a log’ this year due to the economy.  Yup, you’ll have to look that one up. It is # 29 on the urban dictionary study abroad list!