According to a recent survey from On Call International, US students are much more likely to drink excessively while studying abroad.
Overall, 50 percent of survey respondents claimed to consume higher levels of alcohol while studying overseas, with 11 percent reporting they “blacked out” (defined in the study as binge drinking to the point of memory impairment) more times abroad than they ever did at their home institution.
— ISVMagazine (@ISVMagazine) January 28, 2016
Survey administrators blame the leniency of drinking laws in foreign countries compared to their American counterparts for the excessive drinking habits of US students studying abroad, but staff at Syracuse University Abroad (SU Abroad) believe there’s another cause.
“I think the fact that United States’ drinking age is 21 means almost nothing to college students,” notes Jenn Horvath, Marketing and Communications Manager at SU Abroad, adding that American College culture very much encourages drinking regardless of legal age restrictions.
— Carol Lipton (@carollipton) March 21, 2015
According to Horvath, in order to control excessive drinking among American students throughout their time overseas, SU Abroad seeks to warn them about the dangers of drinking too much, contextualising it in a setting relevant to the country the students are travelling to.
“I wouldn’t say (excessive drinking) is a problem for students who go abroad specifically, I think it’s across the board among college students. That’s what they engage in when they’re on a college campus,” said Bridget Hughes, Case Manager at SU Abroad. Hughes seeks to prepare American students for the widely accepted drinking culture in their host country before sending them away, hoping the preparation will leave them more likely to know their limits and therefore drink responsibly.
Yeah let’s broadcast to the world students drinking and partying on snapchat cause that makes American colleges look good
— they (@Born_2_Lose) August 30, 2015
“We don’t expect you to not enjoy a glass of wine with your host family, because that’s the culture (there),” said Hughes. “But we do expect you to not act like the binge-drinking, US, stereotypical college kid on a study abroad program.”
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