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Confessions of study abroad officers, revealed

UK study abroad coordinators shared some of the unusual incidents they've dealt with, including one student shipping their horse overseas.
June 21 2016
2 Min Read

Shipping a pet horse overseas, asking for medical advice from another country and checking in an extra suitcase filled entirely with hair products, are just some of the incidents highlighted by Third Year Abroad‘s confessions of a study abroad coordinator.

Third Year Abroad, a network supporting degree-seeking students on their time spent overseas, compiled the anonymous confessions from study abroad coordinators in the UK for a tell-all post on its website.

“I once welcomed a student at the airport who packed an entire extra suitcase of haircare products”

“I’ve only been a study abroad co-ordinator for three years, but in that time I’ve dealt with so many broken bones and admin fails from students,” reads one, adding: “Most recently I’ve had a student emailing me several times asking me to pay her a bursary, despite having not sent me her bank details (I’ve sent three reminders).”

“I once welcomed a student at the airport who packed an entire extra suitcase of haircare products, for which she had to pay USD 400 in baggage charges,” confessed another, after sending reminders about the importance of packing light.

Lizzie Fane, founder of Third Year Abroad, told The PIE News that the inspiration to compile the list came from conversations with university staff who recounted tales of students who tried to take tins of baked beans, slow cookers and even a horse on their year abroad.

“There are many more where they came from, and I hope this will encourage more staff to send them in so they can be published anonymously as cautionary tales for students!” she said.

Most of the stories centre on the theme of what students “expect” their study abroad coordinators to do, according to Fane.

One study abroad coordinator said that students have asked if they can book their flights for them, while another recounted a time when a student rang home from Rotterdam asking where the nearest doctor was.

“It’s so important for students to realise that they have to take responsibility for their international placement so that they can get the most out of it, and that staff are human,” said Fane.

“They expect responses to their emails, and they are probably not in the office waiting for phone calls at 10pm on a Friday night!”

Study abroad coordinators can submit their funny stories anonymously here.

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