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5 Movies to Watch Before Studying Abroad

Get even more excited about your future trip abroad with these travel inspired movies

By Colin Ashby, Texas State University

A lot of idle time can happen between finishing study abroad applications and then actually setting out on the trip. Nerves jump around inside your head. Excitement isn’t able to be contained, you constantly look over the trip itinerary and you pack and re-pack your bag over and over.

Sitting down and watching a movie dealing with travel is one way to get even more excited about your future trip abroad. The five films below deal with themes many students feel while on a trip abroad: excitement, adventure, feeling out of place and going out of your comfort zone.

The Bucket List

A billionaire businessman (Jack Nicholson) and middle-class mechanic (Morgan Freeman) both find themselves with terminal illnesses Rather than be stuck in a hospital room together, they set out to do all the things they have wanted to do before they “kick the bucket.” Their adventures include flying over the north pole, eating at a restaurant in France, going to the Taj Mahal and riding motorcycles on the Great Wall of China. In the end they both have a better understanding of each other’s lives and how to be happy.

Before Sunrise

A chance conversation ignites between an American and a French student on a train coming from Budapest. The French student, Celine (Julia Delpy), delays her return to France to go on a spontaneous adventure with the Jessie (Ethan Hawke), the American. Traveling all over the city of Vienna, they share conversations of life, love and religion. The film embraces the act of being spontaneous and getting to know people from other cultures.

Lost in Translation

The film about an American actor named Bob Harris (Bill Murray) who goes to Japan to film an advertisement. While in Japan, he feels disillusioned and out of place due to not understanding the language. He has problems and is mid-life crisis when he meets a young college graduate named Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson). The film explores themes of embracing people of different backgrounds, exploring the unknown and being in a new place not knowing what to do.

Eat Pray Love

Feeling out of place and not knowing what to do, a woman (Julia Roberts) sets out on an adventure to see what she wants out of life. She goes out of her comfort zone and embraces the things she experiences. Her travels include eating in Italy, finding spiritual guidance in India and love in Indonesia.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Opening up his travel dairy to see it empty, an isolated office worker named Walter (Ben Stiller) longs to experience something new. He frequently daydreams of fantasy adventures only to be knocked back into reality. His boss at Life Magazine tasks him with preparing a photograph to be used for the final print issue of the magazine. There is one problem: the photo is nowhere to be found. The photographer (Sean Penn) that took the photo doesn’t have an exact location due to frequent traveling. Walter sets out find the photographer to get the photograph.  His breaks out of his comfort zone, becomes more adventurous and travels to places like Iceland and Greenland.

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Colin Ashby

Texas State University | 1 story

Colin Ashby is a Senior at Texas State University majoring in Mass Communications (emphasis: Public Relations) with a minor in writing. His experiences include working for his college newspaper and radio station and interning at a news service.


One response to “5 Movies to Watch Before Studying Abroad”

  1. […] so you can find donkeys just about anywhere, but think back on all the study abroad movies you’ve seen. Any time someone goes to Greece in a film, you see the classic shot of a character […]

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