Guys…this one’s for you!
It’s true – there are more girls than guys on Go Global trips. Across the board, study abroad trips tend to be at least 65% female. Initially, a guy’s first thought at these numbers might be to leave studying abroad up to the girls, but really, there are SO many great reasons why guys shouldn’t shy away from a study abroad program such as Go Global, no matter the ratio. On the contrary, we actually think that the ratio (which, by the way, changes from year to year, and is never a set-rate! Who knows, one year in the future we could have more guys than girls!) benefits the guys and gives them a lot of cool opportunities! Take it from Craig Borne, Go Global Community Leader and “double-dipping” student: LEAD Greece and GO: Rome 2014, who served as just one of a few guys on two amazing trips and loved every minute of it. Here’s his advice to you as to how to make the most of your trip given your outnumbered circumstances…and why they’re actually awesome. Man-to-man…Craig will tell you what it’s really like based on personal experience:
By: Craig Borne
Something I learned too late into the program that I wish I knew in the beginning…
Speaking to the guys: the girls are just as interested to meet you as you are to meet them. And to the girls: the guys are just as interested to meet you as you are to meet them. If you stop reading now and go on the trip you will be fine.
The first time I went to my dad and told him about a girl I liked in school, he told me something I have lived by ever since: “You always have to try because the worst thing that can happen is she says no.” Since then, I have applied that to most all aspects of my life because you miss every opportunity you never take. So try, and the worst that happens is “no.” That is one of the reasons I ended up going on these trips — I told myself that even though I don’t know anyone going, I still wanted to have a summer abroad, and I knew everything would work out when I got there.
Now… about this guy to girl ratio…guys, no matter how comfortable you are with talking to girls when you are 1 of 5 guys on a trip where there are 40+ girls, being shy is going to happen.
One of the main things that you learn about everyone on the trip is that every one of you is cut from the same cloth in one way: a passion for traveling. People who have a passion for traveling are some of the nicest, friendliest, most open people you’ll ever meet. Everyone on the trip is out to have a new experience in a new and exciting place, and through Go Global, you get to do that with amazing new people. There are other posts on the blog that talk about the beautiful and lasting friendships that form while on a Go Global program. What those posts don’t focus on is that for guys, many of those great friendships are with the girls on the trip because (guess what) you don’t have much of a choice. As one of the five guys on the trip, the guys had an instant “bro” bond. It almost seemed easier as a guy to make an instant connection because the guys instantly searched each other out and start bonding. For girls, I saw that many came from the same school and had already started a friendship back home. Also what I found out about girls is that they also have the instant “bro” bond of their own, just like guys, but with all the girls on the trip.
Now, specifically for the guys going on the trip: You may be way more social with girls than I am, but I have never walked into a restaurant or bar while having 9+ stunningly attractive girls with me. I have never been at a beach where there are 20+ beautiful girls all with me and actually waiting for me to come over and talk to them. And that’s what the girls on these trips are: beautiful. At one point, you learn that a girl can make the best wing-man; Well, 9 girls makes you not even need a wing-man. All your pictures look amazing, all of your friends back home are envious, and your mom is waiting to hear which one of the gorgeous girls with you in the Facebook pictures is going to be her daughter-in-law. You may have thought life was easier as a girl because they get free stuff, and random people stop and talk to them just because they are girls, but I found out that life is easier to be a guy with all those girls. You get the envious looks from the guys around you. You get the desiring looks from the girls around you. And every restaurant, beach, shopping trip, walk, or late-night adventure you go to with them, they want you to be there. But the best thing about it all is that these are some of the nicest, most genuine girls you will ever meet. Wherever you go, you are with the best girls in the place. These girls become some of your greatest friends you will have. They become your spontaneous adventure friends. Your bungee jumping support team. Your food-exploring group. Your “let’s take a picture together” best friends. These girls will be there for all your revelations and through all the growing that you are going to do on the trip. They will also be there to call you out and support you on the crazy and reckless things you do. I can’t imagine the trip without all the girls I went with because they filled every moment with joy.
Now for the girls: I want to start by thanking all the girls that went with me to Greece and Rome because without them, it would not have been the same; They truly did become like family to me. And the guys on the trip are unbelievably fun, friendly and all around great guys (if the guys I was with are any indication). I watched friendships grow between girls that would never have met each other without this trip, and they are lasting to this day and will last for as long as I can imagine. Relationships started between girls that went to the same school but had never gotten to know each other. If you have ever wanted to truly bond with someone like you and from your school, then you should sign up for a program because that happened at every school that was on the trip. Friendship is all about having the freedom to be yourself, grow, and be the best you can be. While you are abroad, you are going to grow and be exactly who you want to be, but the perk is you are right alongside 50 other people doing it, too, so the friendships you make are going to be some of the truest friendships you make.
In the end, the ratio should excite you more than anything. Everyone on the trip, both guys and girls, is amazing and absolutely worth getting to know. Guys: the biggest struggle is going to be remembering all the names because there are 5 of you and 40+ of them, and the girls will have your names down in no time. On one of my trips “Ohana” became a motto, and it was true. Everyone becomes part of the family, and we always tried to be together. As a guy, the hardest part is going to be fully understanding how much you actually care about all the girls you are on the trip with. A friend told me that I needed to step out of my comfort zone to grow. Well, surrounding yourself with a whole bunch of amazing women and a brand new beautiful place will definitely get you out of your comfort zone.
You will live. You will love. You will laugh. And you will make a fool of yourself. But you will grow and you will not only have an experience of a lifetime, but you will share that experience that with the most wonderful friends you could hope for. When I remember my time abroad, I don’t just remember the places and experiences, I remember faces, names, friends, stories, and the sense of belonging they brought me in a places I had never been with people I just met.
So, what do you think, boys? Have a better grasp on the girl/boy ratio? Get ready…because a lot of beautiful women can’t wait to meet you! And, some pretty chill bros.
-Anna and the Go Global team