This summer, undergraduates from all over will pack up and go on their study abroad journeys. Study abroad is a great way for students to expand their worldview. It is a time for gaining a deeper understanding of life outside your native country and experiencing personal growth.
If you're preparing for an adventure abroad and want to get in the traveling mindset, the following movies are perfect for you.
"L'Auberge Espagnole" (2003)
Twenty-four-year-old French student Xavier (Romain Duris) shares an apartment with an eclectic group of people from all over Europe while studying abroad in Barcelona in preparation for a government job. Throughout the movie, you watch as Xavier and his roommates grow and change from their experiences as foreigners in Spain. While their lives may drift from their initially sought paths, these new developments may ultimately prove to be strokes of luck.
The movie features dialog in several European languages. The simple technique of allowing each character to speak in his or her own language adds additional realism, drawing the viewer further into the film.
"The Motorcycle Diaries" (2004)
Based on the travelogue of iconic Marxist Ernesto "Che" Guevara, "The Motorcycle Diaries" documents the motorcycle trip undergone by a 23-year-old Guevara (Gael García Bernal) and his friend Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna) across South America in 1952. This story exemplifies how a journey can lead to unexpected personal discovery; witnessing firsthand the circumstances of the underprivileged people in South America inspired Guevara to try to fight against such economic inequalities.
"Motorcycle Diaries" features breathtaking shots of scenic locations in Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and Colombia. It's a perfect viewing experience for anyone with plans to study abroad in South America.
"Foreign Student" (1994)
French student Philippe Leclerc (Marco Hofschneider) is accepted to attend college for a year at the Asheland-Stuart University of Virginia in 1955. Although initially excited about the opportunity, he finds that adjusting to life in the southern United States is not easy. After some embarrassment, he becomes more comfortable in his new environment, discovering music, literature, friendship, and romance.
"The Darjeeling Limited" (2007)
Estranged brothers Francis (Owen Wilson), Peter (Adrien Brody), and Jack (Jason Schwartzman) travel India by train on a journey organized by Francis, the eldest. Though the intention of the trip is spiritual discovery and an attempt to grow closer to his family, the younger brothers remain suspicious and distant.
When plans begin to unravel and they deviate from the itinerary, it seems as if the trip is a bust. However, the new challenges provide much-needed opportunities for cooperation that meet the journey's initial goals in unexpected ways.
"Eurotrip" (2004)In this adventure comedy, a high school graduate named Scotty (Scott Mechlowicz) must travel to Germany to apologize to his pen pal Mieke (Jessica Boehrs) after mistaking her for a guy via email correspondence and insulting her for coming on to him. He, along with his friends Cooper (Jacob Pitts), Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg), and Jamie (Travis Wester) find themselves in all sorts of strange situations -- often adult in nature -- while they trek across Europe in search of Mieke.
This movie provides some great laughs while still holding true to the themes of growth and discovery through travel abroad.
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