UF sophomore Breanne Miller has successfully convinced her parents, Chad and Karen, to pay for her Summer B semester to be spent “dicking around” abroad.
“The key is to start off by telling your parents what a rewarding experience it is to study abroad,” said Miller matter-of-factly. “Then you tell them the full price after they pay the nonrefundable $350 deposit.”
Miller’s persuasion earned her a spot in a UF-sponsored program that travels to Rome, Italy. Initially, Miller was afraid Rome wasn’t going to offer her the same experience that Gainesville frat parties do; fortunately her worries eased once she realized the legal drinking age in Europe is 18 years old.
“Everyone tells me studying abroad is going to be an experience I’ll never forget,” Miller said as she Googled bars and clubs in Italy. “But I’ll probably be too drunk to remember.”
Pretending to go abroad for “educational purposes” has managed to dupe parents into paying the ridiculous program fees for years. The fact that real college-credit classes are offered throughout this period is a major selling point for students who hope to convince their parents that they’re not going to be hammered throughout the entire trip.
Miller states she already has a plan mapped out for when she has to explain the miscellaneous charges on her credit card.
“I just tell them it’s for school supplies and definitely not booze,” Miller explained. “That way they won’t suspect that I never intended to actually go to class at any point during the summer. It’ll be just like a normal Gainesville Summer B!”
However, what seems like a foolproof plan does have its drawbacks. School sponsored programs maintain strict rules regarding bringing strangers back to student living quarters, having alcohol anywhere within the living space, and behaving in other reckless ways that the University of Florida does not allow.
“The rules are pretty intense,” said junior Mark Martin, who studied abroad last summer in Amsterdam. “I just wanted to experience stuff that I knew would be illegal in Florida. I was appalled that they told me I would be kicked out of the program for spending all of my parents’ money on weed.”
Despite the potential consequences, Miller is still planning to go abroad and has already purchased a suitcase with her father’s American Express.