There is an infinite amount of great things to do and see during your study abroad that don't require technology: viewing beautiful art at a museum, sipping wine at a restaurant, going out with your friends, and so much more. If you're like most of Gen Y, you're used to uploading photos and sharing these experiences with friends through social media when it happens, not waiting 'till you get on WiFi.
Same goes for catching up on your favorite shows. I started my summer study abroad program in May 2011. The day I left happened to be the same day as the Gossip Girl season finale (my all-time favorite show). I missed GG and was left with many unanswered questions to the cliffhangers from the episodes leading up, but had no cares due to the incredible moments and experiences I was having in Italy. Though a few weeks into my study abroad, I had a little downtime, so I decided to watch the finale. Unfortunately, Hulu and all the other online television sites were not available in that part of the world. So, I downloaded the episode from THE sketchiest website ever….and got a virus.
People always say, "But you’re in Europe!" You don't want to waste your time abroad watching TV or movies. Sometimes, though, you just want to watch a show. I feel ya. That’s why I’m glad I found out about Hola, a VPN extension for Chrome that unblocks sites like Hulu, Netflix, and Pandora (among others).
Hola is a free VPN extension you download from the Chrome store. I’ve used it abroad and my laptop has been virus-free! (I have a PC too, so that's saying something). It has great reviews and doesn’t slow down the internet. As far as I know, everyone I've talked to that has used it hasn't had any issues.
You can download other VPNs for mobile/desktop/tablet too - I've also used the paid version of SurfEasy when I was in China.
While I do think it is very important to spend most of your time traveling or studying abroad out and about exploring new places, I do understand that sometimes you just need a break to watch and episode (or two) of your favorite show to relax and reset before your next big adventure.
This post was originally featured on Euroadventures.