Country counting: Why do students do it?
How has country counting caught on? Source: Erik Odiin

Have you ever been asked the question, “What is your country count?”  while at university?

If yes, you may have questioned the motive behind the question.

If no, someone may eventually ask you that question and it’s more than likely they’re sneakily trying to discover how ‘worldly’ you are as a person.

How many countries have YOU visited? Source: Giphy

This modern day phenomenon has risen in popularity as a quick way of mapping out someone’s travelling habits and highlighting the similarities between the questioner and the respondent.

For instance, at Fresher’s Week, this question may also be paired with Where are you from? or Why did you choose your course? to point out similarities and to highlight the things you have in common with other students.

But it may also be taken as an intrusive or judgmental enquiry.

As we all know, international students love to travel. By studying abroad in a new country, it’s wise to take advantage of the opportunity and explore neighbouring countries.

But travelling should be for fun, not to please others!

That’s what one Study International journalist discovered earlier this year, “If you have the money, travelling is a great way to spend your time and broaden your mind, you might want to look at all the wonders right in front of you before you board that plane.

“Take it slow, soak up the culture, and enjoy the country you’re studying in. Remember the reason you chose it in the first place and appreciate it while you can. It’ll all be over before you know it and it will certainly be cheaper to buy a plane ticket than to invest in another degree abroad.”

Of course, student budgeting may limit your country count and not everyone has the freedom to travel to the countries of their choice.

So if your current destination isn’t matching up to your expectations, you should try to focus on the positives of being in a new country instead of travelling for the sake of a country count.

Remember that there are no specified rules on country counting, and people may be adding in their stopover destinations to boost their total. 

So, what’s your opinion of country counting?

Do you think it’s a trend that will last the ages or do you think it’s a fleeting topic that will soon disappear from student’s minds?

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