Study abroad as a vegetarian (& other concerns)

<p>What are the best countries for studying abroad as a vegetarian and what are the worst?</p>

<p>Does anyone have any tips for surviving a year abroad as a vegetarian?</p>

<p>At my school, we study abroad at my college, but just in another country. About half the programs, have in-house chefs from Sunday-Thursday for breakfast and dinner that make a buffet-style meal. A few take students out to restaurants from Sunday-Thursday and, I would think, that these are the programs I would need to worry about a little more.</p>

<p>Personally, I've narrowed down my choices to:
Florence, Italy
Heidelberg, Germany
London, UK</p>

<p>I'm looking for insight on these specific countries/cities too.</p>

<p>How is the culture, food, people, nightlife? Is it easy to travel to other places from there? What is the weather like? Are these areas too expensive for a college student coming from the US?</p>

<p>You will be absolutely fine as a vegetarian in all of them.</p>

<p>Nightlife:
London ofcourse has an incredible nihtlife. Its big, its fun, its london.
Heidelberg has a few nice clubs (DEEP comes to mind) and a lot of good bars - its a student-city and you can have fun nights out on little money. also frankfurt mannheim etc are closeby with what is in my opinion some of the best clubbing in the world.
Florence on the other hand is pretty boring, there are nice cafes and a few bars but as always in italy: nights are a little boring if you're into clubbing.</p>

<p>People: London and florence are big, so a little more unpersonal but also more diverse. Heidelberg is small. All of them are filled with tourists in the summer.</p>

<p>Culture: Florence has the big history, london is exciting and heidelberg has a smaller mix of both of em.</p>

<p>I am actually a little surprised that Florence doesn't have as much of a nightlife as one would expect from a big city. I thought Italians were the type of people who are always trying to invite you to there homes and show it off! Things to think about... And I didn't know Heidelberg had any clubs!</p>

<p>Are you sure a vegetarian would fare well in Germany? That is the one country that I am super concerned about.</p>

<p>I'm live pretty close to Heidelberg. You will be fine. Statistically almost all western countries eat comparable amounts of meat. Heidelberg is a very young and progressive city with all its students and has many vegetarians. All restaurants offer vegetarian dishes and with the time you will find the ones with the best choice available (probably in the student-areas).</p>

<p>Well Italy has an 'evening' culture, but not really a nightlife. So yes you will be invited and you will have wine and maybe go to a bar or something. But the "clubbing till 7am"-kinda nights are rare. I actually havent heard of any noteworthy new club in Italy in a while...</p>

<p>You shouldnt look at the cities population but more on its average age, its cultural diversity and its modern output if looking for nightlife. Also anything in 1,5h distance is still ok for a night out, so places like Heidelberg have really good cities in the area.</p>

<p>Don't go to Florence. It's filled with tourists literally all year round; it is the most stressful place to live in in all of Italy.</p>

<p>England is heaven for a vegetarian or even a vegan. There is a surprising number of English people who do not eat any meat, my guess is that it must be around 10 %. So you will have no problem at all. All colleges, restaurants etc offer vegetarian meals and you will have lots of company especially among young women.</p>

<p>In Germany vegetarians are less common, but there is still a considerable number which tends to be higher among people with a good education. Also, Heidelberg is very international for such a small city. The stereotype of the Germans who survive on sausages and pork cutlets is no longer true. You will have no problems, but less of a choice than in England.</p>

<p>In comparison to London, Heidelberg is very cheap. This is true for food, rent and general expenses. </p>

<p>Good luck with your plans.</p>

<p>My sister has been a vegetarian for many years and never has any problems in England because, as noted above, it has a high rate of vegetarianism.</p>

<p>Germany can be a bit of a problem at breakfast as it's very meat based in my experience(at least in hotels. Not if you are catering for yourself when you can just buy cereal. I have only stayed there in hotels on holiday/business myself). Learn to say you are a vegetarian in German and learn to love Nutella (because that is what you will end up eating on your breakfast rolls instead of cooked meat).</p>

<p>Italy is also not usually a problem. Lots of vegetarian options.</p>

<p>My sister gave up being a veggie for 2 years when living in France because she said no-one understood this issue ("it's not meat, it's only pork" for example) and it was a nightmare trying not to offend people.</p>

<p>I advise you to borrow some guide books from your local library which will inform you about some of the aspects of living in these countries (you can google the weather!)</p>

<p>Italy is SO EASY as a veggie - pizza and pasta ftw!</p>

<p>you'd also have to note that cuisine is so international these days that you will hardly eat 'native' food a majority of the time (at least if eating in a restaurant). Food choices are pretty similar in all western countries these days: italian, chinese, indian, US, french food and the occaisonal middle eastern or exotic place. The choice is pretty similar</p>

<p>Yes, I agree. It also quite depends on how developed the countries are. The most developed the country is, the more likely the restaurant scene will have a lot of different cuisines. Also, look at the immigrant population too as they tend to bring their culture and food with them to set up businesses and their communities. Germany has a high rate of immigrants from Middle East so you'll find plenty of Turkish food and hummus. For example, I was quite surprised to see how easy and possible it was to be a vegetarian in Berlin as opposed to Prague (my friend studied abroad in Prague and gave up vegetarianism just because she couldn't be bothered to actually hunt down veggie friendly places). Prague is still developing and emerging from being a Soviet bloc where they never saw spices before, other than paprika.</p>

<p>Really, I'd say that if you go into countries once occupied by Soviet Union, you'll have more trouble finding food that are to your taste. But Heidelberg is in Western Germany so I wouldn't fret too much.</p>