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Why Tinder Should Be On Your Pre-Departure Checklist

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An unlikely tool for researching your new city.

Let’s take a second here to regroup. I already feel the squints of confusion, mild eye rolls and genuine concern for my wellbeing through the screen. Yes, you read the title correctly. Tinder—the app of judgmental swipes, provocative open attempts to get in your pants, and the occasional unsolicited nude in your inbox—should be on your pre-departure checklist.

Tinder is already a great way to get to know people in your area, but used smartly can also serve as a place to meet people from where you are travelling abroad to. Now with Tinder Social, you and your friends can swipe in groups and match with multiple people at once. More people, less pressure and the perfect opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, including abroad.

To test this out, my friend Alina and I spruced up our Tinder profiles and went all in, swiping right on anyone that included a foreign flag, a hint of love of travel and, frankly, to all the gorgeous men the LA area had to offer.

For me, Tinder was a get way to gain some intel about my study abroad city before I arrived. 

We soon realized the key to meeting people from abroad was to include in our bios where we were moving to. “Moving to the UK in two weeks, so swipe right while you can boys,” I wrote in my bio, while Alina went for the sassy, “Just because I’m moving down under on Sunday doesn’t mean you can get down under me.” Brilliant.

Now time to try out the theory. We ended up matching with at least 15 guys from both Australia and the United Kingdom, including a boy, Ben, who actually attended my intended university. He offered to serve as my personal tour guide and I happily gave him my contact information. I also met great guys from all over the UK who gave me insight, and more importantly, reassurance that York was an amazing city and that I’ll love it instantly.

For me, Tinder was a get way to gain some intel about York before I arrived and even landed me a cutie Brit to escort me pub to pub. For some, this may be a little out of their comfort zone, or not really accessibly due to the area they live in since Tinder works off your current location.

As an alternative, I recommend looking at the Reddit thread for both your school and the town you are moving to for advice. Reddit allows you to ask questions, comment, reply and interact with tons of friendly people who know the community you are inquiring about.

No matter how you go about it, interacting with people who know the place you’re heading to is a great source of comfort before you make the leap across the pond or head down under. If you’re lucky, your foreign Tinder match could end up being a match made in the study abroad heavens.

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Published in Study Abroad Blogs
Kelli Kennedy

Kelli Kennedy is a graduate student at University of York in Comparative and International Social Policy. After multiple short-term study abroad programs during her undergrad, the California native is taking on the winters of England to learn how to change the world.

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