Academic advisors consistently told me I needed to learn a foreign language, have completed multiple internships, and, most importantly, have studied abroad to end college with a résumé that would land me a career. I, however, preferred to stay comfortable on campus, where I could go out without having to learn a new language to order a beer. That’s how I found a much easier way to buff up my résumé with international experiences:
I faked a study abroad trip to a foreign country right from my phone.
Since the world has been reliant on social media for everything for a few years now, most college students, relatives, and potential employers will take what they see on Instagram or Twitter at face value as long as it looks somewhat legitimate. They really will just go with it, no questions asked. With a well-executed social media plan and a few convincing texts, I was able to take a 5 day trip to Peru without ever leaving my own room. There were five important things I made sure to do while polishing off my fraud:
1. Pick a destination I already knew a little about
I don’t know where Mongolia is or what Mongolian food looks like (HuHot notwithstanding), so I didn’t pretend to go there. Pretty obvious.
2. Know what the weather was like there at the time
I couldn’t be posting pictures of a sunny, cloud-free Andes during the rainy season.
3. Add my destination’s clock to my phone’s “Clock” app
I saved some time googling “What time is it in Peru?” when my mom would WhatsApp me by doing this.
4. Use my resources
For a truly convincing trip, I looked through friend’s social media photos and saved any I could reuse.
5. Remember that this was a free vacation, regardless of where I was
Everyone thinking you’re many miles away gives you the chance to lock your door and stay in bed for however long you’d like. It’s very refreshing.
Peru was the best week of my life, and months later I still have people coming up to me asking about it. After a single Instagram post that my aunt saw, my entire family now thinks I traveled abroad without me even having to personally lie to them. By the end of my trip, I had gone on a kayaking trip along the beautiful shores of Peru (photo from Google), tasted the local beer (picture from a friend who went to Brazil), hiked Machu Picchu (Google again), and visited the local farmer’s market in order to practice the language of the land (picture from a friend’s Facebook photos).
I didn’t think it would work when I embarked on my journey, but I found out it really is that easy to convince people in the 21st century of something like this. Crazy shit..
Image via Shutterstock