Studying Student Style Abroad


One of the topics covered in study abroad orientations at Cal is the familiarization of the Cal student with the “local customs and attitudes” of the country she or he will be visiting, which includes habits of dress. Though undoubtedly meant to primarily address standards of modesty and the like, it’s certainly interesting to consider how personal interpretations of style in other countries vary or are similar. Of course, there are stereotypes are associated with certain nations–Brits being trend obsessed compared to their effortlessly chic and classic French counterparts, for example. I harbor a special love for international street style blogs that allow us a peek at what foreign fellow students wear to class, to shop, and to party.

United Kingdom


It’s interesting to wonder how differently college students in other countries dress and how much of this difference may be attributed to personal style and how much to national culture. Certainly, it would be dangerous to think that the tendencies of those select students photographed in large cities are representative of the people or norms of an entire country. I am, however, very tempted to conclude that Scandinavian collegians are awesome in their predilection for nonchalantly wearing tights and dresses in climes that make many a native Californian huddle in Northface jackets and Uggs.




Perhaps, the mystique of the styles of far off cities also lies in comparing how people interpret clothes as American college students versus in as students in a country that only recently established its own fashion week versus students in a country with laws about what qualifies as haute couture.



The Netherlands


Retailers tend to think that Americans are not sartorial risk takers - though we have Forever 21, Target collaborations, and Old Navy as parallels for imported giants such as H&M, Zara, and Topshop, American exports become edgier and more fashion forward for the continental crowd. (Euro-Gap is more luxurious than it's stateside sister and the superior Euro-Urban Outfitters carries See by Chloe, Hussein Chalayan, and Vanessa Bruno). Berkeley life, however, has a charming quality in which no matter how fancifully you're dressed, there's bound to be someone else in equally or even more outlandish duds than you. It’s hardly a stretch then to imagine these college students from distant shores waiting for coffee at FSM, sunning on Memorial Glade, or reading on the benches outside of Dwinelle.


  1. what great pictures! are these from the sartorialist? or where are they from?

  2. oh... nevermind. I see the sources now. Cool!