2020 is packed with interesting opportunities around the globe!
1. Go for a wild ride in China! Be first in line, June 2020, at the grand opening of China’s only Six Flags amusement park in Haiyan, less than an hour from Shanghai. It will feature a number of record-breaking roller coasters, unique thrill rides, and fun live shows.
2. Watch the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany, just a train ride from Berlin. Every 10 years, you can catch a performance of the Oberammergau Passion Play - a five-hour show performed on an open-air stage with the sky and mountains in the backdrop. It was first performed in 1633 and this will be the 42nd year of production for the world-renowned play.
3. Experience the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo! The Summer Games will be returning to Tokyo for the first time since 1964 – making it the only city in Asia to host the Olympics twice. Put yourself in the middle of this electrifying event + see the world’s top athletes compete = unforgettable memories.
4. Witness the Field of Light in Australia, a short flight from Perth, Sydney, and Wollongong! Created by British artist, Bruce Monro, this award-winning art installation is more than seven football fields long and features 50,000 glass spheres glowing and changing colors throughout the Uluru desert, one of the most sacred Indigenous sites in the world. This once-in-a-lifetime display is only open until December 2020.
5. Dance and sing your heart out at Primavera Sound! This fun, star-studded music festival is held in Barcelona, right by the water, the first week of June. If one weekend isn’t enough, you’re in luck! Primavera Sound heads to Porto, Portugal, less than three hours from Lisbon, the following week with a whole new line-up.
6. Catch the Total Solar Eclipse in Latin America! This phenomenon normally occurs once every 18 months, but lucky Chile and Argentina are seeing it in 2019 and 2020. The best spot to witness the totality is over the beautiful Chilean Lake District on Dec. 14, 2020.
7. Support your favorite team in UEFA EURO 2020. For the first time in its 60-year history, 12 cities across Europe will host this incredible event. Study abroad in Amsterdam, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, London, Rome, or St. Petersburg and watch some of the best athletes in the world play fútbol in world-famous stadiums - does it get better than that?
8. Celebrate Lunar New Year in China! Exchange red envelopes while dragon dances roam down the streets to the sound of firecrackers attempting to “scaring away monsters.” Whether you’re in Beijing, Nanjing, or Shanghai, you’ll discover why the new year is so important to Asian culture.
9. Be wowed by Australia’s pink lakes! Yes, you read that right. Starting from Perth, take a fun road trip through beautiful Western Australia and visit Lake Hillier or Hunt Lagoon. You can also hop on a short flight to Esperance to see the amazing bubblegum pink lake from the air.
10. Attend a movie festival! Film festivals are an amazing opportunity to broaden exposure to independent films and up-and-coming ones, plus dialogue with the filmmakers. Head to the Berlin International Film Festival for its 70th anniversary, starting February 20 to March 1, or the Hong Kong Film Festival in June 2020 to be part of these important events for the film industry.
11. See the Spring Equinox at the Chichén Itzá, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, in Yucatán, Mexico. On the first day of spring, the Temple of Kukulkán aligns with the sun and the shadow of the serpent appears to be slithering down the staircase. There are equinox festivals throughout the towns, too.
12. Support the largest environmental volunteer event in history on April 22, 2020 when Earth Day celebrates its 50th Anniversary. The event needs volunteers across the globe to succeed, and you could help wherever you choose to study abroad!
13. Chow down on Seoul’s street snacks! From pajeon (savory Korean pancakes) to gimbap (Korean sushi), spicy rice cakes to kimchi dumplings, Korean fried chicken to bibimbap, mochi to dessert waffles, you’ll always find something delicious to satisfy your cravings.
14. Attend the opening of the Pudong Art Museum! Located in Shanghai’s West Bund district, the museum is scheduled to open in December 2020. Overlooking the Xuhui river, the museum will feature traditional and contemporary Chinese artwork, a gallery facing across the Bund, a rooftop garden, and numerous food options.
15. Watch the best battle it out at the French Open from May 24 – June 7, 2020. It’s the only Grand Slam tournament to be played on a clay court and there’s also no better time to visit Paris than spring!
16. Shop until you drop. No, seriously. In January 2020 head to Dubai – just 30 minutes from Sharjah – for a huge shopping festival. It will be the biggest celebration yet, featuring concerts with top artists, citywide raffles to win cash, and fireworks.
17. Discover gelato’s newest flavors! Hazelnut, pistachio, chocolate – that’s the usual stuff. But see how many of the 200+ flavors of gelato you can taste in one semester in Rome or Ferrara, Italy! Rice pudding, pineapple, or ricotta cheese, anyone?
18. Visit a movie scene! It’s been 20 years since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was released, but Petra, Jordan remains one of the most unforgettable places in the world. Spend a day in this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site.
19. Hike up Table Mountain, the most iconic landmark in South Africa for a spectacular view. It’s home to the richest yet smallest floral kingdom on earth and was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2011.
20. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. March 17 is one of the biggest days of the year in Ireland. In fact, it’s a national holiday with plenty of music, food, and celebrating for five whole days.