1. You can’t stop talking about it.
- Your friends are probably getting pretty sick of your sentences that begin with “Yeah! When I was in __________”. Let them hate.
2. You find yourself subconsciously scrolling through your camera roll back to your study abroad photos
- I do this anywhere – on the way to class, waiting to cross the street, absolutely everywhere. This isn’t just limited to photos – you will also find yourself listening to those songs you and your friends danced to on a roofless lounge overlooking the city’s skyline, or that one song you played on repeat on your metro ride to school. These photos, songs, and videos have tremendous nostalgic value, and they are the last way in which you can relive your study abroad experience.
3. You still think in your host country’s currency
- “20 Lira for a bagel? I could buy the same thing for 9 lira in Turkey!” is what you will constantly find yourself saying. You will end up complaining about the price of everything, to the point that your friends end up rolling their eyes every time you do it. This holds true for pretty much every city but London. If you studied abroad in London, you were probably relieved to be back here so your wallet could stop crying from pain.
4. You have to actively stop foreign words and lingo from entering your English conversations, or most people will find you unintelligible.
- I still have to stop myself from saying “Tessekulur” (thank you in Turkish) every time I buy something at a store and the cashier hands it over… and I’ve been in America six weeks now.
5. You’ve become an expert at time differences
- Whether this is setting up skype dates with locals you became friends with, or just wandering what time of day it is there, your brain can calculate it with the utmost efficiency in a matter of seconds. It’s sort of become your hidden talent.
6. You’ve relapsed and searched for restaurants in your city that remind you of the food you ate abroad
- And you’ll still be shocked when you see what the prices are.
7. Your room is scattered with items and trinkets that remind you of your study abroad experience – no matter how insignificant they are
- The other day I found a ticket in my car. Upon closer inspection, it was a ticket for the shuttle ride I took to the airport to fly home. So I did the only logical thing. I took it home and stuck it on my wall. Who cares if I don’t know any of the words that are written on it? The memories it carries with it are enough to secure its spot on my wall.
8. You miss hanging out with the people who lived with you for months, and accompanied you on multiple adventures – boring and exciting – in a foreign land
- Thanks to the power of technology, we can still be in contact with the people we studied abroad with once the semester ends. However, we’re back at college, schedules take up most our time, and you can’t just take a 10 minute bus ride to see your friend. Which leads me to…
9. Your new thirst for adventure
- Instead of moaning about the distance between you and your study abroad friends, you find yourselves quickly and efficiently planning a weekend trip to see each other. Which also leads me to…
10. You’ve already started planning your trip back
- Because why not?
Kim Donohue is a junior at the University of Kentucky majoring in International Studies and Political Science.