You Know You Studied Abroad When...

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IES Abroad
April 4, 2019

Whether you live in a skyscraper in Shanghai or snorkel with sea turtles in the Galápagos Islands, studying abroad has the power to change the way you see the world – in little and big ways.

When you return home, it may be hard to answer the generic question, “How was study abroad?” but know that you’re in good company as you notice the daily things that remind you of your time abroad.

Our recent alumni shared their responses to, “You know you studied abroad when…”

  1.  “All your sentences start with, ‘This one time, my host mom…’”
    – Jessica P.IES Abroad GranadaWhitman College
  2.  “You crave foods that you cannot find here in the United States!”
    – Yeji K.IES Abroad MilanPenn State University
  3. “You critique everything about your home culture.”
    – Alex P.IES Abroad NantesThe Ohio State University
  4.  “Your phone is out of space from all the pictures you just can’t get rid of.”
    – Cassidy C. IES Abroad DublinUniversity of Rochester
  5. “Your online ads are in a different language, and you can actually read them!”
    – Hannah D.IES Abroad ViennaUniversity of Rochester
  6.  “You look at the time here and calculate what time it is there right now.”
    – Keara C.IES Abroad DublinKnox College
  7.  “You can walk confidently into a subway/metro in any city knowing you’ll ‘figure it out.’”
    – Isabella C.IES Abroad BarcelonaUniversity of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  8. “The new shoes you took with you now look like they’re five years old.”
    – Greg V.IES Abroad DublinTemple University
  9. “Most of your stories start out with ‘When I was abroad…’”
    – Amy R.IES Abroad European UnionSkidmore College
  10.  “Your Facebook memories are way more exciting than your life is now.”
    – Kira D.IES Abroad Galápagos IslandsUniversity of South Carolina
  11. “All you can think about is how to get back.”
    – Jessica H.IES Abroad Multi-Location: Buenos Aires & SantiagoThe University of Texas at Austin
  12.  “All your conversations somehow turn into a story from studying abroad.”
    – Erica G.IES Abroad Cape TownUniversity of Michigan
  13. “You realize you and the people in your hometown actually do have an accent.”
    – Anna S.IES Abroad GranadaUniversity of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  14. “You forget words in your native language but remember it in your learned language!”
    – Jeena P.IES Abroad Buenos AiresRhodes College
  15. “You mention random, specific facts in conversation about the country you lived in.”
    – Joseph E.IES Abroad Buenos AiresWestern Washington University
  16. “You take changes in exchange rates personally.”
    – Charlotte P.IES Abroad LondonUniversity of Rochester
  17. “You are researching jobs and graduate programs abroad.”
    – Julia E.IES Abroad MilanUniversity of Rochester)
  18. “When everyone asks where your clothes are from!”
    – Gillian B.IES Abroad AmsterdamMiami University
  19. “Some of your closest friends live across the globe.”
    – Maya B.IES Abroad NagoyaUniversity of Pittsburgh
  20. “When you constantly say, ‘When I lived in ____, we would do it like this.’”
    – Ryan U.IES Abroad BerlinAlbion College
  21. “Looking through your camera roll *will* make you cry.”
    – AriaRay B.IES Abroad RabatUniversity of Vermont
  22. “Your bedroom turns into a shrine of the place you studied.”
    – Allie G.IES Abroad DublinUniversity of Iowa
  23. “You view the world through a more globalized and empathic perspective.”
    – Brianna B.IES Abroad MadridUniversity of Redlands
  24. “You love a place more than you love any single person.”
    – Kaylin C.IES Abroad SydneyPenn State University

Want to talk with someone who has recently studied abroad? Connect with an IES Abroad Ambassador to learn more about the life-changing effects of study abroad.

Still riding the nostalgia train?  Browse more alumni responses to "You Know You Studied Abroad When...":

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