You Know You Studied Abroad When...

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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 Granada | Whitman College)
  2.  “You crave foods that you cannot find here in the United States!”
    – Yeji K. (IES Abroad Milan | Penn State University)
  3. “You critique everything about your home culture.”
    – Alex P. (IES Abroad Nantes | The 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 Dublin | University of Rochester)
  5. “Your online ads are in a different language, and you can actually read them!”
    – Hannah D. (IES Abroad Vienna | University of Rochester)
  6.  “You look at the time here and calculate what time it is there right now.”
    – Keara C. (IES Abroad Dublin | Knox College)
  7.  “You can walk confidently into a subway/metro in any city knowing you’ll ‘figure it out.’”
    – Isabella C. (IES Abroad Barcelona | University 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 Dublin | Temple University)
  9. “Most of your stories start out with ‘When I was abroad…’”
    – Amy R. (IES Abroad European Union | Skidmore College)
  10.  “Your Facebook memories are way more exciting than your life is now.”
    – Kira D. (IES Abroad Galápagos Islands | University of South Carolina)
  11. “All you can think about is how to get back.”
    – Jessica H. (IES Abroad Multi-Location: Buenos Aires & Santiago | The University of Texas at Austin)
  12.  “All your conversations somehow turn into a story from studying abroad.”
    – Erica G. (IES Abroad Cape Town | University of Michigan)
  13. “You realize you and the people in your hometown actually do have an accent.”
    – Anna S. (IES Abroad Granada | University of Minnesota – Twin Cities)
  14. “You forget words in your native language but remember it in your learned language!”
    – Jeena P. (IES Abroad Buenos Aires | Rhodes College)
  15. “You mention random, specific facts in conversation about the country you lived in.”
    – Joseph E. (IES Abroad Buenos Aires | Western Washington University)
  16. “You take changes in exchange rates personally.”
    – Charlotte P. (IES Abroad London | University of Rochester)
  17. “You are researching jobs and graduate programs abroad.”
    – Julia E. (IES Abroad Milan | University of Rochester)
  18. “When everyone asks where your clothes are from!”
    – Gillian B. (IES Abroad Amsterdam | Miami University)
  19. “Some of your closest friends live across the globe.”
    – Maya B. (IES Abroad Nagoya | University of Pittsburgh)
  20. “When you constantly say, ‘When I lived in ____, we would do it like this.’”
    – Ryan U. (IES Abroad Berlin | Albion College)
  21. “Looking through your camera roll *will* make you cry.”
    – AriaRay B. (IES Abroad Rabat | University of Vermont)
  22. “Your bedroom turns into a shrine of the place you studied.”
    – Allie G. (IES Abroad Dublin | University of Iowa)
  23. “You view the world through a more globalized and empathic perspective.”
    – Brianna B. (IES Abroad Madrid | University of Redlands)
  24. “You love a place more than you love any single person.”
    – Kaylin C. (IES Abroad Sydney | Penn 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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