23 Things About Studying Abroad That Are Actually The Worst


1. Trying as hard as possible to avoid looking American (no flip flops, no sweatshirts, no Greek letters) and still feeling like all the locals still know your terrifying secret.

2. The overwhelming guilt you feel when you just want to take a nap, but the world is right outside your window, just waiting to be explored and shit like that.

3. Signing up for a gym membership and only using it three times because you’re too busy eating bread.

4. Wanting to use a fanny pack in an unironic way.

5. Trying to speak the local language because you don’t want to be an arrogant American, and knowing that you sound like a complete idiot while doing so.

6. …Like when you request a table for three in French at a restaurant and they reply back to you in English because you suck.

7. When you know that Coke and Diet Coke taste better over there, but you can’t come back and complain about it to your friends or you’ll sound like a pretentious douchelord.

8. Planning on immersing yourself in the culture so much that you are practically fluent before you return home, and instead just getting drunk.

9. Feeling guilty that you aren’t starting a blog like everybody else, but also hating everybody else for starting a blog.

10. Drinking so much beer every night that you practically explode, and then doing it all over again the next night.

11. When someone mistakes you for a local and you get so visibly excited that you blow your own cover.

12. Trying to discover yourself and instead discovering fattening pastries.

13. Taking a really long time at the cash register doing conversion rates in your head, because math is hard. And depressing.

14. Staying in for the night on the rare occasion that you have a test the next day, and realizing you no longer know how to study.

15. Hating yourself when you start missing chain restaurants like Ruby Tuesday’s. WHY?!?

16. Checking for your passport every 14 seconds when you travel, and feeling a total panic set in when you don’t immediately find it because you put it in a different pocket in your bag.

17. Basking in your own basicness by taking a picture in which you push against the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

18. Having FOMO when all of your friends are together back home and then yelling at yourself because YOU’RE IN AN AWESOME FOREIGN COUNTRY and you shouldn’t give a damn.

19. Planning on exploring a museum or castle after class and then somehow ending up at the gelato place. Again.

20. Crying when you leave – mostly because you’re sad to go, but also because none of your pants fit.

21. Wanting to tell people stories when you get home, but knowing that there’s no way to say, “When I was studying abroad in Europe/Asia/Wherever” without sounding like a douchebag.

22. Coming home and not wanting to complain about reverse culture shock because you know that people would punch you in the face, and you couldn’t blame them.

23. Feeling like study abroad ~*changed you*~ in some way, and then remembering you used to make fun of people who said stuff like that. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

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