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The Top 15 Study Abroad Transition Problems

Let’s get real: going abroad is scary. I spent months leading up to my trip worrying about adjusting to a new country and wondering whether I would like it. Turns out, European travel is the easy part; the real challenge is coming back to Skidmore. Even after the jet lag passes, you have to deal with:

  1. Being overwhelmed by how many people walking around you who you actually recognize.
  2. Being equally overwhelmed by the number of people speaking English.
  3. Accidentally calling something in another language and then getting irritated when they look at you strangely. (Less problematic: it’s an easy party trick.)
  4. Forgetting how to print/log onto Wi-Fi/find anything on campus.
  5. For those under 21, once again not being able to legally drink. For those over 21, remembering how not to drink wine with every dinner and sometimes lunch. Who are we kidding, every lunch.
  1. Going from weekends travelling Europe to weekends taking Greyhound to Boston…. At least you don’t have to deal with easyjet.
  2. Where did all the bakeries go?!
  3. Every time a teacher mentions the country you lived in, you can barely stop yourself from announcing everything you experienced there and just how much you learned! Cue excitement! Cue glares!
  4. Similarly, when you overhear a sophomore saying she is thinking about your program  you bombard her with information and your cell phone number so you can relive every minute, because obviously.
  5. Do parking meters accept euros? That’s all you have.
  1. Apparently, ordering European candy from Amazon is not as easy as you would think.
  2. Since when do I actually have to do homework?
  3. Going away for a summer is one thing, but it’s much more awkward to reconnect with people after eight months of being MIA. Can you spell FOMO?
  4. And when you do run into them, how are you supposed to respond to “How was abroad?” Seriously, do you have ten hours?
  5. Ugh, Americans are so loud. Definitely didn’t cheer for them at the Olympics this year.

Hopefully, campus will eventually go back to feeling like the place we know and love, though abroad will ALWAYS be in our hearts. Until then, we hope this list makes you feel a little bit better, or at least lets you know you are definitely not alone.

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Remy Marin

Skidmore '15

Remy is an English major and dance minor at Skidmore College. In addition to being CC, Remy is the VP of Outreach of Skidmore's peer mediation group and apprentice for Mediation Matters in Saratoga Springs.
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