8 Things that Are Weird After Coming Home from Studying Abroad

I just spent the last four months studying in London and had the time of my life. While I was happy to come home and reunite with my family and friends, I was also incredibly sad to be leaving. Once I landed back in California I was excited and happy to be back living my normal life again, but over the next few weeks I realized just how much studying abroad changed my life, especially in the small ways. Here are just a few of the things that were weird when I got home from London.


1. Sales Tax

Image via East Bay Times

About two weeks after returning I went to the mall and ended up buying a new pair of pants. When I got to the register I was stunned at the price that popped up, and after about 30 seconds of shock I realized that sales tax is still a thing in America. No longer were the days where I could go to buy a shirt and pay exactly what the price on the tag said.


2. Being able to walk down the street holding my phone

Image via UCL

Phone snatching is definitely more of an issue in Europe than it is in America. I saw quite a few people abroad get their phones snatched right out of their hands by people on motorcycles driving by. Totally scary and uncalled for, but to combat this the only solution was to not walk with your phone in your hand. For the first week after being back I always had my phone in my purse when I would previously have been holding it or had it in my back pocket.


3. How wide the streets are

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Europe is known for its small streets and cobblestone roads, and while this may be an over exaggeration, the normal everyday roads are definitely smaller and less wide than the roads in California.


4. Not being able to walk everywhere

Image via Telegraph

I walked at least eight miles a day while I was gone…here, not so much.


5. The lack of good public transportation

Image via Daily Mail

Public transportation is the backbone of Europe. Unfortunately, the public transportation system in California is not at that point yet.


6. The lingo you didn't realize you picked up

Image via Anglotopia.net

I told myself I would not be that person that comes back home and starts talking as if I was still abroad, and well, that didn’t happen. Words like “lift”, “flat”, and “queue” still frequently come out of my mouth, and not even as a joke.


7. Writing out the date

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I spent my time abroad hating writing the date as day/month/year, and yet when I came home I found myself still writing it like that as opposed to the usual month/day/year.


8. Drinking the tap water

Image via Nevada Division of Environmental Protection

This obviously depends on where you studied, but in the UK drinking the tap water is perfectly acceptable, and in Southern California that is pretty much impossible unless you like the taste of acidic water.