I know what you’re thinking. Your friend is finally back from studying abroad and you were so excited to see them, but now they won’t stop talking about their time away or about how much they miss Europe. I get it, I’m that roommate. These are some things I know you’re probably sick of hearing at this point, but hey, cut us some slack. We’re just a little excited to share our experiences with you. Here are some of the differences between studying abroad and studying at Loras.
1. We never had this much homework.
Really we didn’t. We were really spoiled. Some days our only “homework” was to go into the City Centre and learn more about the monuments and architecture. So sitting around doing papers, take home tests and three chapters of reading all in one night is a little daunting until we get back into the swing of things.
2. I forgot there were so many hills in Dubuque.
I may not personally know much about Santiago de Compostela or Lisbon, but in Dublin there are hardly any hills, so walking was a breeze. Not to mention public transportation was amazingly efficient. The U.S. needs to take a couple hints from Europe in that department.
3. Okay … how do I drive again?
This may seem silly, but it had been awhile since we’ve been behind the wheel of a vehicle. For those of us who lived in Dublin, we had to get used to the right side of the road again. Don’t worry though, we’ve had time to practice and we know what we’re doing again.
4. The food was just … better.
Honestly this has been one of the biggest transitions, for me at least. Food there just tasted better. It was local, less artificial and just plain good food. Even the weird food that we don’t see in the U.S., like black pudding, was amazing.
5. I’m just swamped with all of these classes (I have four classes and a part time internship).
Kind of like our homework complaints, give us a break with this one. We just spent a semester filled of experiential learning, so we need some time to readjust to the full time class and work schedule, not to mention all the group projects and presentations that need to be coordinated.
6. Let’s go down to City Centre! Oh wait you say downtown here.
We picked up a lot of European colloquialisms while abroad. Downtown Dublin isn’t a thing; City Centre Dublin is. The queue sounds a lot cooler than the line. Plus, “that’s gas” is far superior to “that’s funny.” We carry these over because, frankly, they sound better.
7. The pace of life was much more relaxed abroad.
People didn’t seem to be rushing around to get to the next thing. They would stop and have actual conversations when they met someone they knew on their way somewhere. Also, in Spain they have siestas. Siestas are a two to three hour gap in the day where you can eat a big meal and take a nice nap, EVERY DAY.
8. When I was in Europe …
This one is probably the most annoying to you because you’ve either heard the story a million times already or it seems like we’re bragging about being able to spend time in Europe. I promise we’re just trying to add something we find relatable to the conversation. We were gone for a whole semester and we’re not quite caught up on everything that happened while we were away. Trust me, we want to hear about everything you did without us too.
This leads me to the last thing that I’m sure you’re probably the most tired of hearing us say…
9. When can we go back?