Odd Things You Must Re-Adapt To After Exchange Ends
It has been a few months since I came home from my nine-month study abroad experience in France, and I’m STILL not over the fact that it ended. Leaving after studying abroad is like a break up (the good kind) and here a things that we learn from it. Here are the top things we experience after returning home from our study abroad semester.
Living with the family
It took a while to settle back into living back with them after not seeing them for a while. You got used to living and doing things when you wanted to, but it’s different when you’re under the same roof as your family again. You’ll also notice that during the time apart, they have changed too. It feels awkward to be around them that much again. I wasn’t sure what to talk to them about since I see them everyday and I’ve finish telling them all about my adventures. Sure the family banter never stops, but then you long for the times when you were alone in your own student apartment again.
The Cultural Practices of home
Re-adapting to living with the fam is one thing, but re-adapting to your country’s culture is a whole other ball game. In France, I had become used to French culture; like how sales assistants would always say “Bonjour!” when you enter the shop and “Bonne journeé!” when you left, even when you don’t buy anything, and I would reply the same. I felt more welcomed in the shops when they said that. In Ireland, it’s not as common, as it is done but not as practiced. Kissing of the cheek was another thing that I found weird.
When I was walking around the city of Dublin after returning home, I felt like the ‘fresh off the boat’ feeling I felt when I first came to Ireland had kicked in once again. Why? Simply because I was so used to hearing people speak French, that it sounded weird hearing people speak English again.
Recognizing your Type
I’m all for diversity (as you all already know from my previous posts) but another thing I experienced by staying in another country and then returning home is that I was able to find the “type” of guy I find more attractive. I never knew much about how French or Spanish guys REALLY were. I only knew the “stereotypes” about them, and it wasn’t until meeting a few of them during Erasmus that I actually saw the difference between Irish lads other European guys. It’s wrong to stereotype, but if you live long enough in both countries you can spot a distinct difference between the two and, at the end of the day, we are all entitled to our own opinions.
To sum up, living abroad and before moving back home are like all break ups; where we realise we have gotten used to living in a certain way and are uncertain how to go back to the life we had before it, once it ends. One thing is for certain: as we young wanderers continue to experience these pivotal moments in our lives, we become like wine – better as we grow older. Let us know on the comments below what odd experiences you encounter after you come back from studying abroad!