Studying abroad really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Unless you have a trust fund, it's pretty unlikely you'll experience another six month period in a foreign land with no other responsibility besides gratification. As a result, your return trip home can be awfully bittersweet. Here are a few things that all study-abroad students will miss after their European adventure, not including that cute Scottish guy that you hooked up with a couple times.
You got 15 credits at your home university for going to class a total of two days per week and turning in exactly four assignments... Those were the days.
Although the pound sterling was hitting your wallet pretty hard, getting a flight on EasyJet or RyanAir for 30 quid was chump change compared to flying from state to state back home.
Remember taking a two-hour train ride on a Wednesday morning to check out a nearby castle just because you've got nothing better to do? Yeah, us too.
Although you mostly hung out with a group of Americans, you'll never forget your first native friend who was kind enough to show you the ins and outs of their country. It's thanks to them that you know about the coolest underground places that most people overlook.
Almost nobody drives abroad, so the public transport is actually pretty frequent and efficient. You never had to worry about missing your bus or train because the next one would arrive in mere minutes.
For the two days each week you were on campus you could enjoy an afternoon ale during your passing period at one of the many campus bars. This practice is remarkably acceptable and it's one of the things you'll probably miss the most.
At first you stuck out like a sore thumb abroad with your Patagonia fleece and light colored denim, but eventually you got hip to the trends, settling on wearing only black, grey, and navy blue. Going back home, however, means going back to Patagonia.
GW Fins via Flickr
This can be especially true for an American person of color, but an American accent is all you really needed to be treated as a much better person than you would have back home. Free shots for you and your friends? You bet. At least now you know what privilege feels like.
You walked a lot more than you ever would at home and your eating was much cleaner. Sure, all your food went bad in about four days, but it was better than all the chemicals and preservatives you'll be subjected to back home.
During your time abroad, it was impossible to avoid. Your favorite bar, for example, has probably been open for at least 300 years. We're not saying that your homeland ISN'T full of history, but it was nice to get a fresh perspective.