Last Updated on July 28, 2021 by Mikayla Lawrence
As much as I love my home state, it got a little old after 20 years. Coming to London to study abroad was a much-needed change of scenery — and just about everything else. While I’m excited to go home to my family, there are certainly a few things I don’t miss about home.
1. Having nothing to do
I’m not saying you won’t be bored sometimes, but there’s literally always something new to do when boredom does happen, even if it’s just wandering around. One time my friends and I went celeb-hunting in Piccadilly Circus and somehow accidentally found Herman Melville’s old house.
2. American Netflix
Okay, yeah, the U.K. isn’t completely up-to-date on “Shameless,” but I can wait a little longer for Season 6 in exchange for a more diverse rom-com selection. Not sorry.
3. Making my own food
Granted, not every study abroad program includes a meal plan, but the ones that do know what they’re doing. The kitchen in my flat is only ever used to make cereal on the weekends. I feel like a freshman in college all over again, and I’m loving every second of it.
4. American accents
It doesn’t matter where you’re studying abroad destination is; it’s a given that the accents are cooler than the American ones we hear every day at home. (I’m studying in London, also, so I may be a little biased when it comes to this. Cheers!)
We will never be void of American politics as long as it’s our home base (and social media exists), but as passionately as I feel about our current political situation, it’s mentally exhausting. Even if I’m not looking forward to heading back to the forefront of it, at least I won’t be asked how I feel about our current administration every time a local hears my accent anymore.
6. Driving and parking
The Tube isn’t always fun and games, but there’s not a single cell in my body that’s looking forward to returning to the mess that is parking my Honda Accord in the cramped school parking lot when I’m already late for class.
7. Greasy or sugary food
Don’t get me wrong, I probably eat worse here than I do at home. But even the junk food in England is healthier than the vegetables in America. Fact-check me.
8. Taxes when shopping, eating, etc.
They’re included in the price! What a concept!
9. Being a far distance and expensive bill away from new places
I flew from London to Rome for 20 times cheaper than it usually costs my roommate back home to fly from Washington State to Montana. Traveling in Europe is a blessing.
10. Not inherently learning new cultures
Americans. Americans everywhere. At least in your study abroad country, you have to time to get to know a brand new culture — one different from where you came from. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll come to an international city like London and meet people from all over the world (and maybe even get a really awesome German roommate who will teach you taboo words in their language that make you feel like you’re in on a really good secret).
As much as I would like to study abroad for the rest of my entire life, that’s unfortunately not a possibility. There’s a small part of me that’s excited to return, but then I remember this list and want to curl up into a little ball and cry. In my flat. In London.
… Please don’t make me leave.
This post was contributed by Mikayla Lawrence, who is spending the semester studying abroad with AIFS in London, England.