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What to Expect: A Post-Abroad Laundry List of Feelings

by Steven Vargas
The Emotional Rollercoaster of Returning from a Study Abroad Experience | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS in London at Shakespeare's Globe

AIFS Student Blogger, Steven Vargas, talks about his own emotional process after returning from studying in London at Shakespeare’s Globe.


  • Wow, I am really back?
  • Why are people driving on the other side of the street? Oh wait, that’s how it’s supposed to be.
    • I almost got ran over because I looked the wrong way when crossing the street.
  • I stepped back into my dingy apartment to my dead succulent. My roommate forgot to water it. I ended up crying because of something so small. In reality, I was just sad I was back home and wanted to go back.
    • A tear.
  • I saw my water bottle I bought in the airport.
    • I cried.
  • A friend I made in London texted me asking how my day went and if I was back home.
    • I sobbed.
  • When I went to take a shower, I dug out a pound and few pence from my pocket.
    • I lost it.


  • I resorted to my friend’s place to rant about my roommate for messing up the apartment. Reality is, it was the roommate before him that did it. At the moment, I enjoyed blaming it on him.
  • I got on my computer and started finding other opportunities to go back to London.
  • I, then, furiously planned when I’d go back to the floral bodega to get another succulent, hoping the owner would not get mad at me when she finds out I killed the other one. I only met her once, but I felt we really connected.


  • I messaged all of the friends I made in London about what I was going through. They understood.
  • I talk obnoxiously about my time in London.
  • It is always on my mind and I ease it into almost every conversation.
    • I’m incredibly obnoxious.


  • Every time my friend from London texts me, I wither a little.
    • I cried a little bit more.
  • I grabbed a journal I bought in the UK and saw the symbol for the British pound on the back.
    • I got even more sad.
  • I walked into a Starbucks expecting to find a toasty.
    • I got a little furious, but also broke down a little bit.
  • My boss brought in a container with an 18 count of croissants. They were a sad replacement for the ones you can find at every bakery in London.
    • I wanted to throw them at the wall.
  • Looked at my bank account and realized how expensive not working for a month got.
    • Plotted a way to pay for first month’s rent in my new apartment in August.


  • I told myself I will make it back to London.
  • I don’t know when.
  • I will have to work just as hard to make it back.
  • I am working hard to make it back, because my story in London does not end here.

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