Karly Sandsmarks is spending Spring 2014 at University of Westminster in London. She is a junior majoring in English with a concentration in Writing and minoring in Political Science. You can find her blog directly here: http://whereintheworldiskarlysandiego.wordpress.com/.
[Originally posted February 20, 2014]
Just because you’re off exploring the world for a semester doesn’t mean that life back stateside ceases to continue (a familiar lesson I learned during my first year of college). As a result, it is inevitable that you will miss some things – big or small – back home. Besides that, living abroad may prevent you from certain luxuries that you can only experience at home or school. In recognition of this phenomenon, I have created a list that I am hereby dubbing, #StudyAbroadProblems (let’s get this trending on twitter, fellow travelers).
1) “Chipotle Announced the New ‘Quesorito’ and I Can’t Enjoy it Until I’m Home #StudyAbroadProblems”
I first found out about this national treasure online and immediately dismissed it as a joke. It was an idea too simple, too genius, too revolutionary that it couldn’t be anything more than a fellow burrito-fanatic’s clever use of Photoshop to hype gullible Internet users into a fantasy. It would be the new Rickroll of online trolling. Desperate for knowledge, I took to Twitter (like any social media-savvy twenty-something would do) and posed the question to my friends in the States. I was shocked to discover the truth; Chipotle had done it, the “Quesorito” was real. Immediately, I ran to my nearest Chipotle and asked if they had heard such a thing…no such luck. I was so distraught that there was nothing I could do but to curse the Burrito Gods and curl up into the fetal position (I’m kidding – I got a lowly normal burrito). See you in June, Quesorito.
2) “The Dollar/Euro/Pound Exchange Rate is Killing Me #StudyAbroadProblems”
This horse has already been beaten to death, but the exchange rate is about as grueling as that figure of speech. Not only is London the most expensive city in the world, the Pound is the strongest currency in Europe. Should have studied abroad in a developing country…
3) “Thou Shalt Always Pay to Pee #StudyAbroadProblems”
First you rip me off with the exchange rate, and then you make me pay to use the bathroom? C’mon Europe, work with me! To make matters worse, most of the bathrooms in Europe are very unsanitary, which makes me question if the people standing outside collecting change are actual employees or if they are simple clever entrepreneurs.
4) “Everything is Tiny #StudyAbroadProblems”
Everyone knows that, in general, everything is smaller in Europe, whether it be the cars, the flats, or the quaint cobblestone streets. But I was not expecting my bathroom to be akin in size to those on an airplane. (I have provided a picture as evidence – note that both hands are touching opposite walls). I understand that there is not too much room in central London, but this is a bit ridiculous. If I have to stand partially outside of the shower to shave my legs, the shower is too small. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll spare you the rant.
5) “What Language Are You Speaking? #StudyAbroadProblems”
There are 23 official languages of all EU states. Not even considering all the unofficial languages, there are so many words that I don’t know. The best part is that I speak English and only English (how cultured of me, I know). I can get by with Spanish, but the remaining 21 languages are lost on me. Luckily, we live in a world where English is widely spoken and as long as you attempt some local dialect, not all foreigners will write you off as a stupid American.
Although there are many #StudyAbroadProblems, I can wholeheartedly say that they are worth it for this experience!