10 Reasons Studying Abroad In London Will Ruin You For Life

Studying abroad can be one of the best parts of your college experience, but also one of the worst. Here’s why.

1. You will complain mercilessly about public transportation.

If you live in any major U.S. metropolitan area with a shitty public transportation system (read: most U.S. cities), you probably spend what feels like most of your life stuck in traffic. You will long for the days when you would take the Tube to your university, rocking out to your latest tunes through your earbuds and occasionally making eye contact with a cute lawyer on the Metropolitan line.

2. You will never be able to look at a candy store the same way again.

After studying in London, candy stores will forever be “sweet shops” to you. You will be forever charmed by a) the sweet crunch of chocolate-covered honeycomb pieces and b) Colin, the cute Irish man who used to give you way more free samples than he was supposed to.

3. All of your American friends will begin to hate you.

You will start so many sentences with “I remember this one time in London…” that nobody will ever want to hang out with you again (except maybe people who also studied in London).

4. You will become a theatre snob.

You will become so much of a theatre snob that you will spell the word “theatre” with a “re” at the end. Upon your return to America, you will publicly declare that paying over $100 for a balcony seat is an outrage and annoy everyone with anecdotes of the time you queued—“or ‘waited in line’ for all you Americans”—for two hours to buy a £25 front row ticket to Wicked.

5. You will start drinking tea.

Tea is such a staple in England that you definitely will pick up the habit of having “a cuppa” at some point or another. You will have English breakfast tea pretty much every morning. Just don’t call it “English breakfast tea” unless you want people to give you some serious side-eye. Also, make sure to brew it correctly: steep for about 4 minutes, stir in 1-2 teaspoons of sugar (according to taste), and add milk until it’s the right colour. The “right colour” is up to you, but usually a light brown (similar to a latte) is what you want to shoot for.

Speaking of “colour”…

6. You will start adding unnecessary letters to words.

Colour, cancellation, travelling, favour, labour, modelling, prioritise… The list goes on and on.

7. You will also become a drinking snob.

An Englishman’s home is his castle, so while Americans are more accustomed to inviting friends over to their homes, the English socialize in pubs. London has some of the oldest pubs in the world, and you will spend a considerable time after class with your mates, drinking pint after pint. When you get back to America, you will complain about all bars—even the nice ones.

8. You will start political battles (probably mostly just as an excuse to talk about London).

Healthcare? Gun control? After your time in London, you’re convinced that everything is better there than here in the U.S., and you will let all of your friends know, to the detriment of dinner conversations everywhere.

9. You will begin to dress more nicely than pretty much everyone you know.

Your rain gear consists of a nice trench coat, a pair of black leather boots, and an umbrella. All of your friends will laugh at you, but you’ll just scoff at their North Face jackets, leggings, and rain boots—how very plebeian .

10. You will really, really miss everything about it.

Everything. Like, all the time.


Have you experienced London euphoria and withdrawal? Time to go back yet?



Rachael Decker
Rachael Decker
Rachael is back in the US this year after spending last spring studying abroad in London. Being a writer has pretty much always been her dream job, except that one time in 5th grade when she wanted to be Hilary Duff, but we don't talk about that. Her spirit animal is a mermaid, because she loves to sing and hates wearing pants, and "also that hair thing, I guess."