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10 Things I Hated About Studying Abroad In London

You can't experience the good without experiencing a little bad along the way.

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Thousands upon thousands of students study abroad around the world each year. Whether it's a half a semester, full semester, or year long trip, I'm sure all study abroad veterans can agree that nothing can prepare you for what may be the journey of a lifetime.

I recently studied abroad in London, England for my last semester as an undergrad, and it was life changing. Although I did have the time of my life, there were a couple of things that would grind my gears.

Before we get started, let me clarify that I do not hate the subjects on the following list. It's more of an intense dislike.

Here we go!

2. Going through airport customs

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Getting stared down and interrogated at customs was one of the most intimidating situations I’ve ever been in. My customs officer gave me the biggest attitude I've encountered to date. I knew I had proof and a legit reason to be there for 4+ months yet I felt like I was hiding something that didn’t even exist. Chill, bro.

3. Having a phone plan

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I personally didn’t bother unlocking my phone and using a UK chip like some of my friends did or bought a prepaid phone that I had to pay for each month. Fortunately, my mobile carrier allowed a free international plan add-on to my existing mobile plan. I had 3G service around London which came in pretty handy every time I got lost and needed to use Google Maps. Still couldn’t make calls without getting charged so… there’s that. #firstworldproblems

4. Not understanding foreign accents

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This was a love/hate thing for me. I absolutely loved meeting people from all around the UK and the world and hearing their amazing accents, but it wasn’t always the easiest to have a conversation with them. I looked confused whenever I didn't understand. I'm sure most people were thinking “You stupid American.” I’M SORRY!

5. The time difference

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I'm from New York City, which is a 5 hour time difference from England. It was super awkward being out at the pub drinking and having your parents FaceTime you at 1 in the morning. Go home, mom and dad! It’s 1:00 a.m. here and I’m drunk!

6. The weather

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I carried an umbrella with me everywhere I went no matter the weather. There were days when the sun and rain clouds would decide to bless/curse us with rain or shine with an endless battle that lasted all day. I never knew what shoes to wear.

7. Sticking out like a big ol' American sore thumb

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Before I even had the chance to open my mouth, most Europeans knew I was Latin American. Was it the clothes? The brown curly hair? Tan skin? I just didn't blend in. WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?

9. Taking public transportation from the airport

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Don't get me wrong, plenty of people take public transportation to and from the London airports. It's actually pretty common! If there is one thing I recommend you NOT to do is take your 70 lb. suitcase, 20 lb. carry on, backpack and purse on the tube. Everyone will hate you. And you will have blisters on your hands from carrying all of your belongings up and down the stairs. Just, trust me. Please.

10. Leaving

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This was the one thing I absolutely hated: leaving this amazing city and the special people I spent so much of my time with. How am I supposed to just up and leave the place where I learned so much about myself, the world and others? Instead of living in the moment, I am now left with the greatest memories in my life to date. But don't worry, London. I'll be back someday. 'Till then, take care.

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