My Highschool Year in the US


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This text isn't mine, I saw it on a board and thought it was hilarious so I posted it in here...


You know you are an exchange student when...

You ask for some type of food/snack/drink to be care packaged to you
as your Christmas present.

When you have problems understanding people in your native language
because you instinctively assume they're speaking your host language
and listen for words in that language.

Back home, you watch lame documentaries on the History channel in the
hopes of seeing your host country or hearing your host language.

Back home, you have a hard time walking off the sidewalks (and always
scan for dog poop if you do).

You have at least five stories you could never tell your parents.

You ever got out of punishment of being yelled at, or gotten out of
school work because you didn't understand the language or pretended
that you didn't.

You buy everything in sight with the name of the country you went to
visit so when you go back people are bound to ask you about it.

You're so used to another culture and language that your home country
is a distant memory.

You can trick people at American parties into thinking you're from
wherever you went on exchange.

Getting yelled at doesn't bother you because they just sound so funny
getting all worked up in a foreign language.

You make references to your exchange casually all the time, because
sometimes you'll find someone who actually cares.

You want to kill your classmates in your foreign language class back
home, because they're not as good as you are - but of course you
secretly like it that way.

You get letters and emails in a language that no one else can read.

You've ever attempted to fit all your worldly possessions into 2
suitcases and a carry on. (And have succeeded, more than once!)

You cringe at the mention of 'baggage weight limit'.

You can describe in perfect detail every symptom of traveler's flu,
but still travel anyways.

You can swear in 20 languages but only speak 2 or 3 fluently.

You're living or have lived in a country that most people can't
identify on a map, or in a city that nobody you know besides you has
ever heard of... ... and you recommend it as a vacation spot to all
your friends. ... and when you get home, you're automatic friends with
anyone who has even heard of it.

You crave food that would make most people where you're living go
'ughh....' (Whether you're abroad or back 'home')

You have a supply of some food that you're hoarding because you can't
get it wherever you are.

The best gift someone could possibly get you is a can of Dr. Pepper/ a
jar of peanut butter / tortilla chips and salsa, American style /

You have been in the country long enough that when you see a
'foreigner' you laugh and shake your head - but you never help, just

When you get together with other students, the only stories you tell
are the ones that your organisation does not need to hear.

It becomes habit to introduce yourself by saying 'I am from (country)
and my name is (name)

It's a shocker to actually have clean clothes for once in your life,
because you don't do your own laundry back home.

Every day is a new adventure and you don't consider it a day unless
something worthy of story telling happens.

Water in unopened bottles is your best friend. along with Imodium

You read books you've never heard of and would never dream of reading
if you were back home because they are the only English books in your

You 'talk' to your pets when you phone home.

You find the things that were strange to you when you first arrived so
normal that you now think the equivalent back home is strange.

You become really good friends with people you barely spoke to back
home because they e-mail you more than the people you considered your
'good' friends.

You can't imagine what life will be like without all the wonderful
things you have experienced and friends you have made in your new

You speak the wrong language every time you open your mouth for the
first few days you are back home after the first few days of speaking
the wrong language, you speak your own language with a strange accent.

You can't remember the words for things so you make them up, and
everyone understands exactly what you mean, or thinks that your word
is cooler than the real word.

People mistake you for a local until you speak (sometimes even after).

You help tourists because you know where the nearest bank is, how much
it costs to mail a letter, how to use the pay phone, what bus to take,
local customs, etc.

You can't walk through a public place (e.g. train station) without
seeing someone you know.

Major tourist attractions no longer faze you (e.g. you go to the
Grande Place because there's an ATM there).

You can understand things in languages you've never studied

You no longer know where home is.

You think blazers with tons of pins are way cool, although everybody
laughs at them.

While other, non-exchange people are amazed by how many pins you have,
you insist that you have very few and won't be satisfied till you've
at least doubled the number.

Your eyes are constantly scanning for more pins to buy, and when you
can't buy any more you make them out of bottlecaps and transit cards.

You have dreamt in the native language of the country your in, and had
no clue what in the world happened, let alone what was said.

You get offended when people try to speak to you in your native language.

You find that speaking in your native language becomes strangely
difficult and you forget words that you have known almost your whole

You've got friends on more than two continents.

You can legitimately argue with yourself in 2 languages.

You have actually done this.

You worship a hand written letter that went 'snail mail'

You have a license plate hanging off a wonderful blue blazer.

You have a phobia that if someone were to spontaneously explode in
their blazer all would perish nearby due to the pins.

The first words you learned were the 'bad' ones.

You go to school only to do nothing.

You begin to talk to the animals in the house or just random objects
When you walk down the street, everyone stares at your 2nd head.

You begin to think like you're 4 again, because you have no language.

You begin to feel like you're 4 again, because everyone just leads you
from place to place and you never know what's going on.

When you call home your family is convinced you are getting stupid
because you can't speak your own language.

You have trouble explaining to your host family why you celebrate
certain holidays in your country.

You can't say your host family's phone number in your native language,
only in your host country's language.

You forget your home address (in your home country).

It's normal to you to see a man walking a cow down your street.

You can pick a tourist out of the crowd because they're dressed so
weirdly... and you don't consider yourself one of them.

You have eaten animals you once considered pets. '

Good job! I understood you!' is a compliment.

You and your native friends talk about and mock English speakers right
in front of them, and then the tourists get all charmed that they are
listening to 'real' people from that country.

You are reading this list and find it hilarious, though people around
you reading it say 'I don't get it.'