You know you've been an exchange student if

You know you’ve been an exchange student if…

  1. … before waiting to see if anyone understood what you meant, you start acting it out.
  2. … you think 100 pounds to pack up your entire life is plenty of space.
  3. … you don’t have preferences anymore, especially when it comes to food. Nothing tastes familiar, thats for sure.
  4. … you spend a lot of time smiling, nodding, and pretending you understand what’s going on.
  5. … you classify „doing your homework“ as translating half of it. And that alone took three hours.
  6. … when your grandma asks you what you’ve been learning, you tell her something general, instead of „how to open beer bottles with a 50 cent coin.“
  7. … you sometimes use the excuse „Sorry, I don’t understand“ to avoid answering a question…even if you do.
  8. … they offer cocktails at the back-to-school party.
  9. … you want to hug the people who attempt to speak your native language to you.
  10. … you’ve called every person who says „hi“ to you your friend… because you don’t really have any yet.
  11. … you’ll read anything in your native language just to have something to read…even packaging labels.
  12. … you’ve got on the bus and had the driver say „you don’t want to be on this bus“ because you got on the same bus the night before and it was wrong then, too.
  13. … you sometimes walk around the school during breaks to act like you’re doing something, because you don’t see anyone you recognize and don’t want to stand there awkwardly.
  14. … you know the answer to a question in a class but don’t raise your hand because you don’t want people to expect to much from you.
  15. … you’re better than your teacher in your foreign language class.
  16. … you are a master of pantomime and circumlocution and still can’t have a conversation.
  17. … you actually think the language barrier is a good thing when it comes to things like lying to your host parents.
  18. … you’ve ever mispronounced something in your native language (for example, names of products, TV shows, companies) because you know the others will understand it better if you say it with an accent.
  19. … you’ve tried so many different foods due entirely to the fact that you cannot understand the person asking you what you want so you just nod your head, say „yes“, and hope to god it tastes half-decent.
  20. … you’ve tried to order something in your host country’s language only to be answered in english because you did it so badly.
  21. … you’ve gotten annoyed with said people that automatically answer you in English when you try to speak to them in their language.
  22. … after you come back everybody tells you that you have a weird accent.
  23. … your dreams are bilingual.
  24. … sometimes it takes you about 5 minutes to remember a word in your native language that you were going to use.
  25. … you automatically use words in a foreign language that you cant even translate but they just seem to fit the context.
  26. … you watch television shows and movies that you know in your native language, just to understand it for once.
  27. … you begin to enjoy foods that you had previously despised at home.
  28. … you’ve gotten out of a punishment or being yelled at because you didn’t understand the language, or at least pretended you didn’t.
  29. … it becomes a habit to introduce yourself by saying: „I am from (country) and my name is (name).“
  30. … you’ve gotten upset because someone assumed you wanted to do something…and then were told you were asked if you wanted too, and you said yes!
  31. … you’ve said something like ‚oh yes‘ or ‚not thanks‘ only to have everyone laugh because your answer made no sense compared to the question.
  32. … you actually got a high five when you understood what someone said to you.
  33. … you’re never sure if someone’s being your friend, flirting, seducing you, or sexually harassing you.
  34. … while you’re having a nice conversation with your Gastopa and Oma, your host sister is making out on the same couch. Then her and her boyfriend are always sure to announce when they are going to take a bath together.
  35. … you’re not sure whether it’s a children’s book or porn.
  36. … you get a little scared before starting a sentence with big words in it in another language.
  37. … you have been put in a one or more classes with the fifth graders, because you’re supposed to understand more there.
  38. … you are always counting the time difference between where you are and home.
  39. … you always forget the time difference when you call a friend or family member back home…sorry for waking you up at 4 AM mom.
  40. … you do something wrong and people look at you weird, your excuse is „That’s how we do it in my country“ even if it isn’t.
  41. … you have gone in to greet someone with a shake of hands and find yourself being pulled into an awkward hug/double kiss on the cheek or the other way around.
  42. … you carry a dictionary and a camera in your bag.
  43. … you get so used to broken English you finish people’s sentences even though no one else can understand them.
  44. … you get into arguments with the foreign language teacher (English) over how to pronounce something.
  45. … you try to speak in the native language and everyone immediately knows „You’re not from around here“.
  46. … you can get into the strictest clubs with your ID from you host country, because most people get confused and just let you get in.
  47. … you know every cuss word in your host language, but still cant conjugate into past or future tense.
  48. … peoples stares don’t bother you anymore.
  49. … you’re ready to drink anytime of the day.
  50. … you have mastered the arts of deception and sneakery.
  51. … you’ve spent more than one night getting drunk with your host parents.
  52. … everyone thinks your playing the tough guy when you say you haven’t called your mom yet and don’t miss her too much.
  53. … a conversation is going fine, before it suddenly get stuck on some word or phrase which makes you completely forget what you were talking about.
  54. … you buy clothes in your country so you don’t look so much like a foreigner.

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