It starts with them over-pronouncing “mozzarella.”

Studying abroad is the great American escape.

In the 1960s, people would take a break from college to join a band or protest a war, but nowadays people pick a random European country on a map and study there for a semester. While it’s safer than joining a band, studying abroad sometimes turns people into gigantic snobs. Recognizing that your friend has turned into a douchebag after a semester abroad is challenging and upsetting, but you will get through it. Here are the stages of realizing your friend turned into a total garbage person in Europe.

1. After 3–4 months away, your friend has finally posted a return status on Facebook, so you immediately message them to hang out

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

“Oh my GAWD, Tiffany’s back from MONACO!” you naively squeal in delight as you make plans to reunite.

2. You reunite and it’s SO amazing to be back together again

Gossip Girl

Hugs on hugs on hugs! It’s the best day ever!

3. Everything is chill until you order drinks and your friend orders a “CAFF-ay”


You shake it off because they just got back from France and maybe they’re not totally used to English again.

4. Then they start over-pronouncing EVERYTHING and it really throws you for a loop

The Interview

If your friend studied in Italy, they start to say things like “moat-za-ray-ya.” Literally every food item ever is at the mercy of the weird Itali-English thing your friend’s got going on.

5. THEN they start America-bashing and you’re totally cringed out

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Suddenly your Luke Bryan-loving, hick friend from Ohio is an expert about how food, driving, politics and literally everything in America is worse than Austria or wherever the hell they were when they turned into this Europhile douchebag. Like, show some loyalty.

6. You feel close to snapping when they say something along the lines of “Wow, your American accent is showing”

The Amanda Show

And all you did was innocently ask, “What was your favorite class in Belgium?” Not “JESUS FIREWORKS BARBECUE TRANSFORMERS APPLE PIE WE’RE NUMBER ONE” while eating a cheeseburger, drinking a Diet Coke and doing your best Huckleberry Finn impression.

7. It’s especially awful if the friend comes back from Europe obsessed with a trend or niche social cause

Bravo TV

Sure, the farmers in Belarus need help, but like, calm down for five seconds. Also, stop trying to make “fetch” happen and stop saying we need Mars Bars here. We have those—they’re called Milky Ways, you dunce.

8. You finally cut the meeting short when they start critiquing American films and music


Yes, unfortunately, America has Michael Bay—but the rest of the AMAZING American film industry also exists.

9. You say goodbye, feeling salty and patriotic. But remember, it’s all going to be okay because in a month you’ll see them again and they’ll look like this:

“Saturday Night Live”

Yes, your friend could return to normal for two reasons: It’s the Fourth of July OR they saw ‘Hamilton.’

Europe didn’t turn them into a douchebag—they always were one and Europe just brought it out of them.