Studying abroad in France will ruin any foodie's life. Home to the world's best bread, mustard, pastries, ice cream, fries, crêpes, etc., it's any food lover's dream, but also makes it nearly impossible to come home.

1) It's not weird to eat dinner at 9pm or later.

Ally Malecha

While lunch in France is still at a "normal" time for most Americans, dinner at 9pm is totally normal in France, and dinner can last a couple hours between talking and multiple courses.

2) Goûter.

Goûter, the most wonderful word for snacktime, every day around 4:30/5 pm, sets you up perfectly for a late dinner. Go for ice cream, crêpes or a croissant. My favorite was always the prune and Armagnac ice cream from Berthillon. 

3) Apéro/Happy Hour/After Work/Literally Any Excuse To Boire Un Verre (Drinks, basically)

sweet, juice, water, vegetable, cucumber
Ally Malecha

And of course, if you don't want to get a snack, going to get drinks is equally acceptable, and some small snacks (olives, chips) will be provided. Aperol Spritz was my go-to. Just whatever you do, save yourself, and don't order pastis, a black-licorice flavored liqueur that is sometimes mixed with water and is absolutely vile. 

4) Fighting the urge to say "Bonjour" every time you enter a shop or ask for someone's help.

In the U.S., it's relatively normal, although maybe not the most polite to approach someone and ask a question without saying hello or good morning first. In France, it's considered incredibly rude, and you'll often be met with a passive aggressive "Bonjour" as a response to your question.

5) That whole 'faire la bise' thing...

Ally Malecha

It's no secret that France is made for romance (especially to fall in love with food?), but the whole cheek-kissy-thing will forever evade you. You'll spend 4 months of studying abroad trying to figure who you should kiss on both cheeks when greeting and how many times to do it, only to return home and be completely baffled by everyone hugging again.

6) You'll become too bold crossing the street.

The French are notoriously terrible drivers, so making a run for it is the only acceptable way. Also, what's up with all the roundabouts?

7) Bread.

It's just really good. I've yet to find a baguette with the right balance of crunch and soft in the States, and it's slowly killing me.

8) Pastries.

They're also really good.

9) Cheese.

Did someone say raclette?

10) Wine.

You'll get used to spending 5€ for a pretty amazing bottle of wine only to return to college and see people slapping a bag of Franzia. For what it's worth, there's still good wine in the U.S., you'll just be forever wishing you were drinking it on a terrasse.

11) Having to be incredibly well dressed everywhere you go.

Scarves. All of the scarves. Any quick trip is an opportunity to show off your style.

12) Going to a separate store for all your groceries.

There is a different store for every type of amazing food you may need, and often it's much cheaper than the grocery store.  I spent entirely too much time in cheese stores, buying every type of cheese I could get my hands on. 

13) Eating dessert or drinking coffee a minimum of 3 times a day.

cappuccino, cream, milk, espresso, chocolate, coffee
Ally Malecha

Tarte aux framboises? Or éclairs? Or macarons? Or crêpes? Is this my sixth espresso? 

14) Suddenly caring about soccer.

And risking sounding uninformed when you don't know the standings in Ligue 1, the rivalries between teams, or why Monaco is still part of the rankings despite being their own country. Knowing about sports apparently makes up for the fact that no one seems to workout in France despite being generally pretty healthy.

15) Paying less (or nothing!) for cultural events because you're under 26.

Ally Malecha

Most museums and exhibits are free, except for some of the really, really weird ones. (Looking at you, Ben at Musée Maillol). The idea of having to pay for adult tickets when you definitely don't feel like an adult is a cruel, cruel, concept. 

16) Missing it every single day.

cake, beer
Ally Malecha

Despite smelling like cigarette smoke at all times and constantly getting lost due to the lack of wifi, you'd never change a thing. 

Studying abroad in France was the best time of your life, and you're already trying to figure out when you'll go back.