CalUG: Where are you from, you have an accent?
Me: Edinburgh, Scotland, and I went to university in London.
CalUG: Oh WOW, I've always wanted to travel there! I want to do a year abroad in the UK!
Me: You should, it's a great experience, my cousin did a semester in Florence, and really enjoyed it, I did a year abroad too!
CalUG: Really, where did you go?
Me: *waiting for it to sink in*
CalUG: Oooooh! Here is "abroad" for you!
Me: Yup, odd isn't it?
Actually she was bright and fun to talk to, some people I've had the same conversation with never get there themselves, and don't quite get it even when I point out that I was one of the UK students being exchanged for a US student, hence "exchange student". It was such a classic moment of watching her world view expand just a little bit. I'm used to people viewing my home town as a place to visit, and to go to university, it's a major holiday and student exchange destination. I'm used to thinking of "abroad" and "foreign" as relative terms, entirely subjective, it still surprises me when I realize that to a large majority they are absolute terms. Though I suppose that absolute definition of "other" does explain a lot about what goes on in the world.