I’m not in England anymore. I’m no longer opening my blinds in the morning to see snow, or taking a train into London, or jetting off for the weekend to other countries. I left all that behind almost two weeks ago. I’m not going to lie…I’ve been missing England so I figured I should talk to my favorite Brit that I met while I was across the pond.
Posts from the ‘Reading’ Category
I’m going to miss the walks to town, taking the train into London, and the way it felt like we had all the time in the world. I’m going to miss jumping on planes to go to exotic countries, the delicious taste when I tried new food, and all the random people I met. So here I am, left with thousands of memories (and pictures) of my time in England. The best way to tell you about what I’ll miss is to show you. Here are just a few (because there are so many) of my favorite pictures, and memories, of my time in England.
I think the biggest issue I’ve faced when coming abroad is the way the academics in England differ from back in America. It has been quite interesting to learn how British students study, but to say it was a change of pace would be an understatement.
The first thing I’ve learned is that even though England speaks English, they really don’t. At least compared to what I’ve been brought up with. Corridor means hall, flat means apartment, plasters means band-aid…the list goes on and on. It’s been one of the biggest shocks because I thought that wasn’t something I would have to worry about. However, I always end up saying something wrong when ordering food then I get strange looks and laughs from my American and British friends who don’t understand why I can’t get it right. Even five weeks in.
The main thing I was worried about when studying abroad was what it was going to be like when I got there. Would I make friends? Would I be homesick? Was the food going to taste…weird? I pondered all of these questions rather seriously because I had no idea. I’ve been in England for two weeks now and have some pretty sound advice that will help you adjust the first few days you arrive abroad.
Staying in contact with my friends and family was a big deal for me when I was coming abroad. Thankfully we live in the age of technology so I have the luxury of things like Skype to be able to catch up with my family. As far as contacting home though, you want to pace yourself. Yes I am sure that you miss home and you want to talk to your friends and family but don’t fall victim to the convenience of Skype and other such applications. If all you are doing is talking to people back home, you won’t be able to meet anyone new. Also, if you are talking to your family all the time, you will run out of stuff to talk about. So then you’ll just be sitting there. In silence. Staring at each other. Not as fun as it sounds folks. So try to figure out a Skype schedule with your friends and family. Mine is once a week. That way I talk to them fairly frequently but I am off actually doing things so I have stuff to talk about with them!
I am incredibly fortunate to have such a fantastic group of friends here in Reading with me. We were able to go to a lot of places and have a lot of fun doing it. I am sure I could probably write a novel about it maybe even a three-part series, but to save my fingers from typing and your eyes from reading all of that, I will pick out a few of my favorite photos from some of the great sites around London:
We have visited a lot of places around London that have taught me about the culture and history of England. But when it comes down to it I cam here to do my learning at the University of Reading. Now that I am in the heat of my finals, I can finally compare my school load here versus my school load back home. The difference in how the schooling works here is one of the things I did not expect before coming. I have always experienced the exact same schooling basics even if I switched through different systems in the states. I knew I would experience some cultural differences, but I figured since they spoke English it would be fine. Again, I was wrong to rely on this safety net, I guess I was just naïve about this.
The Royal Guards are one of the many iconic images one thinks of when they think of England. Although you can not hire some of these guards to be your own personal body guards, there are many ways you can stay safe while studying abroad. No matter where you go for University, home or abroad, you must be safe! Reading is a fantastic town and a fantastic University, and I always feel safe here. But there are some things that you should know to help you stay extra safe (I know my mom appreciates all of this info, so hopefully this can help sooth your parent’s nerves when you’re about to head abroad).
So by now I have told you about the buses here in Reading, but that is not the only mode of transport her: Cabs and Trains, common to Reading and easy to use.