When studying abroad you discover certain things that you are used to at home no longer exist or apply wherever it is you are studying. I have compiled a “Did & Didn’t” list for those things that I missed and those things that I absolutely didn’t mind living without while abroad.
Did: American Prices. The pound is worth more than the dollar, so everything was really expensive. (F.y.i. I studied in Oxford, England. Okay, moving on…) I felt like crying every time I had to spend money.
Didn’t: American chocolate. English chocolate is made with a higher percentage of cocoa and it is magical 🙂
Did: Driving and the price of gas. I missed the flexibility of driving where I wanted when I wanted. And gas prices in England are ridiculous. I mean, it makes sense because England is part of a small island, but…yikes.
Didn’t: Traffic. I know this sounds redundant because I just said I missed driving; however, public transportation is awesome and cheap! (Well, cheaper than owning a car, depending on how you use it.)
Did: My dog. Awww, typical. But I missed his turdliness.
Didn’t: Bugs. Aside from strangely over-sized houseflies there were hardly any bugs in England. None. Zero. Zilch. It was amazing. The English leave their windows open and nothing flies inside. Stunning.
Did: My family. Again, this is a pretty predictable one, but it’s no less true. However, what’s nice is that if you do study abroad with other people they can become your family abroad, and you can make some awesome friendships that way!
Didn’t: Invasive sales associates. So, this is an interesting cultural difference I noticed when I was over there – in America, when at a store you are (typically) asked if you need any help; if not once, then several times. I am the type of shopper who is not a huge fan of this because it feels like I am being pressured. Okay, so really it’s because I’m not a huge fan of social interaction. Technicalities. In England, however, they pretty much leave you alone until you approach the register yourself and make your purchase. If you have questions, you approach them. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Did: Normal-sized birds. England’s pigeons are freakishly large. And because there are not screens on any windows, sometimes they try to fly into your bedroom and eat you. It’s a thing, I swear.
Didn’t: America’s short history (as a country). America has some really interesting history, but we don’t go back as far as England. Learning about history and architecture was honestly one of my favorite things about traveling abroad. I’m a huge history buff, so that is partly it, but it is just so fascinating to me how young the country of America is in comparison with so many other countries and regions around the world. And the drama of historical families – historical gossip is very amusing.
Sorry this was so delayed getting to you. (*Cough* two years *Cough*) Hope you enjoyed it anyway!