Best Things About Studying Abroad in England
Study abroad programs will give you a once in a lifetime experience that you will be nostalgic about for the rest of your life, so if you have the opportunity to take a summer or a semester/quarter to go out and explore another place, you should really take advantage of it.
Once you figure out that study abroad is something that you want to do and can afford to do, the next step is figuring out exactly where you want to go. Some programs require you to take a language before you go and/or while you are there, which is a quick and sure way to learn a different language and be immersed in a culture that is different from your own.
If you are getting on the study abroad train a bit late in your academic career and you don’t have time to meet a language requirement, you can always opt for places that have English as their primary language, like England! Here are some of the best things about studying abroad in England to help you decide if it is right for you.
Studying abroad gives you the unique dynamic of being both a tourist and someone who is living abroad, so use both of these identities to your advantage. When you first get to England, you have to do some major sightseeing, even if you think being grouped in with other tourists is “lame.” You have an excuse, especially if you’ve never been to England before!
Soon, you’ll be roaming the streets like a pro, but in the beginning, take some time to get familiar with the city: go say hi to Big Ben, take a selfie or two at the Stonehenge, and visit the Tower of London. While you are abroad, remind yourself that you may never be back, and use that urgency to soak in everything you can about England.
There will come a time where you’ve played tourist in England to your heart’s desire and no longer know what to do with yourself during a three-day weekend or when you have a longer break from classes. If you are feeling adventurous, why not catch a flight to a country surrounding England, like Germany or Ireland? These flights come pretty cheap when compared to their prices from the states, so you want to take advantage of that while you can and see as many places as you can fit into your days off.
If you look into flights from London to Berlin, for example, you can find some as low as $70! If you were to book a flight to Germany from the states, you are looking at a ticket that is at least 700.
Grab some study abroad friends or locals you’ve met at work and in classes and go on some adventures. You’ll only regret the ones that you don’t take.
A way to really get immersed in the English culture is through the food. Yes, you want to cook at home to cut down on costs, but you also want to try out as many restaurants as you can and branch out your taste pallet to get a real feel for England and to explore how their food differs from that in the states. The food might not vary all too much, but the names of it and ways that dishes are prepared sure will.
Restaurant and café atmospheres will also be drastically different than what you are used to, and you’ll be able to fill your Instagram with tons of coffee and cobblestone shots by taking plenty of café breaks.
The public transportation
In England, you won’t be limited by not having a car. Unlike in the states, public transport is great in England and can get you where you need to go if it’s too far to walk, and if you’re down for a nice stroll, your feet will suffice in getting you from point A to point B.
Being able to navigate yourself around without having to pay expensive cab fees 24/7 will allow you to see more of the city you are inhabiting; will force you to learn and abide by the English way of life, which is a key aspect of study abroad insofar as you actively participate in a culture that is different from your own; and will allow you to meet more people than you would have if you were always in a car.
Ever since I watched The Parent Trap as a little kid, I always wanted a British accent, which I’m sure many people can relate to. Moving to England for your study abroad program immerses you in different dialects of British 24/7, meaning you can and will pick up some slang and different ways of saying things. It will probably drive your friends up the wall when you go back to the States, but it will be a fun little piece of England to take home with you.
These are just a few reasons why studying abroad in England would be a wonderful adventure to embark on and why it might be the perfect fit for you. If you are at all interested in study abroad but haven’t looked into specifics, make sure to check with your counselor to see how you can get credits to transfer over and when would be the best time for you to travel. Have fun!
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