Study Abroad: Observations From My First Day in England

I’ve arrived in England. After a six and half hour flight, a peak of Big Ben out the plane window, a three hour bus ride, and a five minute taxi, I finally got to move into my student accommodation.

I’m not going to lie, I’m exhausted. I barely slept on the plane, and I am running on three hours of sleep. I finally hit a low moment once I got to my room when the emotional stress from the day and last night’s goodbyes washed over me. I didn’t mope for long though – after a walk around my new town, I was feeling better and more sure of myself again.


Leciester is a beautiful city, and the history is evident everywhere you look. As I walked around, with my winter jacket and hat on (brrr), and stopped in Tesco, I started thinking about some of the things I had have already noticed in my time in the UK.

1. Just because the UK speaks the same language as we do in the US, our versions are vastly different.

2. British children whine and pout just like American children (but their cuteness is instantly increased by their accents).

3. I realized how American it is to assume that well groomed men are more likely to be gay. Apparently European men have a totally different standard of style as opposed to the US.

englishbuilding englishstreet2

4. Tesco is cheaper than I expected.

5. I don’t know which way to look when crossing the street, so I end up looking back and forth multiple times before crossing.

6. Getting the hang of the measurement conversions is going to be a pain in the butt. (Why doesn’t the US teach the darn metric system?!)

fenwick lionhead

7. I am still can’t figure out which side of the sidewalk I should be walking on.

8. Even though I am in Europe and, it took me ten plus hours to travel here, it still hasn’t hit me that I am actually living in Europe.

9. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that all of my friends and family are five hours behind me, and will be for the next three months.


10. Sometimes all it takes is a McDonald’s to remind you that while the life that you left behind will continue without you, it will ultimately still be there to welcome you back when you return.

Note: Timing of new posts in the future will vary as, obviously, I have left the Eastern Standard timezone for Great Britain Time.

What’s one thing you have noticed when traveling abroad?


25 thoughts on “Study Abroad: Observations From My First Day in England

  1. nhieubeauty September 16, 2013 / 9:14 am

    I have been living in HK for total 1,5 years now, and I still do no. 5 :D

    • Sam September 16, 2013 / 10:15 am

      lol. It’s so ingrained in my mind to look the opposite direction!

  2. EyeOfTheBeholder September 16, 2013 / 9:16 am

    I’m with you on the metric system thing. I had such a hard time with feet, and inches and yards when I was living in the US.

    • Sam September 16, 2013 / 10:17 am

      I wish the US would just go to metric. They tried to convert the whole country in the 70’s, but it failed. Once people have grown up on something, it’s hard to teach them otherwise!

  3. All Things Jasmine September 16, 2013 / 9:46 am

    Welcome to Europe! Funny to see what you think. Have a great time!

    • Sam September 16, 2013 / 10:18 am

      Thanks, Jasmine!

  4. kflowermaquillage September 16, 2013 / 11:05 am

    That’s amazing that you’re in England now! It looks gorgeous! England is where I most want to travel to. You’ll have a great time!

    • Sam September 16, 2013 / 10:56 pm

      It’s so surreal. I can’t even explain it. I woke up this morning, and was like – woah – I am in Europe. lol.

      • kflowermaquillage September 16, 2013 / 11:28 pm

        Haha. It sounds amazing :)

  5. Jenn September 16, 2013 / 11:40 am

    Oh wow those pictures are so amazing. I think if I had that outside my door that I would always feel like I am some wonder land. Amazing anf exciting. The adventure is going to be great!

    • Sam September 16, 2013 / 10:57 pm

      It’s so beautiful here compared to cities in the US. Maybe it’s all the old buildings that add to the culture. It’s definitely surreal being here!

  6. producthoochie September 16, 2013 / 8:55 pm

    Poundland has great make-up for cheap. Get yourself some Battenberg cake- it is so pretty and Tesco had snack cakes of it. Victoria Sponge also rocks. Drink Strongbow, too. I will live vicariously through you- enjoy yourself!

    • Sam September 16, 2013 / 10:59 pm

      Thanks for the tips! I actually went to the 99p store and bought some cheap cutlery, trashcan, and hamper. The conversion rate is such a killer though. 99p = $1.60USD. Ouch.

  7. Chriss September 16, 2013 / 9:01 pm

    Oh my gosh, super exciting! Can’t believe you’re on the other side of the ocean! I hope you have a great time, and you might want to invest in some thick jumpers if you’re already cold ;)

    • Sam September 16, 2013 / 11:00 pm

      I can’t believe it either! lol. It’s definitely colder here than in the US. I am glad I have a warm jacket!

  8. Rebecca September 16, 2013 / 9:33 pm

    Welcome to the UK! I have family in Leicester so I will ask where you should check out while you’re there!

    • Sam September 16, 2013 / 11:00 pm

      Thanks! It’s really nice here – a lot different from the US though.

  9. Jen September 20, 2013 / 9:11 am

    I am so excited for you!! And I agree about European men’s sense of style. I often ask my boyfriend for fashion advice, haha!

    Also, I’m kinda jealous that it *only* took you a six and a half hour plane ride. :P It takes me a six and a half, and then an eleven hour plane ride. WIth a layover inbetween, sometimes two. Sigh.

    HAVE FUN!!!!

    • Sam September 20, 2013 / 9:27 am

      Haha. Yeah. It usually would have taken 7.5, but the winds were in our favor or something. Oi – such a cramped 6.5 hours in those small seats. lol. Man – I pity you for that long of a plane ride – I would be going crazy!

      • Jen September 20, 2013 / 9:32 am

        I usually watch a few movies, and sleep. There’s really not much else to do. x_X

        Let me know when you get to go into London!!

        • Sam September 20, 2013 / 9:35 am

          Yeah – I watched a movie too, and will do :)

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s