Now, as some of you may know I am British but perhaps more surprising is that I went to university in the United States. I was based in Massachusetts which was important for context.
That was many years ago but going to university in the states was actually my first time being over there! I absolutely loved it but I also noticed so many differences during my time there which I thought I would share in case anyone is also planning on living or studying abroad.
Lets get right in:
First thing I noticed when I arrived to my dorm was that there was two beds in my room. Interesting…… As I was an international student I had arrived earlier than all the other students so all the dorms were empty. I peeked my head around the other dorms on the floor and noticed they all had two beds which I swiftly discovered meant that I was getting a roommate. Now guys, if you are from the UK you will know that everyone in university has their own room so I was both nervous and excited at the same time. I was lucky that I was on good terms with my roommate and I had fantastic neighbours living next door so this was not an issue for me but living one year without privacy was sometimes tough as you can all understand.
Something which I absolutely adored about campus life was that it really reminded me of High School Musical… YUP. I could not believe how much there was to do. There would be events almost every week and one time all these A-list celebs came to do a concert on campus… In the UK there is arguably nothing like this!I feel UK university culture is only “fun” first year of uni, but I was living in the States in my third year and had more fun then than my whole time at a British university. Abroad I was able to take electives and extra curriculum activities which most people also did but in the UK most people don’t do these I feel. I also noticed that sports culture was huge in the States, especially on campus. People would be wearing school merchandise which is definetly not something that happens in the UK.
Another benefit to the US uni system is that, and I am not sure if this is nationwide, my university over there had a two week period where you could trial classes then drop them if you didn’t like this. I wish my British university had something like this! If I didn’t have access to this feature I would probably have been forced to continue a class on Old English History….. YAWN.
Now, when I first went to a supermarket in the States I felt like I was a kid in a sweet shop. I must have spent hours running around the aisles trying to look at everything hahahaha. However, what I swiftly learnt in the States was that the candy was not like it was at home . . . like at all. . . I have seen so many videos that are like “American trying British Candy” and vice versa so I know this is a topic of discussion but when I had the chance to go home over Christmas I came back to Massachusetts with a whole suitcase full of chocolate. Even my American friends said to me the KitKat from the UK tastes very different than KitKat in the States hmmmmm…..
If you have been following me for a while you will know I have mentioned that I adore the American accent. However, my British accent did me no favours when I was trying to ask things in the States. The amount of queues I have held up by simply trying to explain that I had a parcel waiting or the amount of difficulties I had in understanding what cilantro was hehehe. Overall, I had no problems in others understanding me. I visited Arkansas over the Thanksgiving break to meet my online best friend and I felt that in the south I still had no troubles getting by and being understood. If anything, everyone will be fascinated.
I will keep this post short and sweet but I just wanted to add if anyone is thinking of studying in the United States then I highly recommend it and will be more than happy to tell you more about the visa process etc . . Just send me a message.
Until next time!