Why I Left the United States for a Tiny Island

Dec 18, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Hello wanderer! What made you click on this blog? Is it because you’re somebody who longs to feel what it is like to be English? Or is it because you’re an American looking for reasons to convince your parents (and, sometimes, yourself) that England might just be the perfect choice?

Whatever your worry is, you have come to the right place, my friend. Before settling down in one of the most divine and celestial towns of England – Oxford – to attend Oxford Brookes University, I was once a Californian high school student myself.

While everybody else was stumbling over all the country on American college visit tours prior to graduation, my heart was set in stone: I knew that if I couldn’t go to England, I wouldn’t go anywhere else and here are a couple of reasons why:



I don’t know where or how I conceived the idea that British people were cold, but when I moved here, my assumption was proven to be horribly wrong. For example, This is Leah, my very close British friend, and me having an English breakfast (an English classic, don’t miss out).

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When we first met in a lecture, she asked, with the most heartwarming grin, if I wanted to go get coffee later. Right there and then, I had to face a dilemma: when Americans asked me if I wanted to hang out, they didn’t always mean it, and it was troublesome and confusing to figure out what they actually intended. Fortunately, it turned out that she genuinely wanted to grab a coffee with me.

As such is the perfect depiction of my usual encounters with English people: they are not only smiley and friendly, but also open-minded and interested in getting to know others personally! Furthermore, when you are befriending the English, there is no time-consuming mind game involved: if they don’t fancy you as a friend, they will demonstrate it explicitly yet politely (don’t fret, that’s a scenario I have never encountered because everybody here is so kind).

Just be prepared for some new, awesome friends!



“But I heard the weather in England is really bad?” By that, do you mean something new and exciting every day?

People in Viet Nam, where I’m from, and our neighboring Thais complain that the sun burns every inch of their land. Meanwhile, my friends in Germany and Ukraine grew up in the bleak cold and all they ever wished for was the Florida heat. Isn’t that all a little complicated? Whether you’re fan of rainstorms, whirlwinds, blizzards, or just a beautiful sunny day, there is always something for you in England, and occasionally, you might get everything in one day. It amazes me every time.

In the morning, it might start out like this:

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You might find that a little off-putting. However, some people say this helps them slowly start a new day without too much sunlight blasting in their face. Regardless, in a few hours, it might start looking like this:

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What England is famous for: rain! For some, the rain is nothing but dirty shoes and slippery roads, but for others, the rain brings upon their land a scenery full of romance, beauty, and comfort.

Eventually, the sky will clear and this might happen:

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(You can take beautiful pictures of yourself in the sun like Leah here, your friends will be jealous).

After living in England for a few months, I actually started missing the Californian sun. The saying that goes, “You will never know the true value of something until you lose it,” has never hit me harder because the sun doesn’t come out as often as you would like it to. However, when the sunlight does emerge, you could see everybody smiling, and if you decide to come here, it won’t be long until you start appreciating the beauty of the sun like us, too.

And occasionally, you might find this happening:

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Now you get to finally be like one of those characters in cartoons whose mouths bend into all shapes and sizes because of the wind! And before you know it, the sun is already setting:

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The English weather is unpredictable, but that is exactly what makes it fun and exciting: like a mysterious box of chocolates, you will never know what you will get. Moreover, the weather forecast becomes practically useless, so you won’t have to waste time checking it every morning, and since the weather might change any instance, it becomes a fantastic conversation topic. The weather has never been more in your favor, right?

If you want to learn more, definitely keep a heads-up for my next blog that’s coming out in a few weeks, but in the meantime, if I have convinced you already, you can contact one of the ATP advisors through this link to get you started on this life-changing journey you have been waiting for. Good luck!