You Say ‘Tomato’ and I Say ‘TomAto’: Just How Different is Studying in the UK?

Apr 21, 2017 7:00:00 PM

The UNiversity of York.jpg

Deciding to move from America to study in Britain is one-part exciting and one-part terrifying. Why? Because it’s different. But just how different is it? 

“Stick the kettle on and make us a brew. Ta!”

You’ll hear so many different British accents while studying over here. Although it’s the same language, some accents sound very foreign! I have noticed that the Brits tend to mumble and speak fast; you’ll find yourself asking for people to repeat themselves on numerous occasions!

So many cultures

Alright, you’re choosing to study abroad in the UK, so it’s the British culture, right? But what IS the British culture? The UK’s universities are incredibly multi-cultural. There are plenty of Americans (one in my shared accommodation, one studying the same program as me… they are everywhere). So, if you’re looking to study abroad to get away from Americans, it’s not the best choice. But if you want some familiarity while having the study abroad experience, you’re in luck!  You’ll also find people from all over the globe, from Germany and Norway to China and Japan. It truly is a multi-cultural experience.

I got what on my paper?

When I first studied abroad, the grading system made no sense to me. I’ve since been able to figure out a great way of comparing the UK system to the North American one. Don’t expect to get a 100% on your paper. The Brits believe that if you get a 100%, there is no need for you to be at university. If anything, you should be a published author in your field! In sum, 70% or above is considered an A to A+ and anything below 50% is graded as a fail.

To rain or not to rain?

The climate here in Britain is quite temperate. Unless you’re living in Southern California, most of the US experiences BIG temperature differences between the seasons. While I’ve been living and studying at the University of York, the temperature hasn’t dipped dip below freezing throughout the winter and it hasn’t reached much above 20 degrees celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) yet either. Expect more clouds than sun and there’s a good chance it will be either damp, misty, or raining at some point during the day.

These are just a handful of differences I have had to adapt to during my time studying abroad in the UK. It’s been a great learning experience thus far, and I recommend YOU take the same chance I did, and learn a new culture! Start your application today with Across The Pond!

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