Ok, so I’ll admit that most study abroad blogs (mine included) focus on the beautiful, crazy, amazing adventures and glorify studying abroad. Yes, I have loved my time abroad, but there are a few things that most people gloss over when writing their blogs. So here is a list of things no one tells you about studying abroad in the UK:
- There is a lot of planning involved- you don’t just magically go places on weekends, it is up to you to sort out all the details about transportation, lodging, food and so on- Google docs and skyscanner will become your best friends!
- You actually have to study- yes as silly as that sounds, you will always be a student first and a world traveler second.
- You will need to seriously budget your money- know your preferred method of payment and check with your bank about foreign transactions fees, these can really add up
- You will miss things at home- just because you aren’t there doesn’t mean that your friends and family pause their lives. You will miss family holidays and school events and that can make you very homesick
- Senior Housing- you will have to sign leases while abroad and it can get very complicated
- Coordinating with friends in different countries is hard, but make time to do it
- It is ok to be homesick and it is also ok to not want to go home
- It can get really cold here really fast- remember a warm coat or two
- Don’t expect to become an expert in four months- take your time being a tourist and don’t be ashamed of it
- Planning on celebrating Thanksgiving with some good old pumpkin pie? think again, it is extremely difficult to find canned pumpkin in the UK
- You will never get used to how early the sun sets in the winter
- Cross the street will always be a dangerous adventure- they drive on the other side of the road remember
- Even if the UK seems similar to the US culture wise, the UK school system is much different!
Well those where just a few little tips that I think are helpful for anyone planning on studying abroad in the UK. But don’t let this scare you, I have had a fantastic time in Edinburgh so far and wouldn’t change it for the world!