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Advice for American going to college/university in England? Watch

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    I am American (native to Boston, MA) and I have been accepted to go to college in England starting this coming Fall. I'm a little older than most college students because I have worked for four years to save money to pay for my course. My question is this: how easy is it to make friends in England? I am excited about starting college but I have to admit that I'm a little scared about having no friends. I've only ever left the US to go to cross-border to Canada so I do not really know how easy it is to make friends in England or how friendly the people there generally are. I guess I sound pretty stupid. But the idea of being a whole ocean away from home and not knowing anyone is kind of daunting. Any other advice about attending college in England would be appreciated a lot!!

    Meredith.
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    Your age should make little difference, you'll probably have many people on your course and in accommodation who are in their 20s.

    If you make an effort it's easy to make friends, brits are laid back, friendly and will chat to anyone for the most part.

    You may want to brush up on your sarcasm though, we're full of it. And if you don't understand British humour you may have a bit of trouble getting jokes and feeling left out/ confused or unintentionally insulted. :lol:
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    Your age should make little difference, you'll probably have many people on your course and in accommodation who are in their 20s.

    If you make an effort it's easy to make friends, brits are laid back, friendly and will chat to anyone for the most part.

    You may want to brush up on your sarcasm though, we're full of it. And if you don't understand British humour you may have a bit of trouble getting jokes and feeling left out/ confused or unintentionally insulted. :lol:
    What?!!!
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    (Original post by hezzlington)
    What?!!!
    Well lived here all my life and that's the only experience I have had, ahah. Granted...London is probably different and not as nice. Up North is where it's at.
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    Well lived here all my life and that's the only experience I have had, ahah. Granted...London is probably different and not as nice. Up North is where it's at.
    Scousers are really nice and so are people from Sheffield, everywhere else (Manc, Newcastle, London etc) people are generally pretty moody i'd.

    When I went to america by myself i found people were so cheery and down to earth compared to us :dontknow:
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    (Original post by hezzlington)
    Scousers are really nice and so are people from Sheffield, everywhere else (Manc, Newcastle, London etc) people are generally pretty moody i'd.

    When I went to america by myself i found people were so cheery and down to earth compared to us :dontknow:
    I thought Manchester was pretty friendly.

    Never been to America but I know some Americans...way too cheery for my tastes down to earth....depends which ones. Some of them, just like brits are off their rocker.
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    Firstly it's university, not College. If you're going to a College in the UK then that would be a bit weird as that's age 16-19 education usually and even if they do more advanced courses they are not the ones that award the degree.

    If you're as outgoing as most Americans are that come over here you will make friends fairly easily, just avoid topics like religion, guns, anything pro-republican. Your age will be fine, there are plenty of slightly older people who go to British unis, chances are people won't even know you're older until you tell them. Finally, learn how to drink like a Brit before you come over or you will have problems keeping up.
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    as a Londoner, I can say Londoners are sarcastic by even British standards. We're moody and we seem to be complaining most of the time but once you get past that, as a general rule, we're pretty harmless. We can be some of the friendliest people around, as long as you don't try and copy our accent or speak cockney.
    Drinking like a Brit-> beer is warm. Bitter is strong, and lager is slightly weaker. both make American booze seem non-alcoholic in comparison. Drinking is a significant part of some peoples' uni life, but not everyones.

    when feeling awkward, comment on the weather. its a safe fall back. works for me all the time (I always feel awkward), and don't compare tea and coffee. When speaking to elderly folks, do not talk about American involvement in ww2, this will invite lectures, which you will then be obliged to listen to!
    Good luck in Blighty!
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    (Original post by themarshmonster)
    as a Londoner, I can say Londoners are sarcastic by even British standards. We're moody and we seem to be complaining most of the time but once you get past that, as a general rule, we're pretty harmless. We can be some of the friendliest people around, as long as you don't try and copy our accent or speak cockney.
    Drinking like a Brit-> beer is warm. Bitter is strong, and lager is slightly weaker. both make American booze seem non-alcoholic in comparison. Drinking is a significant part of some peoples' uni life, but not everyones.

    when feeling awkward, comment on the weather. its a safe fall back. works for me all the time (I always feel awkward), and don't compare tea and coffee. When speaking to elderly folks, do not talk about American involvement in ww2, this will invite lectures, which you will then be obliged to listen to!
    Good luck in Blighty!
    This don't do this. No matter what you think, your accent impression is bad and it is neither funny nor impressive.
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    Easy. Just don't be a Republican

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    Don't expect for there to be any Greek life at most of the universities - the most extreme stuff you will see will probably come from some dining club or a rugby team.
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    (Original post by Mhenleyson)
    I am American (native to Boston, MA) and I have been accepted to go to college in England starting this coming Fall. I'm a little older than most college students because I have worked for four years to save money to pay for my course. My question is this: how easy is it to make friends in England? I am excited about starting college but I have to admit that I'm a little scared about having no friends. I've only ever left the US to go to cross-border to Canada so I do not really know how easy it is to make friends in England or how friendly the people there generally are. I guess I sound pretty stupid. But the idea of being a whole ocean away from home and not knowing anyone is kind of daunting. Any other advice about attending college in England would be appreciated a lot!!

    Meredith.
    Starting at university is generally an open pass for anyone and everyone to make friends. Go out on the freshers week events.

    Some tips:

    Americans have the reputation of being rather loud and brash. Reel it in a few notches so as not to feed the stereotype :P If there's something us brits really really hate, it's when americans try to imitate our accent, usually by saying "Aye aye, Guvnor".

    Hopefully you're not a republican. University is where young british minds discover their (annoying) political callings. And I'd say the vast majority of them all have an overwhelming desire to strangle Donald Trump.

    If you're in a cafe, don't expect free refills. Also, tipping isn't quite as much here as it is in the states, and is expected even less if you're a student. 5-10% up to £5 is perfectly adequate if you choose to tip. The majority of prices here include tax (which is called VAT and is charged at 20% on nearly every transaction).

    Gun ownership, with the exception of air rifles and air pistols, is almost non existent in cities. It's only once you start getting into rural areas that people have shotguns, occasionally, hunting rifles. Pistols are banned completely. If you want to let off some steam, there are several shooting ranges around the country (the main one is Bisley), and clay pigeon shooting is a popular pastime for those that have the interest, just in case you were that way inclined.

    If you're planning on driving at all, remember we drive on the left, and most cars have manual gearboxes.

    Despite somewhat ambigious information in various places, there is no such thing as a legal weapon for self defence. This includes pepper spray. Now, that's not to say that one can't use objects to defend themselves with - you can use any "reasonable force" (which in extreme cases includes killing) - but you can't take something out with you for the purpose of it being a self defence tool, whether it's designed for that purpose or not. Technically, if you carried a banana for the sole purpose of hitting someone with it, you're breaking the law.

    Alcohol in the UK is generally considerably stronger than in the US. "Light Beer" is very uncommon, although you may find popular brands like Coors Light in large supermarkets. Beer is not generally served refrigerated, although Lager is. Most beers are between 4-6% ABV, with some gentler ales being around 3.5%, and stronger ones being up to 7%. Quite often when it comes to ales, the bottled ones are slightly stronger than those on tap. Wine is measured with the metric system, and is served in 125 or 175ml measures. Bottled and canned beer also uses the metric system, served in 275ml, 330ml, 500ml or 660ml bottles, however bars and pubs will pour pints or half pints. The UK pint is larger than the US pint. The UK pint is 568ml, as opposed to the US pint which is just 473ml. Shots are measured in singles and doubles, which are 25ml and 50ml respectively.

    The UK also uses an "Alcohol Units" system. This is a measurement of alcohol which is applied to all alcoholic beverages. The rule is Units = Volume (L) x ABV (%). So a 500ml bottle of 5% beer is 2.5 units. A 25ml shot of a 40% spirit is 1 unit. When you are no longer able to work out how many units are in your drink, you've had enough :P

    Healthcare-wise, you will need to check about surcharges on your visa, since you may not be automatically entitled to free healthcare.

    And to end on a comic note, here's Jack Whitehall talking about UK vs US

 
 
 
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