A group of 15 first-generation UK students is seeing blue across the pond this summer. In a course specifically designed for students who are the first of their families to attend college, the group is exploring global communication and business in London, England.
Student Emily Griffin took some time to jot down 10 things she’s learned during her program.
- Do not call them “restrooms”. People in London do not know what you mean. They are simply called “toilets” and in most buildings they are on the -2 floor. In public places, the toilets cost money.
- London is a hustle and bustle city. You better move out of their way–especially in the tube (their underground railroad system).
- Cars do not stop for you. Most people I see here jaywalk, and you will see cars coming straight at them honking their horn. It has been hard to remember to look right when I normally look left at home, or vice versa.
- British people eat beans with their breakfast. Ew. And the newspapers here are free. There are two newspapers distributed throughout the day. One in the morning for the night before, and one in the middle of the day for what has happened that day so far.
Everyone here is skinny and tall for the most part. And they usually have a suitcase with them everywhere they go. I spoke to a guy and asked him why he had one. He is an alcohol distributor all over the country. That escalated quickly.
There are stairs EVERYWHERE. So. Many. Stairs.
- It is hard as hell to split a check up here. Especially if they have a VAT (value added tax). Oh, and customer service is much different than in the States. Here, you have to get their attention or you won’t see them for hours.
- They have the most beautiful parks in the world here. People just sit on blankets outside at all times of the day relaxing, or eating, or reading. It is a much more relaxing spot than people make it at home.
- Don’t make eye contact, look at their teeth, or stand to the left of the elevator.
- Londoner do not care how much PDA they are displaying. They make out EVERYWHERE