England F.A.Q.s

16 02 2012

Hello, readers. My life hasn’t been all that interesting recently, hence my lack of posts for a couple weeks.  However, that wait ends now!

When I went back to the States over Christmas break, I got a number of questions about my experience so far.  So, in order to educate you without having to repeat these things, I thought I’d put the answers here.  Any of my British friends reading will probably get a kick out of this.

1.  “Hey, how was London?”

I’ll go ahead and say the obvious, which is that England is more than just London.  I’m at Cambridge.  However, I guess the idea of a multiple cities in England is too hard to comprehend, apparently.  That or you don’t know I’m at Cambridge.  So, if you don’t know, I study at Cambridge!  Yay!

Now, if you know this, and still insist on me being in London, let me give this analogy to you.  In this metaphor, London = Kansas City.  England is a bit smaller than the state of Missouri.  Cambridge is equivalent to St. Joseph in terms of distance from the big city.  You don’t say to someone, “Hey, how was studying in Kansas City?” when they study at St. Joe.  You don’t assume they live in Kansas City either.  So, my fellow Americans, I am not in London.  I’m at Cambridge.

2.  “So, where’s your accent?”

I was frankly surprised at the number of people who asked me that when I got back.  I’m pretty sure 95% of the people who I talked to who knew where I was asked me that question.  Now, I know Americans like British accents.  But to expect me to have developed a spot-on British accent from two months of being there is unrealistic.  In fact, it’s unrealistic to expect me to have any semblance of a British accent when I come back in June either.

While I haven’t developed an accent, I have taken on some mannerisms of the Brits.  The cadence of my voice changes when I say things to match how the British say them–they stress syllables a bit differently.  I also have adopted the exclamation “Brilliant” as my own.  It’s an English thing.  I’ve also become more attuned to accents as a whole since I’ve been here, though I can’t really sort out the difference between English accents yet–I know they’re different, but I don’t know where they’re from.

3.  “Oh man, I’m SO jealous!”

As well you should be.

…jk.  It’s been a fantastic journey so far, and I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.  Getting the opportunity to travel and see different places is great; over break I’ll hopefully get to go to Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Belgium, and will go to Scotland in May.  Most people don’t get to do this, and I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to Europe in my lifetime.

That being said, it is easy to go overboard on the jealousy.  But don’t.  England is a cool place to live.  But so is New York.  Seattle.  Chicago.  Not so much Iowa.  My point is, there’s nothing inherently better about England–it’s a place.  I love being here now, but I love living in Kansas City and, more broadly, America as a whole.  It’s a treat to be able to have the opportunity to do this–but not because England is inherently better, rather because the study abroad experience is what’s special.  Remember, people study abroad in the U.S. all the time and love it.  My American friends, we live in an amazing country every day.  That’s something to be thankful for.

So, that’s that.  Maybe I’ll have another F.A.Q.  in the future.  Cheers!



One response

17 02 2012

Mark my words, you will pay for that slight against Iowa. Be it from God or from me, you will pay…

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