How to travel like a local

Every year, thousands of students from all over the world visit their dream cities and learn English from Kaplan schools. But how can they discover local culture and indigenous experiences? Here are some tips to help you live and breathe English this summer:

1. Each city’s metro system has a “common name” that developed historically. You can also pick up some local vocabulary and phrases when you take public transport. For example:

New York – “Subway”

Chicago - “The L” from el, because it is mostly elevated

Boston - “The T”  from MBTA, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

Paris – “Metro”, was originally used to describe the Paris rail network (Metropolitan Railroad). Since then, many other major cities have adopted this nomenclature, such as Washington D.C.

London -  “The Tube”, from the tube-shaped deep level bored tunnel

It's easy to navigate a new city when you know how to ask about the transit.
In London, the underground transit system is known as "the tube"


When you travel in London, you can always hear people mention the phrase “Top Up”, which means to add money to an account in order to keep it at a constant or acceptable level.

Example: Do you need top up your travel card before we enter the station?

The travel card used in the London underground system is commonly known as the Oyster Card. Why? It derives its name from the phrase “The world is your oyster” coined by William Shakespeare and first appearing in his play The Merry Wives of Windsor. The expression refers to the belief that you can achieve anything you wish in life or go anywhere because you have the opportunity or ability to do so.

2. Taking public transport also helps you to experience local culture.

How to make the most of your journey?  We also have some tips from our students who are currently enjoying their Kaplan experience:

Study in London? Take bus 24 and experience British culture

You can catch bus 24 from Victoria, where it passes Westminster Abbey, turns down Whitehall and passes Downing Street, before reaching one of the most famous parts of London, Trafalgar Square, only a few minutes away from our Kaplan Leicester Square School.

The bus continues through the outskirts of London’s historic theatre district before continuing on to the renowned Camden Town. The route then ends at Hampstead Heath, where the beautiful green park is waiting to take your mind away from the busy and hectic life of central London.

Red bus is a symbol of London
The red bus is a symbol of London 


Travel back in time and experience the sights of Melbourne

When visiting Melbourne, don’t miss the chance to take a ride on the tram, which is the largest tram system in the world. The No. 35 tram covers most of the main roads in the central business districts of Melbourne. The carriages of the 35 tram have retained their 60’s style. The vintage experience starts from the second you step on the tram and where you feel as if you have been transported back to an earlier era. Best of all, it’s totally FREE!

Travel in Melbourne
Take the vintage trams in Melbourne


Stay in New York? Take the “R” line, and you will meet the world

The “Big Apple” attracts people from all over the world. When you take the “R” line, you will meet people from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. Get off from the Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue station, you can then change to the “7” line and head to the Flushing area which has large number of famous Chinese restaurants. Around 59 Street Station, you will meet lots of Italian, Irish or Russian descendants getting on the subway, and begin to really understand how diverse New York really is.

Are you looking forward to taking public transport abroad ? Emerge yourself in the local culture, you will learn more than you think! Don't forget to share your experience in the comments below.

Share this with your friends
Related Posts