"Have I changed?" - Cultural differences in the UK

When you live or study abroad, it does not take long before you pick up cultural habits from your new home. Sometimes it's just about new vocabulary, and other times it's about how you act or react in some situations.

KIC asked former international students what UK cultural differences they noticed in themselves. Check out this video they created about some of the habits you might pick up when studying English in the UK, and then read some more personal experiences. [You can also find out what cultural differences people have spotted in the US.]

Stephanie, from China, said that, besides saying ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘cheers’ more often, her eating habits have changed, too. She now often eats cold lunches like sandwiches and salads, which she would not have in China.

Wisam, from Syria, has found that people in England are very punctual, so he makes a big effort to be on time. He has also stopped taking afternoon naps, which are much less common in the UK.

Carol, from Egypt, started saying "sorry" in many more situations, as it is used in the UK in many circumstances. (Find out how to apologize and excuse oneself in English.Some other new words she uses are: ‘brilliant’ and ‘fantastic’, rather than  ‘awesome’, which is more often used in American English.

Nohelia, from Venezuela, has found a new love for cycling. "The thing I love the most about what London has given me is cycling as a mean of transport. I hadn’t been on a bike since I was a kid. Back in my home town Caracas, the hilly roads would kill you before you get to or from work. London, on the other hand, has opened up the possibility for me, and it feels great to keep fit and get yourself to places for free!"

Yang, from China,doesn’t mind waiting in line (queuing) anymore.
Charles, from Brazil, noticed that he has absorbed the polite ways of British people, and that he has come to appreciate a nice cup of tea.

For some more examples, check out the KIC Pathways post!

Have you noticed any of your speech or habits change when you moved abroad? Share your cultural experiences below!

Glossary:punctual arriving or doing something at the expected time
hilly: describes a location with many raised areas of land

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