Words and photos by Anni Rezac who studied abroad with CAPA International Education in London during the Spring 2013 semester. She's a student at the University of Minnesota. Read on to find out what she learned while she was studying in England.
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Hello! I am Anni and I was lucky enough to spend the beginning of 2013 in London with CAPA. I have learned so much about this beautiful city and myself while living and interning abroad.
Below, I have tried to capture my favorite things I have learned so far.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT LONDON
- Apologize for every little bump, look or possible accidental touch, even if it wasn’t your fault. It’s just what you do. Be a gentleman or sweet lady!
- If it’s absolutely necessary to communicate with others, make sure you only complain about how unreliable buses/trains (choose according to situation) are, or how rubbish/great (same as before) the weather has been recently.
- The @ symbol is located to the right of the “L” in the UK on a keyboard, so that takes some getting used to!
- Depending on where you are in the city, call every other man ‘mate’ and every woman ‘luv’.
NEW WORDS I'VE LEARNED
- Biscuits = Cookies, Buns = Muffins, Rolls = Buns
- Ghetto blaster = boombox
- Courgette = cucumber
- Jumpers = sweaters
- Blimey! = My Goodness!
- Tenner = £10, Fiver = £5
- Nutter = crazy person
- “It’s monkeys outside” = It is very cold
- “Spend a penny” = To go to the bathroom (It is a very old fashioned expression that still exists today. It comes from the fact that in ladies loos you used to operate the door by inserting an old penny. You still have to pay for many public toilets here!)
WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF
- I have discovered a side of me that is independent and adventurous in England. The ability to navigate a city (that silly tube!) and handle weekend travels is something I can thank this whole semester abroad for. “You live and you learn” .. oh you do.
- I have learned that no matter how strong a character I might have, everything is a bit easier when you have someone there with you. I am so lucky to have made such amazing friends throughout this journey. I hope to stay in touch with many of them and reunite for more travels in the future!
- Deep down, I always knew it, but I have come to recognize how much home means to me after this experience. I have found a passion to travel, and see/live new cultures. But I will always treasure being able to have a place to call home and I am excited to take all I have learned with me back.