Five Things You'll Notice Being an English Exchange Student in America

  1. You’ll have a roommate

 

In England you’ll almost always get a single room. In America, as far as I know, you’re much more likely to share a room if you’re living on campus. Before I came to the University of Maine, I’d never shared a room with anyone and I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the idea. But it’s actually not bad, it meant I had a ‘ready-made’ friend. I got to speak to my roommate before I flew over here, and it was nice to know someone before I arrived. Plus, she has a car which is always a bonus when you can only bring one suitcase and need to make multiple trips to Target. (Tip: buy earplugs and an eye mask, we definitely run on different schedules and I’d struggle without these lifesavers)

                                                                                      

  1. Guys dress differently

 

The first day I went down for breakfast in York dining hall on welcome weekend, I was surrounded by a sea of backwards caps, baggy basketball shorts and pulled up Nike socks and sliders. A look I’ve rarely, if ever, seen in England. Campus fashion in general seems to be more casual, which I’m definitely not complaining about.

 

  1. Homework/tests

 

In England we don’t get homework that’s graded. Sure, we get given readings, but few people actually complete them all. After my first week here I had already been assigned a graded presentation, two reading digests, one response paper, and the threat of a pop quiz the week after. The work load is a LOT bigger, but at least I won’t have three final exams that pretty much decide my grade at the end of the year!

 

  1. People love accents 

 

I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve had people say, ‘You have an accent’, attempt to mimic how I sound, and tell me they could listen to an English accent all day. But seriously, no one actually says cheerio, England isn’t just London, and to me, Americans are the ones with the cool accents.

 

  1. School Spirit

 

You will see university branded clothing EVERYWHERE. I don’t think I’ve had a class yet where someone hasn’t been sporting a top with ‘UMaine’ on it. I may not own any clothing with my English university’s name on it, but less than three weeks in I already own a Maine t-shirt and sweatshirt from the bookstore. It’s not just clothes though. They sell branded pens, diaries, hats, plush toys, and even shirts for dogs.

 

So far life at uni, or should I say ‘college’, has been pretty different, but I’m enjoying every second (although maybe not the pop quizzes or crazy weather changes).