I’ve been in the US for just over a month now, and I’ve got to say there are a lot more differences between here and home, including food, speech, education and laws. In this blog I’m going to talk about the main ones, or at least the ones that I’ve noticed the most, and whether it is better here in the US, or back home in the UK.
The biggest difference is definitely the food. I love food, don’t get me wrong. I mean who doesn’t, but the food portions here are MASSIVE! One plate of food here in the US is almost the equivalent of what you would get for two people in the UK. Whilst some might consider this a positive, I know that this will be the reason I go back home in May 20 pounds heavier. In the UK the main restaurant/ fast food chains consist of McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Wagamamas and Pizza Express – and if you ever go to England and have a weird obsession with chicken, I highly recommend Nandos.
Whereas here in the beautiful United States of America, you have a list of restaurant/ fast food chains longer than the river Nile – from McDonalds, to Wendy’s, Chipotle, Taco Bell, Steak and Shake and MANY more. While no one will ever do a British Fish and Chips, I have to say overall, the food over here is a lot tastier; which is also one of the reasons I will return home like the letter O.
The next difference is our difference in the way our college/university system works. Coming here, I could have picked any classes in the world, from pottery classes to engineering classes, the choices were endless. However, in the UK, the way it works is, once you have picked your degree, the university you are attending then give you a small list of different classes to pick from, all of which are relevant to your degree and in turn will only have classes with the same set people who started your degree the same time as you.
It is also not compulsory in the UK for you to do any English, Math or language classes, where as here in the US there is no escaping them. I have also done more homework in my first month here than I have done in my first year and a half of university. Pretty much every class I have I get set a piece of homework, while in the UK there is nowhere near as much to do, in fact I would probably say about half the amount! As much as I don’t like doing homework as much as the next person, at least it means you’re getting your money’s worth.
Despite England creating the English language (obviously), which is also the main language here in the US, I sometimes feel like I’m speaking a completely different language. Whilst most think that the only words that change when you travel across the pond are words such as pavement/sidewalk and petrol/gas, there are many, many more. For example, you guys refer to time like 4:15, where as in the UK we would say quarter past four.
What you call classes, we call lectures. America’s version of chips are the UK’s crisps and your version of fries are our version of chips. Your biscuits are English scones and when we refer to biscuits, we are talking about your cookies. The word I struggle with most with in using the ‘US’ version is when talking about soccer, which in England we call football. I already know for sure that when I go home and refer to football as soccer, my course mates, where we study soccer journalism, could possibly shun me from the group!