What are the most common confusions that international students encounter during their education in Britain?
People from all over the world decide to take a big step leaving their home comfort in benefit of a better education and future abroad. However, when those youngsters leave home they realise that they will have to face the fact of living on their own and starting a whole new life. This is a really hard step for most international students. Not only cultural and character differences but also the different way of living appears to be a shock. Therefore, a vox-pop was conducted to examine what are the strangest and most different things international students can encounter while studying here, in Swansea.
QUESTION: What is the strangest thing you have encountered while studying in Britain?
1) ‘The weather! It’s just so horrible… it’s constantly cold and rainy.’
2) ‘I was unbelievably disturbed and confused by the fact that Brits always walk on the left side of the pavement, road, whatever… Even the escalators in the shops are constructed so that the customers need to walk on the left side of it… just why?!’
3) ‘They drive on the WRONG side of the road… and still claim that this is the RIGHT direction… but then, is the whole world driving wrong?’
4) ‘They have two separated tabs for water – one extremely hot and the other – extremely cold – like, what’s the point?! That way, you either burn yourself, either freeze yourself, why can’t they just have them both mixed like they do in other countries?’
5) ‘They don’t have very diverse traditional cuisine…’
6) ‘They drink a lot – mornings, afternoons, evenings, especially undergrads drink so much… And I am not talking about tea…’
7) ‘They go clubbing in shorts when it’s nearly snowing outside… They never get cold… strange creatures… Maybe they are all werewolves…’
8) ‘They say ”cheers” meaning ”thanks” unlike us who say ”cheers” when we want to make a toast.’
9) ‘They call their lecturers by their first names. In my country, we all call them by their surnames and with title at the front, otherwise it is considered to be rude.’
10) ‘They once asked me to try Marmite… I thought it was something similar to marmalade, apparently it wasn’t… It was the worst thing I’ve ever tasted…’
As we can see, those are just a few examples of how different a certain country could be from others. All the students who come here, are taken by a shock at first, however if the university offers a good communication and orientation scheme, students get easily integrated into the social setting even if it is very different from their own country… Afterall, life is a big challenge itself, and want it or not, we have to face it, right?
At the end of the day there is a solution for…everything: