This is the first installment in a Q&A Series dedicated to our returning students. Hear their thoughts from best to worst and everything in between.
An EIU Senior History major from Frankfort, Illinois,
Mattie studied abroad for the 2012-13 academic year
at the University of Westminster in London, England.
Q: Did you travel while you were abroad in the UK? Where?
A: I went to many places; some include Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, and Poland. I chose based on a few different factors, which mostly were history of the place, timing, and price… not to mention food. Planning is not overly difficult if you are looking a month or a few months in advance, and it also helps with keeping prices down: earlier the booking, cheaper the travel and accommodation. In the UK, I also had a railcard that got me cheap train tickets to pretty much anywhere.
Q: What new vocabulary have you added to your daily repertoire after study abroad?
A: I say cheers all the time. Cheers basically is the perfect word in British English. Cheers for hi, bye, thanks, and pretty much anything you can think of. People here give me looks like I’m daft when I say it. Oh and queue for line, which my mom loves to point out. Those are just a few examples – no accent though!
Q: Do you have a favorite place in your home away from home?
A: Borough Market was one of my favorite places in London. It’s this sprawling food market just near London Bridge and The Shard (tallest building in Europe!), and it is basically foodie heaven. The stall owners are all ridiculously nice and you can try so many different types of food and drink, you’ll come away with a new appreciation for food.
Q: Are there things you don’t miss from your time in England?
A: The only thing that comes to mind is how they walk in London. Here in the U.S., we tend to walk on the right or the left depending on the direction, yes? Not so in London. Everyone just walks wherever they want, and it can take ages to walk what would normally be a 5 minute walk because you are having to stop or move or weave between people. Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus were the worst.
Q: Let’s talk about food. Best dish in London?
A: Best dish I had in London was probably any of the Indian food. They do it so well there, and Brick Lane in the East End is a great place to grab a curry. They have proper restaurant promoters, so you just walk down the street until you get the best offer. Interesting fact: the number one ordered dish in England is actually chicken tikka masala, not the famed fish and chips.
Thanks, Mattie! Welcome home 🙂
If you’d like to hear more about Mattie’s time in the UK, visit her blog: http://astudyinthesmoke.wordpress.com/