• Katie Trojak

5 Funny Realities of Going to University in Another Country

I talk a lot on this blog about bigger topics, long stories, and travel excitement, but I thought I should get back to talking about London and I wanted to make things a bit lighter. So I figured I'd do a classic listicle.

It's also a chance for me to put some slightly unrelated but really nice pictures of King's campuses on my blog.

Without further ado, here are 5 (mostly) funny realities of going to University in another country...

You’ll become a bit elitist

Kings beautiful campus and surrounding London

Okay, I swear I’m not a braggart. I also love Americans (and anyone else) that come to London for study abroad. That being said, I’ve definitely become just a tad elitist about being here full time.

My other American friends and I joke about it a lot, the feeling that we’re just a bit cooler because we choose to come here for our entire degree. We’re not just visiting London, we’re living here.

Don’t worry, we don’t actually think we’re better (especially when a lot of the study abroad friends we meet go to AMAZING schools back in the US and Canada) we just like to joke about it.

But, on the other hand, London and KCL are better than all their cities and schools back home, of course.

Speaking of being study abroad...

Everyone will think you’re a study abroad student at first

Sommerset House during the Spring

It’s the accent, it really is. It just gives you away the moment you open your mouth. People hear that you sound American, know that you’re American, and then assume you’re just here for a little bit.

And when you say that you’re studying here or study at KCL (insert UCL, Imperial, etc), they assume that you mean just for the semester or year. It isn’t until it awkwardly comes up that you’re here for longer than that when they realize.

People always seem so surprised! It’s almost as if they didn’t hear me the first time when I said I was getting my degree here!

Goodbyes are all the time and they suck

Flying into London for the first time

Let’s get the sad one out of the way. The moment you commit to going to college in another country, you’re committing to having friends and family all over the globe that will probably never be in one place at one time.

Your years at Uni will be going back and forth between months at school where all your friends are to weeks at home where all your family is. It’s a sad cycle to go through.

No matter where you’re going and how excited you are to see the people there, you’ll still be saying a painful goodbye to the people you’re leaving. And these are never small goodbyes, because you’re always apart for weeks or months.

I am looking forward to graduation, though, when hopefully everyone I love will be together!

You’ll miss the little things of home

My suitcases just after I landed in London for the first time in 2018

It’s funny, the things that you miss, the things you don’t, and the things you don’t realize you miss until it hits you at a random moment. Sometimes I miss things like the color of my room, sometimes I miss pine trees.

Sometimes it’s something really stupid like department stores. I don’t know yet if they exist in the UK but they definitely don’t exist in London where space is limited.

And sometimes it’s something super small like peanut butter. I’ve even come to like British peanut butter more than US peanut butter and I still sometimes just miss it.

It’s never too bad and I wouldn’t trade living here for all those little things, but sometimes I try and bring some of the things that I can with me when I come back (I’m talking more like the peanut butter...not the department stores).

Everyone will think you’re way cooler or stupider than you are

The quad on Kings Campus after dark

I really don’t want to seem conceited, but this is just something I’ve gone through. There are a lot of people back home who think I’m a super cool person because I go to school in London. There’s also a lot of people back home who think I’m crazy for going so far.

There’s a lot of people here in the UK that think I’m pretty neat for leaving America, but there’s also loads of people who think I’m stupid right off the bat once they hear my accent.

It’s a fine line to walk and you’re never going to be able to walk it, so just suck it up and know that people will think what they want.

There’s so many other realities I’ve faced living as a student in London, but these are just some of the funniest and most prominent. Let me know if you have any I should’ve added to the list or any you found surprising!


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