Cultural shock: 5 things you need to know before coming to England
England, home to the cup of tea, Sunday roast and of course the British weather. Like any country, England has it perks … and its drawbacks. But what is it that you really need to know before packing your bags and moving to England?
We have put together a list of five important factors that you need to know before moving to England, in the hope that life in England isn’t such a cultural shock.
The British Weather
Many people, mainly tourists, always presume that England is a rainy, wet and somewhat soggy country. But in fact it probably rains about as much as it rains anywhere else on our part of the map. The only difference is that it COULD rain at any time, so as a good Brit it’s always best to be prepared and carrying the habitual umbrella in your handbag is somewhat of a cultural habit rather than shock.
England does have its fair share of rain, however over the last few years the typical summer months can be so hot, that England doesn’t experience rain for weeks, and it’s becoming increasingly true to experience a hosepipe ban because of the lack of rainfall.
One thing is certain though: come rain or shine, the topic of the weather is something that can and will be talked about if all other topics of conversation are exhausted.
Despite common rumour it must be said that food in England is very flavoursome. As a country with a wealth of international residents, England has with it developed its taste palettes to offer an array of food. This is excellent for any person looking to move to England, as it means that you are highly likely to find whatever your heart desires in the local supermarket and won’t become too homesick.
However, it must be said that yes the typical dish is Fish and Chips – not that as Brits we eat this every day, neither do we spend our afternoons dining on “afternoon tea”. Yes we do like our cakes and pastries, but cucumber sandwiches disappeared in the fifties. Today England is a multinational, multicultural hub where foods can be found to suit an array of taste buds.
Just remember though, if you are upset in any way, we haven’t yet lost the custom of offering the traditional cup of tea to help cure any ailment life may throw at you.
Now it has been said that the English are not very friendly. That is absolutely not true. As a nation we are quite “reserved” – but we are in fact one of the friendliest countries in the world. If we weren’t how could so many people emigrate to our small island and find themselves settling so easy? Simple answer – they couldn’t.
People in England accept others as they are. It doesn’t matter where you come from, we like to chat. At first you may be a stranger, but once we get to know you, you will be scooped up in the incessant chit chat that may keep you there for hours.
Equality in England
Since our foremothers burnt their bras in the sixties, equality is something that runs right across the English way of life. Man or woman, British native or expat, one thing is true: England is definitely a modern day society.
Many countries in the world have an array of different cultures living in them, and in most instances these cultures do not tend to mix. However, in England cultural and religious divides are minimal. Of course there is probably separatism in some areas, what country wouldn’t have that? The difference is in England it is a very small amount compared to other countries. We are equal. And we like it that way.
Transport in England
A common misconception about England is that all British people travel to work and school on red double decker buses and in black taxis. Well, sorry to let you down, transport in England is pretty much like the rest of Europe. Yes Opel is known as Vauxhall and the metro is called the underground, but in essence they are the same thing.
One of the best things about transport in England is the availability of it. International airports such as London, Birmingham and Manchester offer connections to a whole host of other countries and capitals and unlike many places, airfares to and from England make the country extremely accessible.