…I’m a German Woman in London. English people don’t know how to cook. English people have their first beer at lunchtime. English people can talk about the weather for over an hour and: The English sense of humour starts where the joke ends. These are all prejudices I brought in my suitcase to London and I wanted to examine them thoroughly. The result: Nearly everything is true! But let’s start from the beginning: I have to do an internship in a European foreign country in the course of my studies. Luckily, it is financially supported by the European Social Fund for the most part. Since I studied English, French and Spanish I was spoilt for choice. Whereas all of my friends decided to go to sunny Spain or to appreciative France I was absolutely positive about two things:
1. My skin is lacking in pigments for the Spanish sun and 2. Better orange-peel skin than frog’s legs. Of course these are only poor arguments and you have to take a light-hearted look at them. I always had a liking for British people and London is a sub-cultural stronghold. That’s the way it is. So my decision was firm: Britain, here I come! The time came in July when I got my things packed. I was looking forward to my upcoming time at SGI and my life in London. Initially, it was fairly crazy. Summer is the busiest time at the language school and so I swam like a sardine in a swarm through the entrance door on my first day. I could hear different languages from everywhere and that was actually the moment where I felt like an alien. The only thing I wanted to do was to raise my finger like E.T. and say: “Phone home”…unfortunately I didn’t have any signal. Since then I settled in quite well and I got used to things and processes. I enjoy meeting people from all over the world at SGI and I feel that it’s going to be more and more natural to speak English. Going abroad is a terrific motivation to learn a language since no English book or teaching software can make a nation and its culture that lively and tangible. However, there are some important facts you should be aware of before you go to London:
- If I can just get through this lonesome day
- Despite 8 million inhabitants in London there might be a moment of loneliness – particularly at the beginning. Socialising is the only answer to that. Unless socialising bothers you.
- Money, money, money – must be funny
- Make sure you’ve got financial security to live in London. Especially when the internship is unpaid! As we all know money isn’t everything, but it helps…particularly in one of the most expensive cities in Europe!
- Let it be!
- Don’t adhere to old habits and accept new influences! There are situations where you have to change your point of view and accept new perspectives. That makes things easier and you can enjoy the whole experience sooner.
Write a comment below if you’d like to know more or if have a question. It’ll be a pleasure to reply. To all other legal aliens out there: I take my hat off to you and don’t forget: Aliens are not really different from anyone else!