Last year, I was lucky enough to study abroad at the University of Leicester in Leicester, England. I had the experience of a lifetime but it definitely took a bit of time to get used to the differences in their culture.

1. They ask everyone "are you alright?"

Whenever you have any sort of interaction with an English person, they will almost always start the conversation with "you alright?" For the first couple of weeks, I thought everyone was concerned for my wellbeing when in reality it is just their way of saying "how are you?" like we do in America.

2. Eating baked beans with literally every meal

Brits will put baked beans on anything that's edible it seems. They eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A traditional English breakfast isn't complete without baked beans!

3. They celebrate the 5th of November by having their children build a man and set him on fire


Every year, on the 5th of November, Brits celebrate the capture and death of Guy Fawkes. Guy Fawkes was working with a Catholic group of men to kill King James I. They had a plan to blow up Parliament with copious amounts of gunpowder when King James I would be visiting on opening day (November 5th, 1605). Their plan was foiled and Guy Fawkes was caught in the act. He was then tortured and executed. Now to celebrate the holiday British children will build an effigy of Guy Fawkes and have a bonfire to burn him. Fireworks are also optional!

4. Being obsessed with Donald Trump


Every single time someone heard my American accent the first thing they asked me was what I thought about Donald Trump. They seem to talk about him more than anyone in the United States does.

5. Not understanding the greatness of ranch dressing

The entire time I was in England I couldn't find ranch anywhere. Even at McDonald's!

6. Calling all desserts "pudding"

Pudding has so many different meanings in England. It can basically be used to describe any "sweet or savory" dish. So the possibilities are endless.

7. Only having pancakes a certain time of the year because they are "seasonal"

I was really craving pancakes one day so I went to a Tesco and they told me that they didn't have any pancake batter because it is only "seasonal." I have no idea when that season is but don't expect to eat pancakes any other time.

8. Saying "cheers!" can mean several different things

In England "cheers" can be used in a couple different circumstances. It can mean "thank you," "goodbye," or it can be used as a sign off in email or letters.

9. Having two faucets at one sink

I'm really not sure who thought this was a good idea. You can either pick from burning hot water on one side or on the other side freezing cold water.

10. Their love for fried chicken


If you ever go to England you will definitely run into multiple fried chicken restaurants. The Brits LOVE their fried chicken, especially KFC. Recently a bunch of KFC restaurants in the U.K. had to close early because they ran out of chicken!

11. Putting zig-zagged lines on roads

The first time I saw these zig-zagging lines on the road I was very confused. I had never seen anything like it. The zig-zag lines can be seen at crosswalks in the U.K. to warn drivers that there could be pedestrians on the road.

12. Their love for Robbie Williams

Ever heard of Robbie Williams before? Because if you're going to the U.K. you will be sure to. Robbie Williams is nearly as worshipped as the Queen over there. For some reason this guy is like God to them.

13. Give you a "Sprite" when you order lemonade

The typical lemonade we are used to drinking in the U.S. or selling at stands as kids is non-existent in England. If you order a lemonade they will give you something that tastes closer to sprite than lemonade. Lemonade is also usually clear in England which was shocking as well.

14. Having their washer and dryer in the kitchen

If you ever go into a British home and can't find the washer and dryer you will have to check the kitchen first.

15. Also somehow the washer and dryer are one machine?

I don't know about you but I've always been used to having a washing machine and a separate drying machine. Honestly, this is probably a good idea I'm not sure why we haven't adopted it in the U.S.

16. Never refrigerating eggs

This was another shocking sight for me. It felt very weird buying eggs that were just on the counter and not in a refrigerated area.

17. Their equivalent to Dollar Tree is called Pound World or Pound Land

Big fan of these for their low prices but there were a lot of sexual jokes surrounding these two.

18. Having an "on" and "off" switch on all electrical outlets

Not going to lie, I did forget to turn on the switch sometimes and thought my charger was broke forever when it wasn't working.

19. Paying extra for grocery or shopping bags

The bags only cost a couple cents, but I found myself balancing all of the groceries in my hands a couple times if I forgot to bring a reusable bag with me. This is a great idea to save plastic, but I was definitely confused at first.

Spending a semester in England was the best decision I have ever made. While it took some getting used to, I came to love the different experiences England had to offer and I cannot wait to go back and visit sometime!