Being abroad is a constant adventure. Every day, I learn or experience something new about European culture.
One of the biggest cultural differences I’m experiencing is school. I often get asked what school is like in America. People ask me loads (look at me using some British vocab) of questions about my experiences in high school. Did you have a prom king and queen? What were football games like? How was your class schedule?
I really had no idea how different school was in Europe.
Many of them grew up watching American shows on Disney Channel and movies like “Bring It On” and “Mean Girls.” I try my best to explain that some of those things do happen, but of course, not to the extent of what’s shown in shows and movies.
As for college, I’ve noticed a few differences between studying at San Diego State University and my “uni” in the U.K. At SDSU, I have homework and multiple exams for nearly every class. At Leeds Beckett, my entire course grade is dependent on two big assessments, either two papers or one paper and one exam. I don’t mind either, but in terms of being able to travel on the weekends, I do prefer writing papers over studying for exams.
Students here refer to their lecturers/teachers by first name, while the term “professor” is often used back home. Lastly, I spend less time in class per week at Leeds Beckett. For the same number of units at SDSU, I’m in class five hours less. Less time in class means more time to travel (and write papers, of course)!
While I spend weekdays going to class and writing papers, I spend weekends exploring nearby cities or hopping on planes to nearby countries. Even when I’m not studying in school, I’m studying different cultures when I travel! Thanks to my parents, I have the opportunity to immerse myself in different parts of the world every week.
Below are some pictures from the weekend adventures I’ve gone on. Back to unpacking my bags from this weekend’s trip! Until next time!
Erin de Leon is a double major in dance and kinesiology. She is studying Fall semester at Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom