One Month and Culture Shocks

Bridget Terranova
October 14, 2021
Exploring central London

London, my new home. I am officially a month into my time in London and all I can say is that I am loving every second of being here. Even though I have only been here for a month, there are surprisingly not as many culture shocks as I thought there would be moving out of the country. 

Perhaps that is one of the biggest culture shocks so far: how comfortable I feel here in London thus far. 

Do not get me wrong, there are still things in London that I am slowly getting used to like remembering which way to look first when crossing the road. That is a big one. An interesting change from my hometown is also learning which side of the sidewalk, I mean pavement, you should be walking on daily. There is no real official reason for this, but it is just something that people do out of politeness when walking. I was very confused at first when I realized it is opposite to what I am used to at home, but that shock was easy to manage. Plus, most of the time people will not make it vocal if you are not walking on a specific side, they will most likely just move around you and go on with their day. 

In my time being here, the tube has grown on me. When I am home, I am so used to driving in my car but the tube is actually a form of transportation I am starting to like more. At first, I thought that I would never be able to understand the tube and figure out the underground map. 

When it comes to human interaction, I found that most people here do not say the phrase ‘have a nice day’. My first month here, I started to notice that every time I was leaving a store and said that, normally I would get a bit of a weird look from locals. It is not the locals being mean it is just the way they communicate. If you do say this, sometimes you will get a response, but they will know you are not from the area. Most of the Londoners are just a bit more reserved when it comes to talking to others typically because they are always on the move. When ending a conversation now, I have gotten used to saying ‘cheers’ instead.

Overall, London has been a reasonably smooth transition for me. I know that it may not always be smooth or it may even take longer for someone else to adjust. Hopefully, the few cultures shocks I have had so far will be a good start for a few differences to look for in the culture here versus at home. 

Studying abroad is a good reminder that you are allowed to learn as you go, people are different, cultures can be similar, and that fully submerging yourself in a new culture is the best way to truly experience it. 

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Bridget Terranova

<p>Hi, I am Bridget Terranova, a senior majoring in Global Cultural Studies with minors in Social Media and Modern Languages from Point Park University located in Pittsburgh! Traveling has always been an interest of mine, along with others such as music, soccer, and painting. I cannot wait to explore all of London (hopefully more of Europe too) and see what other adventures await for me around the world. To quote one of my favorite movies, Mamma Mia: Here We go Again, "Life is short, the world is wide. I want to make some memories" -Young Donna.</p>

2021 Fall
Home University:
Point Park University
Lower Burrell, PA
Global Studies
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