When I first moved to the UK I didn’t know what to expect, after all deciding to move 3,000 miles away from everything you’ve ever known doesn’t exactly come with a handbook. But I was optimistic, I got here and I’ve loved it ever since. But after three years of living here I know one thing, I will always be an International student, and with that means…
It’ll never be home
Yes you can trace your way home from any line now, you give the judgy eyes to loud Americans on the tube and you have the Londoner walk down to a T; but on that immigration line you’ll still have to get in that substantially more annoying Non-EU line, fill out the card with your address a million times and answer the age old question “why are you here?” The thing is, no matter how comfortable I get I’m still an immigrant with a ticking clock on my shiny red visa letting me know when I’ve officially overstayed my welcome. This makes the decision to stay here after uni a constant back and forth....
2. Everyone will think you’re rich
Not sure if the UK has ever heard of FAFSA or just watched too many episodes of Gossip Girl but for some reason if you’re American studying abroad- you must have bank.
To be fair many Americans have the same perception, despite the fact that UK unis are literally a 1/4 the tuition cost of studying in the US so as crazy as it sounds I’m actually saving money by living in London in my own flat, and cheap traveling around Europe (tough life, I know).
3.You constantly represent your country
First thing I gave up when I got here was my name. Yep I was no longer Candace, but Candace “that American girl”. And that came with some responsibility. Explaining what S’mores are? Cool. Having to explain why Trump got elected? Not so much. Even though I’ve moved thousands of miles away America's problems are still my problems, and it’ll always be a topic of discussion. Whether it’s our president, gun control, or if Coachella’s actually as good as Instagram makes it seem (swear I’ve been asked like 3 times).
4. You’ll always be unique
Take it or leave it being a foreigner will always make you stand out. Even in a city as diverse of London I still get the “You’re American?!” “Where abouts?” at least a couple times a week. It’s something that comes along with being an International student, that will never change, so might as well embrace it…but no Donald Trump questions…ever.