Sometime in highschool I got it embedded into my psyche that I wanted to live in England. I forget exactly when, but over the years I’ve tried to analyze why. Am I just a mindless sheep, like so many other people who unknowingly have latched onto this fad or trend (if you could call it that)? I used to think this fascination was unique to me (arrogant I know) until I got to college and discovered the word anglophile. What then spurred so many people simultaneously to become fascinated with this particular land? And what was it that spurred my desire to live there?
One of the most obvious reasons is that England epitomized the chance to enter the world so many of my favorite books had been set in or inspired by (and no I hadn’t read Harry Potter at that point). But I grew up reading Noel Streatfield and C.S. Lewis, and E. Nesbit and well you know all those old authors.
I think England was also appealing as it is different enough from my home to be intriguing but still shares enough common features like language and weather to be somewhat familiar (again a trite answer I’ve seen mirrored on many blogs).
Perhaps I was intrigued by how different the culture was compared to the Pacific Northwest. Growing up near Seattle I have always lived in a culture that really embraces the “grunge-spirit.” Everything about my home really embraces newness, and the pioneer spirit and nature. You build your own cabin in the woods, make your own kombucha, bake your own bread, start your own tech company etc. (I’m exaggerating but not much!). These are things I take for granted, but haven’t necessarily appreciated. England on the other hand has years of history and traditions that it has been accumulating and building on. That in and of itself is extremely fantastical to me. It definitely has a thriving tech industry, but underlying everything in its culture is this association with tradition. And tradition, if you’ve ever visited Seattle, is definitely a foreign concept over here.
If you don’t have the peculiar fascination with England like me, you might consider studying abroad in another country. It’s both cheaper and easier in many other countries. For awhile I considered moving to Spain (also lovely and I still may at some point, we’ll see).
If however, you also have an insatiable desire to experience living in the UK for longer than a 3 month stint then your options are limited if you are from the US. You can essentially get a visa by studying the UK. Once you graduate you are then able to stay there several years afterwards on a graduate route visa, but it has to be directly after your studies end.
Your other options are to get a company to sponsor you for a work visa (rather difficult from what I’ve heard), start a business there, or get married (also rather difficult, not to mention a rather questionable motive eh?).
Anyways, because of these reasons I realized that I couldn’t just move over to England as a digital nomad if I wanted to experience life over there more than three months. The only way to do that for me was to become a student! Which coincided nicely with my desire to go back to school and further my knowledge of digital design.
Last but not least I decided on England because it had a lot of really good programs at a fairly reasonable price. I also looked into Ireland but the courses in Dublin were more expensive. I did quite a decent bit of research into the programs across the UK and Ireland. In my next post I will share the delightful spreadsheet I created (I bet you never expected to see that adjective associated with the word “spreadsheet”).
3 thoughts on “Why I decided to study abroad in England”
The UK is so beautiful and diverse! If you need any tips on places to visit, I will be happy to help!
My current fascination is Mongolia. I think it’s as simple as my admiration for Ghengis Khan and my desire to be a horse archer! Plus, the wild landscapes, of course.
If you want a good read about Mongolia, Conn Iggulden’s Wolf of the Plains series follows the story of Ghengis and his rise from being exiled as a child (‘left to die’) to uniting the disparate Mongolian tribes and creating one of the largest empires the world has ever seen!
My other fave book about Mongolia is Last Disco in Outer Mongolia by Nick Middleton. He visited just before and just after the fall of communism and takes a very wry and humorous look at Mongolian history. As with his other books, I defy you not to laugh out loud!
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Hello WorldWideWalkies! Thank you for the offer. I would definitely love any tips for places to visit! Particularly places that are accessible by train (which it seems most places are).
Ahh Mongolia! I know very little about Ghengis Khan, but awhile back I saw a very fascinating documentary about nomads who lived in the Gobi Desert. Have you ever traveled to Mongolia? The Disco in Outer Mongolia sounds intriguing! I shall add it to my read list, it sounds right up my alley. I love a good humorous take on history.
Being a horse archer sounds incredibly wild! I love the idea, but must admit that my aiming skills would put both me and the horse in danger. I think I’d need to stick with one or the other. Perhaps a camel archer would be more feasible for me because of the slower pace haha.
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Camel archer sounds a little more straightforward. For the greatest accuracy, the Mongol horse archers timed the release of their arrow to the point at which all four feet of their galloping horse were off the ground!
I will have a think about places accessible by train – as you say, most of them are! Famously, Alfred Wainwright, who came from my home town of Blackburn in Lancashire, did not have a car. He wrote all his guidebooks to the Scottish, Lake District and Welsh Peks travelling by train!
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