10 things I like about life in the UK
Student experience 9th January 2019
Find out what Computer Science graduate Samantha Bail loves most about the UK, which she moved to from Germany to study for her PhD:
“When I first moved to the UK, I thought it wouldn’t be that different from my home country Germany – and in some sense, it is quite similar, but there are some things that are very different, some things that I only found out about when I moved here, and some things that I simply couldn’t live without now! Here’s a list of my top 10 favourite things about life in the UK and in Manchester:
- The banking system! In Germany, the different banks don’t share a network for ATMs etc, so you get charged a few Euros plus some percentage of the money you take out every time you want to take out cash from an ATM that doesn’t belong to your bank. In the UK, there’s an ATM at every corner, you can get cash back from shops, and most of the cash machines are completely free of charge. It makes everything just so much easier!
- The music. I love the fact that what we consider “indie” music in Germany gets played in every shop and bar here in the UK, and there’s great gigs on everywhere! Well, maybe Manchester is a bit special when it comes to music anyway…
- Pies. And I dont’ mean the American style fruit pies, but proper, British, savoury pies. The concept of pies was completely new to me when I moved here, but they’re so tasty they have quickly become one of my favourite dishes – and it’s really easy to make your own pie, too!
- Hiking. It seems that from any location in this country, it’s never more than an hour by train to get to a great area for hiking. We have a lot of outdoors activities in Germany, too, but only here in the UK I got myself some hiking boots and learned how to read a map.
- The humour. The British are extremely witty, slightly sarcastic sometimes, and often very “tongue in cheek”. And it’s not just British comedians that know how to make brilliant jokes; I’ve had some of the best fun in long and boring queues 🙂
- Puddings. Everywhere else in the world it’s “desert” (even in other languages), but that doesn’t sound half as inviting, cute, and comforting as the British word “pudding”. There’s cakes, tartes, trifles, custards, creams, mousses, fools, messes, and even something called a “syllabub”.
- Shop opening times. Most shops in Germany aren’t open on Sundays, so if you just need some bread or milk, you’ll have to go on a trip to the nearest garage. I quite enjoy being able to just nip across the road almost around the clock to buy food whenever I need it!
- The weather resistance. We do have nice weather here, but it is true that the UK (and Manchester in particular) is very rainy. But rather than staying indoors and moaning about the rain (as we would probably do in Germany), people here just put on their wellington boots and brave the weather!
- Fashion. Whenever I return to Manchester from a trip home or elsewhere to Germany, I notice how the fashion here is a lot more exciting and interesting than anywhere else. Outfits and make-up range from “cool” to “weird” and sometimes a little “oh dear…”, but it’s very refreshing to see more than just jeans and t-shirts.
- Tea. Oh, I love tea. There’s aren’t many things more comforting than a nice, hot, mug of tea with a bit of milk. I wasn’t quite sure whether I’d like it at first, but now I can’t imagine going a day without a cup of tea in the morning or when I get back home in the evening.”