If you’ve ever visited or studied abroad in England, you know how boring and unattractive of a country it is. From the food to shopping to tourist attractions and views, England is not a fun place to study abroad. Read on to learn about 20 times I regretted (actually loved) studying in England!
1. Having To Pick A Restaurant
The streets of England lack good restaurants/pubs and shops to choose from. You might have to think twice about where you want to eat since England doesn’t have a reputation for good shopping or food. So don’t blame me if you aren’t able to find any good restaurants or expand your food repertoire.
2. Barely Any Available Transportation
If you were hoping that you wouldn’t have to walk everywhere, you’re going to be very disappointed. There just simply aren’t enough methods of transportation available, so you have no choice but to walk anywhere. If you missed the bus, but are in a hurry, you’re pretty much out of options, besides walking.
3. Virtually No Ways To Tour/See The Country
One of the best ways to tour a country is to take a ‘hop off, hop on bus’, agreed? Not only does England not have this bus, but City Bus Tours of London and the Original Walking Tour also aren’t a thing there. It’s so hard to find a cheap and easy way to tour around. If you thought that was bad, the bus tour packages don’t include free/discounted tickets for theatre performances, free walking tours, and free river cruises.
4. Hideous Surroundings
The scenery of the buildings and parks are so unappealing to the eye. There is virtually nothing to see that attracts the eye. Unfortunately it’s hard to seek out unique architecture and peaceful parks. I hate to break it to you, but you’re going to be stuck with ugly surroundings.
5. No Picture-Worthy Views
Going off of number four, you’re not going to have any insta-worthy picture opportunities because it’s almost impossible to capture a pretty view. You’re going to want to leave England as soon as you get there because it will be too ugly for you to stand. If you decide to stay, you’re not going to have any gorgeous pictures to bring back home.
6. Lack Of Tourist Activities/Attractions
If you insist on wanting to visit England, just know that you’re not going to be able to find any fun things to do. There aren’t any places to shop at, and there are also no boat rides, tours, or exhibits. Definitely expect to be very bored and unentertained.
7. The Struggle To Find Friendly People
Whether it be cashiers, waiters, or people you meet on the streets and in bars, all of the people are rude. They are mean, could care less about how your day is going, and aren’t willing to help you with directions. You just won’t be able to avoid rude people.
8. Ugly And Poorly Timed Sunsets
Not only are the sunsets hideous, the sun also sets so early everyday that the days never seemed to last long enough. With so few hours of daylight, there ends up being too many fun things to do with too little time to do them. Don’t study abroad in England if you want the length of your days to be maximized.
9. Extremely Slow Transportation
The underground/subway gets you to places way too slowly. Meeting a friend for lunch in 20 minutes? As hard as you try, it’s going to be too difficult for you to be on time. DEFINTELY don’t visit England if you want to get to places in a timely manner.
10. Nonexistence Of Healthy Food
Very few streets in England have fruit stands and grocery stores, so there are hardly any ways to get fresh produce and groceries. England makes it too difficult to eat healthy, so if you want to eat a healthy diet abroad, this is not the place for you.
11. Expensive Groceries
If you are hoping not to have to spend a fortune on groceries abroad, you’re in for some disappointment. There are hardly any grocery stores on the streets, and you know what the worst part about it is? If you land at the Co-op or Aldi (I did all of my shopping at those two stores), you’re only going to find expensive products. So much for finding a cheap bottle of wine!
12. Slow AF Restaurant Service
Are you starving after a long day of studying/touring? If you go to a restaurant for dinner, you could be waiting for your food for hours. The restaurant service in England is too slow to handle. You can order your food and two other tables will have come and gone before you’ve even eaten. If you hate waiting a long time for your food, cancel your plane ticket to England right now.
13. Zero Nearby Cities/Places To Visit
If you want to do a little bit of traveling during your stay, you will find that there just aren’t enough exciting places that you can visit. What’s even worse is that each place I’m going to mention is so far away from Plymouth (where I studied). I know it sucks, but it looks like you’ll have to stay in just one part of England during your stay. (When I studied in England I visited St. Ives, Cardiff, Buckland Abbey, and Dublin).
14. Too High Of A Drinking Age
The drinking age is way too high in England. It won’t matter if you’re 21 coming to Europe because you have to be even older than that to be legal. That means that pretty much no one is able to legally drink in England. Sorry, but being 21 doesn’t matter in England.
The underground/tunnel/subway (depending on what part of England you’re in) makes one too few stops around town. The tunnel just doesn’t have enough lines to choose from. With there being not enough lines to take, there are just simply not enough good destinations.
16. Lack Of History
There is totally not enough to learn/study about England. With there being virtually no museums or galleries, you don’t have enough ways to learn about England’s history and art. If that isn’t bad enough, if you’re lucky enough to find a museum/gallery it most likely won’t have free admission! Talk about a sticky situation.
17. The Challenge Of Finding Authentic Food
I just used the word “authentic” to make the phrase sound fancy, and so I could write about fish and chips. You would think most restaurants that serve classic European food would sell fish and chips, but it’s actually the opposite. This means you’re going to have to search really hard to find this dish. Since too few restaurants make delicious fish and chips, you’re going to find that you’ll constantly be asking yourself, “Where is the nearest fish and chips restaurant?”
18. And Ethnic Cuisine Isn’t Any Easier To Find
Going off of number 17, not only is the authentic European food difficult to find, a range of ethnic cuisines is also challenging to find. Unless you want to eat the same type of food everyday (which I highly don’t recommend because you’re in England for crying out loud!), you’re going to have to really dig and search to find different types of food. If you’re a picky eater, this is really going to suck for you.
19. Limited Choices For Souvenirs
Warning to all souvenir lovers: This might break your heart. If you plan on taking a trip to England in the future, I can tell you right now that it’s going to be extremely hard to find gifts for everyone in your family. The streets have a major shortage of souvenir shops, making the task of finding fun and unique knick-knacks quite a challenge.
20. Filthy Streets
Sadly it’s normal to see cigarette butts, cans, and other miscellaneous trash on the streets/sidewalks in the states. In England, however, it’s even more common. It’s so disappointing to see how dirty the streets are. There is an abundance of litter, and people produce so much trash that there is a need for numerous trashcans on every street. If trashcans scare you (for whatever reason), then being on the streets of England is going to scare the daylight out of you.
These are my 20 reasons you regretted (actually loved) studying in England. Share your study abroad experiences in the comments below!
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RACHEL IS A STUDENT AT SUNY FREDONIA STUDYING COMMUNICATION DISORDERS AND SCIENCES. SHE LOVES FOOD AND DOGS, HAS AN UNHEALTHY OBSESSION WITH GILMORE GIRLS, AND DREAMS OF TRAVELING TO ITALY.