The following is an e-mail I sent to a fellow student who was about to embark on his trip abroad to the same school I visited the previous semester. This is my response to the question; “what is Leicester like?”
Did you watch my video?
I mean what type of information were you looking to gain?
I’ll give you the advice I wish I had recieved before I went.My biggest piece of advice is to watch how you blow your money. It’s pretty much like pretend money your first few weeks and you blow it like crazy everywhere. It sounds simple enough but keep in mind that everything is essentially twice the price. It’s not until the last 3-4 weeks that you realize you are in trouble.
Customer service sucks big time. If you want to find out anything, look it up on your own. These people take pride in being able to answer your question without giving you any information. I felt mind raped every time I went to the study abroad office. Common sense seems to be on the decline there in some parts too.
You don’t have to tip bartenders. I tipped this one bitch 20 pents on a 1 pound drink and she looks at me like I just called her mom a whore. Nobody tips… therefore it takes far longer for you to get a drink. It’s totally normal to wait 45 mins at the Uni for damn pint of Beer.
Pregame every time you go out! And Drink scrumpy it’s kickass. Fuck beer dude, they have hard cider that comes in 2 and 3 liter bottles. I wish the states had more. Amazing stuff. Bulmers, snakebites, and scrumpy.
ASDA is their version of walmart and is just up the street. Do your shopping there. Sheets, blankets, food, beer, whatever.
Get a pay as you go phone. Bring an extra phone however, you might be able to switch out the sim card… that way you wont buy a brand new phone.
The novelty of being an american is lost on them. So getting laid based on the fact that you from the states will not happen. Bummer right?
The food blows and be ready for it to suck big time. Not kidding. I lost weight because I refused to eat their shit for the first few weeks.
The way they say “what’s up” or “How are you” is “You alright?” So don’t assume they actually want a response… just say “you alright” in response and your straight.
Don’t buy a student railcard… it’s a waste of money. The bus pass is a real good idea tho.
You’ll probably get there a week before the rest of the british kids do, that’s supposed to help get you ready for the semester. I’ll tell you this, most of the abroad people I met are either trust fund babies or they’re lame and annoying. Although many of the girls are decent, those people turn clingy and you don’t want to find yourself hanging around in the “excahnge student” crowd the entire time. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t come half way around the world to hang out with people that live an hour from me back at home.
Book a flight to Amsterdam using a cheap airline like “BMI BABY” or “RYAN AIR.” Google it and do it. Nobody will take you through it. Take the bus from St. Margretts square and go to Birmingham airport. Get a cheap hostil that is close to the city center. BUY A MAP (This I never did… and we remained lost the entire time). Look up the coffee shops before you go.It makes it more interesting and gratifying when you find the coffee shop you’ve been waiting to see. Make sure you actually have activities planned because it’s very easy to walk around high and on shrooms hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop and essentially blow your day. Try shrooms. But don’t take too many and you’ll be straight. We went into “caveman mode” after the first few hours of each day (me need food, me need smoke, me need sleep). Bring funny things to do. Bring a maxim or national geographic because that shit will trip you the fuck out and spawn conversations. And check out the red light district! I’m not saying get a whore, but it’s not unclean or scary… so live it up.
Fuck Barcelona, Spain. That shit is wack. And the girls are not hot.
The school organized trips to other places in England is totally gay and really a big waste of money. I hear the London orientation is fun… but it’s like $2000… That’s a week long cruise in the bahamas or a ballerass time anywhere else in Europe. I’d say skip it if you don’t have a lot of money.
Check out Europe while your there – Prague, Greece, Malta, Poland. Shit is right there and it’s cheap when you book it in advance.
Picking fights with chavs doesn’t work out well. They travel in large numbers. And they fight dirty. I tried to take on 7 and I got my nose broken, two black eyes, and my ass handed to me. I can usually handle myself pretty well in those situations, but I was piss drunk and totally outnumbered.
Fuck cab drivers. Scheming fuckers, establish the price before you leave anywhere. It should never cost more than 7 Pounds to get close to the Uni.
English girls don’t dance the way we dance. When you dance at parties, bars, or clubs in USA; you approach a girl, ask her to dance, and begin rubbing genitals in a sexual fashion. In England, if a girl agrees to dance with a “stranger” (that’s you), they do so expecting you to dance in somewhat of a group with their friends at a distance of about 3 feet. Get ready to do the Carlton dance from the fresh prince of bel air because that’s how they do it. Or just whip your body around in a spaz looking way and you’ll fit right in. And the music sucks balls… so enjoy.
If you do become good friends with english dudes they tend to have a more “touchy feely” expression of their friendship. They’re probably not gay… It tripped me out a little when I first got there. I don’t sling my arms around my boys like they do.
What dorms are you living in?
-Digby was pretty tight
-Beaumont has more “slags”
-I never really hung around John Foster…
Bring a digital camera and a device that lets you transfer stuff off the memory card. Take pictures of everything and nothing.
Go to McDonalds in the city center and laugh at all the underage girls with kids. Hilarious.
Be prepared for Mondays and Wednesdays being the biggest nights out. The bars are too expensive on the weekends and the townies aren’t a big fan on the Uni kids.
They’re not big into drama, so the whole talking shit thing isn’t really big there at all… so if you’re into “he said, she said gossip” you’re out of luck.
There are not fraternities or sororities… So no house parties. The rugby team comes about as close as your gonna get over there… but it’s not relaly the same.
Lastly, be open and friendly when you get there… You’ve got nothing to lose by being nice.