I have never been to Europe before. My experience with DukeEngage in Durham, England has given me my first look England, the UK, and Europe. Before DukeEngage, my main exposure and expectations of England and the UK were from movies and TV shows.
As a result of my DukeEngage experience I have a much better feel of the everyday culture and norms of this part of England. I have eaten fish and chips and scones on numerous occasions and I am a big fan of them now. Also I am a fan of putting salt and vinegar on my chips now instead of using ketchup. I also have become adjusted to getting chips (fries) unsalted and then putting on my own salt.
It also was a little adjustment when eating in restaurants here because the service approach is different. In England, the servers and typically are more laid back than they are in the United States and don’t check on the table as often. For example, at one restaurant we were given one glass of water at the beginning of our meal and didn’t see the waitress the rest of our meal. Also, I have gotten used to asking for the check when ready to leave. Otherwise you will just keep sitting there all night!
Additionally, since being in Durham, England for the past 3 weeks I have picked up on some of their words that are different than in America. For example, they use chips when referring to fries, wellies for rain boots, and call sweaters jumpers. I also have discovered that, at lest my co-workers say brill (short for brilliant) and fab (short for fabulous) quite often.
These have been just some of the small, everyday differences I have noticed in my time in Durham. There are many more, and no doubt more significant ones. But these are some of that I didn’t really expect and thought were rather interesting.