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Most Asked Questions As A Californian In England

Just a little background about me, I was born and raised in a relatively small town in Southern California. Even my college is based there as well. I have visited other countries before, but never really considered studying abroad. Come my sophomore year at my university, I made the choice to study in Cambridge, England for a semester, and here I am!

As an international student studying in England, there are obvious distinctions that set me apart from the rest, especially my accent. Dead give-away for sure. When out and about in town, the second I speak, the British know I am not a local. Due to this fact, here are some frequently asked questions I get as a Californian in the U.K.

1. “No way! You’re from California? Do you go surfing all the time?”

Okay, I get it. I live by the beach. I’ve grown up by the beach; however, not all Californians surf! Technically, yes, I have gone surfing before, but my life is not Blue Crush. I think it is safe to say I spend more time on campus in my studies then sunbathing in the sand at Newport Beach. If anything, the only occasion I can spend most of my time in the ocean is during my school breaks.

Californian in England beach

2. “Have you seen any celebrities? Have you met Justin Bieber?”

One of my favorite times I was asked this question was when I was at the salon. My goal was to get a haircut, but the receptionist was fascinated by my California upbringing. Since I grew up around Los Angeles, I have seen my fair share of celebrities. Especially in L.A., it can be hard to go somewhere and not bump into someone I recognize from a TV show or movie. Regardless, the receptionist was a bit disappointed when I told her Bieber was not on the list of stars I have encountered.

3. “What do you think of Donald Trump?”

For some reason, baristas love asking me about President Trump. However, especially that early in the morning, I just want my coffee. So, I tend to ignore the question all together. I will never understand how my political views relate to my latte.

Californian in England coffee

4. “How do you feel about the weather here?”

I will be completely honest, England is COLD. Never in my years have I need a parka or seen snow fall (unless you count the fake bubbly stuff they do at the Christmas Disneyland parades). If there is one thing I have learned about the United Kingdom, it’s that a t-shirt and jeans won’t cut it here. I wear my scarf religiously and still get a little excited when I wake up to snow on the ground. My heater and I are now best friends, which is a plus! It is definitely an adjustment, but I have gotten used to it by now.

5. “Have you heard of the Kardashians?”

No comment.

6. “What is there to do in Hollywood?”

I actually like this question, because it seems to be pretty helpful to people. Plenty of individuals have asked for recommendations, since they are planning a vacation to the States. One time, my cashier in LUSH printed out a blank receipt to write down all the options I gave him. The thing about Hollywood is it can be a bit sketchy if you end up in the wrong places, but there are countless sights to see. As a local, I direct them to the obvious choices like the Hollywood sign, but also some native favorites like hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

Californian in England hollywood sign

All in all, I have no issue being asked questions about my hometown. I take pride in where I come from and the experiences I had because of it. I figured it would be interesting to share some of the questions I get asked almost on a daily basis here. There are plenty of other questions that I could go on about, but these are definitely my favorites.

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Mel Malanowski

Just another college student bit by the travel bug.


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