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American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Old Jan 18th 2011, 1:47 am
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Default American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Hello y'all,

Since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed about moving to England, now I find myself looking to move there with my boyfriend sometime by the end of the year. He is originally from Southampton and has been away for several years and is ready to move back home. While the idea of moving to another country sounds exciting, I know realistically there will be many challenges that I will face. So, I thought I would post on here and hopefully get some replies to help me out.

What will be my biggest challenge moving to England as an american? How are American women viewed in the UK, what will prepare me the most prior ro moving to your country? While I know there will be a ton of cultural differences, what is the best way to "fit in" there? At the end of the day, I want to make the UK my new home, marry my boyfriend, I know I will be homesick from time to time but is complete happiness living in a foreign country possible to achieve with a lot of effort?

I know I'm not the only American girl to move to England, but any help would be appreciated!
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Old Jan 18th 2011, 1:52 am
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Originally Posted by AmericanCountrygirl View Post
Hello y'all,

Since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed about moving to England, now I find myself looking to move there with my boyfriend sometime by the end of the year. He is originally from Southampton and has been away for several years and is ready to move back home. While the idea of moving to another country sounds exciting, I know realistically there will be many challenges that I will face. So, I thought I would post on here and hopefully get some replies to help me out.

What will be my biggest challenge moving to England as an american? How are American women viewed in the UK, what will prepare me the most prior ro moving to your country? While I know there will be a ton of cultural differences, what is the best way to "fit in" there? At the end of the day, I want to make the UK my new home, marry my boyfriend, I know I will be homesick from time to time but is complete happiness living in a foreign country possible to achieve with a lot of effort?

I know I'm not the only American girl to move to England, but any help would be appreciated!
I'm sure you'll get lots of response here but have you looked over at:
http://www.uk-yankee.com
You might get a lot more helpful info there.
Good luck!
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Old Jan 18th 2011, 1:54 am
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Originally Posted by AmericanCountrygirl View Post
Hello y'all,

Since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed about moving to England, now I find myself looking to move there with my boyfriend sometime by the end of the year. He is originally from Southampton and has been away for several years and is ready to move back home. While the idea of moving to another country sounds exciting, I know realistically there will be many challenges that I will face. So, I thought I would post on here and hopefully get some replies to help me out.

What will be my biggest challenge moving to England as an american? How are American women viewed in the UK, what will prepare me the most prior ro moving to your country? While I know there will be a ton of cultural differences, what is the best way to "fit in" there? At the end of the day, I want to make the UK my new home, marry my boyfriend, I know I will be homesick from time to time but is complete happiness living in a foreign country possible to achieve with a lot of effort?

I know I'm not the only American girl to move to England, but any help would be appreciated!
You'll get some great insight here http://www.uk-yankee.com/


Edit: Bloody Hell Aviva you are telepathic !! Tell me what i'm going to do next
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Old Jan 18th 2011, 2:04 am
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Originally Posted by Englishman43 View Post
You'll get some great insight here http://www.uk-yankee.com/


Edit: Bloody Hell Aviva you are telepathic !! Tell me what i'm going to do next
You are going to go over to the original 50/60 thread and tell them about the new one?
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Old Jan 18th 2011, 2:08 am
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Originally Posted by aviva View Post
You are going to go over to the original 50/60 thread and tell them about the new one?
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Old Jan 18th 2011, 2:14 am
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Originally Posted by AmericanCountrygirl View Post

What will be my biggest challenge moving to England as an american? How are American women viewed in the UK, what will prepare me the most prior ro moving to your country? While I know there will be a ton of cultural differences, what is the best way to "fit in" there? At the end of the day, I want to make the UK my new home, marry my boyfriend, I know I will be homesick from time to time but is complete happiness living in a foreign country possible to achieve with a lot of effort?
It's the UK, not the Middle East...

You don't need to fit in...just be yourself, if you aren't, you'll not enjoy it.

What to do to prepare? Search out what other folks have done all over the forums...but what you do boils down to what's important in life to you.

Somethings that are nice to do, all the touristy rubbish you've never done in your home area, do it, take photo's of your home neighbourhood, of friends, places you go. It's daft, but it's nice when you're feeling down and homesick.

Get copies of your birth certificate, possibly your parents too, medical records, criminal background check...all that boring stuff.

What visa are you planning on getting? That'll really determine what you really need to prepare for.

Oh and welcome to BE
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Old Jan 18th 2011, 2:16 am
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

As others have mentioned check out the US expat in the UK site. It will give you a lot of details on the specifics of what is needed, from visas to where to find Mexican food.

After you register you'll have access to a subforum called "Homesickness and Hard Times". I'd really encourage you to read that too. You are not the first person to have a story like "I really wanted to live in the UK and now I've met a guy..." A gander through that forum (and even this one here) will give you some insight into the difficulties of being an expat, even living in the "place of your dreams".

Good luck with your adventure.
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Old Jan 19th 2011, 1:15 am
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Originally Posted by AmericanCountrygirl View Post
Hello y'all,

Since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed about moving to England, now I find myself looking to move there with my boyfriend sometime by the end of the year. He is originally from Southampton and has been away for several years and is ready to move back home. While the idea of moving to another country sounds exciting, I know realistically there will be many challenges that I will face. So, I thought I would post on here and hopefully get some replies to help me out.

What will be my biggest challenge moving to England as an american? How are American women viewed in the UK, what will prepare me the most prior ro moving to your country? While I know there will be a ton of cultural differences, what is the best way to "fit in" there? At the end of the day, I want to make the UK my new home, marry my boyfriend, I know I will be homesick from time to time but is complete happiness living in a foreign country possible to achieve with a lot of effort?

I know I'm not the only American girl to move to England, but any help would be appreciated!
aww i am from the UK but moved to Florida when i was 12 now I am 32 and going home.... I have great friends in both countries, people in the Uk have a dry wit (we are bloody sarcastic) but tell you the truth and have remained life long friends with most.... even though i still think i sound english... when I am in the Uk they love how American girls sound.. you will be fine , be ourself.. you seem cool.. just stay true to you.... everyone loves that (: and good luck!
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Old Jan 20th 2011, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Women are generally viewed as women in the UK, they won't know you're American until you speak. You might get fed up with being asked the same question 20 times a day by different people ! It might get grating having to 'promote' your home state. British people might say they had a great time in Florida which will mean nothing to you ! People might seem demanding when they ask you why you emigrated but they might imagine the USA to be bigger and richer. Try and observe how British people interact with each other as that in it's turn will be how they treat you. Don't worry if you don't get the joke, some British people just aren't funny !
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Old Jan 20th 2011, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Make sure you have an umbrella and waterproofs with you when you arrive here as it tends to rain from time to time here.....probably not as intensely as it does in the USA but often annoyingly drizzly and mizzly, which can be just as wet, and certainly on more (grey) days in the year, all the year round but when the sun comes out it's bloody marvellous, and the sun does come out more often than people appreciate! Today for instance (20/01/11) there hasn't been a single wispy trace of cloud in the blue sky all day long - from a frosty dawn to a frosty dusk.

Do taste some Marmite when you get here then you can decide which of two distinct camps you will fall into - the Love Its or the Hate Its.

Many people in the UK obtain a general impression of American women (and men, too) from all the various US TV shows, such as "Desperate Housewives" "Sally Jessy Wots'er'face" etc etc etc.

You will have to get used to "Emmerdale" "Coronation Street" "Hollyoaks" "Loose Women" etc - and all the rest of the gunge on "popular" British TV.

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Old Jan 20th 2011, 10:33 pm
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Originally Posted by Lothianlad View Post
Make sure you have an umbrella and waterproofs with you when you arrive here as it tends to rain from time to time here.....probably not as intensely as it does in the USA but often annoyingly drizzly and mizzly, which can be just as wet, and certainly on more (grey) days in the year, all the year round but when the sun comes out it's bloody marvellous, and the sun does come out more often than people appreciate! Today for instance (20/01/11) there hasn't been a single wispy trace of cloud in the blue sky all day long - from a frosty dawn to a frosty dusk.

Do taste some Marmite when you get here then you can decide which of two distinct camps you will fall into - the Love Its or the Hate Its.

Many people in the UK obtain a general impression of American women (and men, too) from all the various US TV shows, such as "Desperate Housewives" "Sally Jessy Wots'er'face" etc etc etc.

You will have to get used to "Emmerdale" "Coronation Street" "Hollyoaks" "Loose Women" etc - and all the rest of the gunge on "popular" British TV.
I think its not love or hate marmite... it's "marmite or Boveril" that is the true question...hahahaha
i am a Boveril girl!
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Old Jan 20th 2011, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Originally Posted by hayleyatfla View Post
I think its not love or hate marmite... it's "marmite or Boveril" that is the true question...hahahaha
i am a Boveril girl!
Boveril, it's one step up from Vegemite but still on the second rate category
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Old Jan 21st 2011, 12:41 am
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Boveril, it's one step up from Vegemite but still on the second rate category
no way you're crazy... hahahaa
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Old Jan 21st 2011, 5:11 am
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Originally Posted by AmericanCountrygirl View Post
Hello y'all,

Since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed about moving to England, now I find myself looking to move there with my boyfriend sometime by the end of the year. He is originally from Southampton and has been away for several years and is ready to move back home. While the idea of moving to another country sounds exciting, I know realistically there will be many challenges that I will face. So, I thought I would post on here and hopefully get some replies to help me out.

What will be my biggest challenge moving to England as an american? How are American women viewed in the UK, what will prepare me the most prior ro moving to your country? While I know there will be a ton of cultural differences, what is the best way to "fit in" there? At the end of the day, I want to make the UK my new home, marry my boyfriend, I know I will be homesick from time to time but is complete happiness living in a foreign country possible to achieve with a lot of effort?

I know I'm not the only American girl to move to England, but any help would be appreciated!
Came across this article. Probably sums it up but they missed out bad customer service (although it is improving):

http://www.americanexpats.co.uk/very%20british.htm
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Old Jan 22nd 2011, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: American moving to the UK the good, bad and the ugly

Be prepared to be asked over and over and over again where you are from and how long you are visiting for. Be prepared to be asked where in Canada you are from, asked if your from Gloucester, and asked what part of Australia you are from. Be prepared to be asked over and over again if you know someone's cousin who lives in Podunk Minnesota who moved there from Cardiff 30 years ago. Be prepared to be asked why in the hell you would ever move over here when everything is so wonderful in the States....over and over again. Be prepared for complete strangers to stop dead in the supermarket aisle, stare at you with a big goofy grin and point at you as they babble over and over......American! American!..........these are all things that happen to me on what often seems like a daily basis.

Be prepared for the houses and the yards and gardens to be much smaller than you are used to. Be prepared to be scalded when you are washing dishes or attempting to take a shower with a mixer tap. Be prepared for it to rain or be cloudy with no sign of the sun for days and even weeks on end.

Do NOT eat a hamburger in a local cafe....even if they promise it will be an American Hamburger.....I guarantee you it won't be anything close. Be prepared for corn to be on your pizza. Don't ever order 'American Hot Wings' anywhere........they will make you swear them off forever.

Now that I have the negatives out of the way.......

Be prepared to wander around and explore your new country as much as possible. The countryside is spectacular. Be prepared for rolling fields divided by low stone walls that have been there for centuries in many places. Be prepared for taking wonderful drives down country lanes between the hedge rows and squeezing past an oncoming car at the last minute in a space you were sure wouldn't accommodate a ten speed bike, much less a car.

Be prepared to still find local fruit and veg shops, bakeries and butcher shops. Visit them often and support them with your business as much as possible because they are fast disappearing and sadly many are too busy filling their shopping carts at the local Tesco to care or appreciate what a treasure they are.

Be prepared to visit as many places, museums, historical landmarks, local villages, beautiful coastlines, mountains, walled cities and towns as you can make time for. So much is right on your doorstep and just a short car ride or train ride away.

Be prepared to walk down the street to your local village to do your shopping and then pop in one of your local pubs and have a pint or two before trudging home with your shopping. Don't be afraid to go into your local pub alone with your shopping bags.....you will meet new people that way...especially if you stop in regularly on a friday or a saturday afternoon.

Do try to either take a class at a local uni or work. You will meet new friends thru school or work.

Even if you are out and about with grungy clothes, no make-up and having an extremely bad hair day.........be prepared for British men to flirt with you and tell you repeatedly how much they love your accent.

And finally, as someone else already said..........mostly just be yourself. Don't worry about fitting in. Kick back, enjoy yourself.........explore your new country and see what it has to offer. Somethings will be really, really good......and sometimes something will just downright suck.......concentrate on the good things and you'll be fine.

I've been here over 5 years now and I'm one American that's still loving it.

Originally Posted by AmericanCountrygirl View Post
Hello y'all,

Since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed about moving to England, now I find myself looking to move there with my boyfriend sometime by the end of the year. He is originally from Southampton and has been away for several years and is ready to move back home. While the idea of moving to another country sounds exciting, I know realistically there will be many challenges that I will face. So, I thought I would post on here and hopefully get some replies to help me out.

What will be my biggest challenge moving to England as an american? How are American women viewed in the UK, what will prepare me the most prior ro moving to your country? While I know there will be a ton of cultural differences, what is the best way to "fit in" there? At the end of the day, I want to make the UK my new home, marry my boyfriend, I know I will be homesick from time to time but is complete happiness living in a foreign country possible to achieve with a lot of effort?

I know I'm not the only American girl to move to England, but any help would be appreciated!

Last edited by Scout; Jan 22nd 2011 at 9:31 pm.
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