Imagine waking up one day in a country that you`ve never been to and know no one there. It is an incredible experience, and something that people will remember forever.
Before visiting the country we have some stereotypes about the life there, which are broken after the trip. And England isn`t an exception. People think that the British are hard-hearted and unsociable. But they aren`t. The Russians are always welcome in England. If you ever visit it, there will always be a little part of your heart.
I am very interested in British culture, history and people. So, my visit provided me with a good opportunity to compare what I already know about England with the real life. I am grateful to fate, to my parents and teachers, that in July in 2009, I went to England. This was preceded by years of hard English lessons, a successful passing of international exams of different levels, exhausting trip to Moscow for processing the documents. But at last a group of like-minded people and I are in England…
It was amazing and immediately struck me. The first days were introductory, and then I could navigate in Guildford, in the city, where we lived. But let me start from the very beginning.
When we arrived, we went to our families. I was inexpressibly glad to meet these people. It was my first experience of communicating with the British. I expected them to be rather cold, full of traditions, but it turned out that they are very kind-hearted and hospitable. Within 2 weeks I lived with the owners of the house (Cranstone; husband and wife) and 2 girls – from Spain (Anna) and Turkey (Oykyu). The first day I was very tired and, unfortunately, was not capable to do something. But the very next day we went on a trip to London.
Arriving there, I was absorbed with the emotions! It was amazing: we were riding on the biggest Ferris wheel, and then went to the Madame Tussads` Museum that I wanted to visit. There I had the opportunity to be photographed with wax figures of celebrities and to go to the room of fear… it was terrifying, my heart took in heels! It was very scary, but I endured, and then just laughed at the idea of the room. The museum had many interesting things to see.
The next day I went to school for the first time. I had the opportunity to see the conditions in which teenagers learn English. Children at my school were from lots of different cultures, but that didn`t stop us being friends. At first I could not remember the way to school, but I my neighbor, living for 2 weeks in Guildford, helped me. It turned out that I lived near the center of our town.
On Wednesday, we had another tour – to Oxford. I had a lot of emotions from it. It was just incredibly exciting to look at the famous University of Oxford, which I much heard about! Upon arrival in England it was hard to get used to the language and how to communicate it. I took a very visible difference between the Russian, speaking English and the British. But after the first few trips I used to and learnt a lot. And of course it was great to visit the famous hall, where the action of world famous movie about Harry Potter has taken place. It was just incredibly exciting to feel like the heroine of this film. My dream was realized!
Except trips to other cities I was walking with my friends along the streets of the city every day after classes. They were totally different from our Russian ones. For example, the main street, often called, High Street, was lined with stone, everywhere one could see windows of various shops. It is worth noting that the local bakery was very good, clothes were much cheaper than in Russia, but the food, by contrast, was very expensive.
On Saturday, we had an excursion to London again. We gladly walked through Trafalgar Square, looked at Buckingham Palace, the queen was in the castle at that time, as it was raised the state flag on the Palace, saw Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, visited the historical London museum.
Before being in London, I thought that it`s the tourist centre, full of foreigners. But I was wrong, because it looked like Moscow. Like most capital cities, it was noisy, polluted and congested with traffic.
On Wednesday we had the last excursion in Portsmouth. As for me it was probably the most exciting. We visited the old museum ships, including the oldest and one of the most famous, the ship Victoria, on which Admiral Nelson has sailed. In Portsmouth, I visited the museum, consisting of a single ship, hauled from the ocean floor. It was under water for a long time, so now he is behind a glass, and it a jet of water sent it as the ship won`t disintegrate into small particles.
Friday was the last day in England. I would stay in England at least another slightly. But, unfortunately, we left on Saturday. So I tried to bypass all of the most beautiful parts of Guilford, which I knew. At home, I interacted with my neighbors; we exchanged e-mails to write to each other, arriving at home. That was the last day in this country for me and Oykyu, so we packed our suitcases, and then decided to have a farewell dinner. We went to the store and buy various delicacies, and then sat down in front of TV and chatted. It was very funny! I wish I could repeat it again!
Saturday – the day when we went home. On the one hand, it was sad, but, on the other hand, it was glad for me to realize that soon I will come home!
When I came back I had my own impressions, my own personal experience and new image of England, I would like to share with my friends. I broke my stereotypes about people, cities and life in them. In conclusion, I would like to say that I have received a lot of emotions and increased the skill of communicating in English. The trip helped me a lot: I found new friends who are still talking with. I hope that next year, I will visit England, this wonderful country again!