So it’s been about 3 days since we’ve arrived in Sunderland, and so far I love it. My host family is ridiculously friendly and nice. I feel like I’m at home, I have no home sickness whatsoever. Erin (My host sister) is really sweet and cool and we get along very well. We like the same kinds of movies, TV shows, and books, like The Hunger Games and The Big Bang Theory. I also really like the other homestays, they’re really cool and fun to hang around. I’ve actualy learned a lot about English culture from them and I must say that the differences range from subtle to weird. For instance, certain words or phrases that we use in the US are significantly different from the ones they use. But they still, however, have the same kind of context when used. An example being when some asks if a persons “fit”, in the US it’s usually used to mean someone who healthy and physically fit. However, here it has the same meaning as the word “Hot” or “Good-looking”. Another example that confused many of us, is there use of the words “tea” and “dinner”. “Tea” in England means “dinner” in America, while “dinner” in England means lunch. It was really weird getting used to being asked “What do you want for tea?”, and it was even weirder when we sat wondering what kind of “tea” we wanted.
Another difference I’ve noticed is the school. Monkwearmouth is a much larger school than our own, and has a lot more students. Our school only has about 550 or so students, which is small. There school also has to wear uniform; black or purple polos, slacks, black shoes, and blazers. Whereas in our school we don’t have a uniform and the teachers are a bit more relaxed about what we wear. The learning system was also a bit surprising, for instance, instead of have levels of math is was sort of just “Math” all mixed in one. Its actually made me quite curious as to how they would react when coming to our classes. The people at the school were also very nice, of course we got a couple of snowballs thrown at us. But overall, they seemed to be really sweet and excited to see us.
We also went to primary schools here in Sunderland, Zawadi and I. We had to introduce ourselves and give a presentation on America. We actually got to see years 5 and 6, as well as the toddlers (they were adorable). They asked us a lot of questions and were really nice, I actually wish we had the chance to go back and visit them. Afterwards we went back to the school and met up with our homestays to go back home. However, before going home Erin, her mother, and I went to see the Angel of the North (pictures later) and the Penshaw Monument (pictures also later). But there was a blizzard going on at the same time so the snow was blowing very hard.
Overall, the trip has been very exciting and fun so far. I can’t wait to spend even more time hanging out with them, of course after I finish my homework.
Until next time,
P.S. Shopping here is great, I absolutely love Primark.