10 Things You Learn while Interning in Britain with BUNAC

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Last year, Kalyn departed for the experience of a lifetime, interning with a popular London company for 6 months. She's provided some insight for future BUNAC'ers regarding interning in London. 

1. While the modern working office no longer has a mid-day tea break, you can bet you’ll hear the phrase “Does anyone want a tea?” about 10 times an hour. Most Brits love tea, and they seem to like talking about tea even more. 

2. The Royal family is not as universally loved in Britain as they are in America. Much of the younger generation sees the Royals as unnecessary and a waste of tax-payer money. Don’t worry, though, many people will still fawn over Prince Harry with you.  

3. The British work day is more typically 9 to 6, rather than 9 to 5. It’s common to take close to an hour for lunch, though, so you don’t feel as if you’re obligated to power through your sandwich at your desk while still working.

4. Friends is a hugely popular show in Britain, and you can almost always find a rerun on. A pop-up coffee shop called the Central Perk comes around every now and again, and this past month there was an entire Friends festival in London’s East End. 

5. Brits speak English, of course, but sometimes you’ll wonder if you are actually speaking another language. “Pants” are underwear, for instance, so it’s really awkward when you ask a new coworker where they got those ‘cute pants’ from. Not that I’m talking from experience or anything.  

6. The British calendar contains a few “bank holidays” a year. Unlike America, where there is at least a pretend reason for the holiday, a “bank holiday” is basically a “Let’s take the day off. What’s stopping us?” holiday. Enjoy them.

7. Brits say “cheers” to mean “thanks,” but you and your American accent will likely never sound cool saying “cheers.” Trust me, I’ve tried. 

8. Britain is famous for its pubs, and many people in the workplace head to the pub regularly for ‘after-work’ drinks, sending off colleagues who are leaving, or even daily business meetings. It’s like a second office, but more fun.

9. Brits call soccer, “football” and America’s version of football is simply referred to as “American football.” Keeping this in mind is key to understanding about 70% of conversation in some workplaces.

10. You may feel like an outsider at first, but hang in there. Soon you’ll be down at the pub on a bank holiday watching the football match with your new British ‘mates’ and teasing each other about your accents, and it’s very likely you’ll never want to leave. 

Kalyn IIB

Read more about Kalyns time abroad on her blog, Girl Gone London.
Come up with your own list of findings while Interning in Britain with BUNAC!

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