Among Vikings

Every time when someone decides to take a challenge and undergo a major life change, there are many people around who sit up and start to comment on that in a worldly-wise manner. I had the same feeling about a year ago when I set off to study in the UK, where I was about to expect continuous rain, masses of egocentric British and great deal of independence, because Czech studying and taking care of himself in a foreign country is an unimaginable situation for many of friends.

After almost a year spent in England, I can proudly confess that none of the aforementioned situations occurred. Even though few of my classmates chose their university also according to the precipitation amount map, at the end York turned out to be a place with very pleasant weather, which copies the best from both winter and summer seasons, when you can have a splendid fun during winter snowfall and wear shorts and vest from mid April. In addition to that, the river Ouse during floods deluges only the nearby park so we eschew non-stop streaming of interviews with dwellers living for decades within flood zones, who lost their whole possession for at least a third time in their life.

With regard to the stereotypical opinion about Britons, inhabitants of the Northern Yorkshire will definitely prove how misleading your assumptions are. Kindness of local residents and especially merchants should serve as an example for majority of Czech workers in Services sector. Even though north of the UK is famous for its high number of low income population, in contrast to the south, exactly their blue collar origin, which they inherited from their fathers working in factories around Leeds, Manchester or Newcastle, is the cementing element, which causes that they are helpful and kind. So it becomes absolutely normal that random people talk you when you walk on the street even without you knowing them.

 Independence is a very abstract value for many teenagers when they grow up. They think that they know a lot about that, but usually the total opposite is true. I will not brag and claim that I was much different, but thanks to my study at Open Gate I found out in advance that I can do my laundry on my own without  my mother and that when I deal with an officer, I should treat him in the same way as my former school director. Nonetheless, I would like to mention the effort of university staff to organise numerous sessions and connecting events, where we are given an opportunity to get many needed contacts, which we can use in future. By hearsay, I know it does not work the same way at Czech universities where students have to cautiously seek for any information. At the end of the day, I feel kind of half independent, because even when you settle everything regarding your studies in the UK, you still know that it would not be possible without many people around you – your family, university staff, The Kellner Family Foundation or your friends.

 To conclude, I would sum up my year in England as a big experience. I got to know many new friends. On the top of that I acquired the York bursary and after the dreadful way to my exam result, there was the sweetest surprise at the end. Moreover, during my current internship at Home Credit International, I have learnt so much new stuff, which I will take advantage of in future, so that the end of this academic year is the imaginary icing on the cake.


More blog articles

All news