Things I miss about England whilst studying abroad

I was so dead set on enjoying and making the most of my study abroad experience that I was doing my best to avoid any ‘homesickness’ or looking back to what I have left. I am determined to live in the moment here by focusing on what I have now whilst also looking forward to what I may have when I return home. That being said there are a few familiarities and comforts that I do indeed miss (alongside the obvious friends and family of course!).

Supermarkets

In Sweden, I am enjoying some fine delicacies such as köttbullar (or meatballs if you wish) and kanelbulle that have been lining my stomach for many months now! But the variety of shops compared to the UK is much fewer here. And of course, the prices of food and groceries alike, are significantly higher here. I miss walking into Aldi on my way home after sport training and buying copious packets of 27p ‘knock-off’ jaffa cakes to see me through the week. In Sweden, there aren’t many variations of the same product I feel, but I know if I walked into an Aldi or an Asda for instance, I would be surrounded by a range of just the Mcvities brand!

Kavey Eats » The Kavey Eats Jaffa Cake Taste Test!

Food

There seems to be a running theme here… I like my food. Takeouts and restaurants are one of the biggest things that I miss. I like trying new things but I also like my familiarity as I know what I am getting from a place I’ve eaten before. From my local Chinese takeaway to Wetherspoons to my roast dinner. Oh gosh, I miss the comfort of my ‘Sunday dinner’ which was any day but Sunday (cheaper of course!). Nowadays, I am stuck ‘butchering’ chicken in the oven and serving up some frozen vegetables as a very questionable dinner. I know for sure, I will be stuffing my face with mixed grills and carveries when I get back. But also takeaways, as I haven’t eaten a single one in many months now.

Stonehouse – an amazing chain restaurant. Also this is not a picture of my own meal before you try and ‘roast’ me. 😛

Sport

I think it is safe to say a whole lot of us are missing sport right now. It is safe to say that I was enjoying going to Swedish football matches and playing badminton twice a week before things changed. What made me excited for the weekends is knowing that I could tune in to Aston Villa matches back home and scream away at my laptop like I was there. It was very comforting. Every time I saw a home match on I wished I could just transport back for those brief 90 minutes, be sat in my seat and wait for the stress to begin. I was also looking forward to the cricket season starting because I could watch some online and then dive straight into my summer of cricket once I fly back home. For now, though I must make do with Belarusian football and Taiwanese cricket on weekends!

Trezeguet sköt Aston Villa till final | SVT Sport

British TV

This is one thing that I can kind of control thankfully. I may not get access to BBC iPlayer, ITV Player or 4OD out here and Netflix SE may not have the best and up to date content but it has plenty of great shows! I cannot count the number of shows I have been binging over these few months but I also like the comfort of British humour. I have been rewatching classics British comedies such as IT Crowd (which my flatmates have absolutely loved) and The Inbetweeners when I need a guaranteed laugh! Also luckily Netflix SE provides both seasons of Sunderland ‘Til I Die which I have watched in recent weeks. This combines my love of sport and English television which is very comforting. Nowadays I am watching After Life starring Ricky Gervais.

The It Crowd - LOVE this show

British music

The wonders of travelling and sharing spaces with international people bring a vast range of cultural and musical differences. It is interesting getting to know what music other people like and how far the interest of ‘British music’ or certain artists travels around the world. In recent weeks I have made my British playlist (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1ru05UlaiXoVWFhlewufrj) just to remind myself of the many talented – mainly alternative rock bands that exist/ed. Sadly I haven’t had as much contact with Swedes as I expected, so my knowledge of Swedish artists and groups does not go much further than Abba. Thankfully I have picked out a few random songs from my dance classes that I was adding as part of a Nordic playlist that needs some more work from me (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/40rWBY4ri2iVhApWq4oi5b). Therefore, I am stuck with my very English music that probably not many people know of here. 

UK rock bands triumph at Kerrang! awards - BBC Newsbeat
You Me At Six

Inexpensive

I am perplexed at how expensive things are in Sweden after being quite luckily with cheaper products, food etc in England. Things such as alcohol, potatoes, paracetamol, bowling and BREAD. Yes, quite possibly the strangest shopping list you’ve ever seen? But my oh my, bread… It perhaps has more of a flavour over here but the cost is insane! Gone are the days of finding a reduced Warburtons loaf in Co-op and sticking it in the freezer! 

4 for £6 cider? Yes please.

I have some questions for my readers. What do you miss when you are out of your home country? How do you deal with this? 

13 thoughts on “Things I miss about England whilst studying abroad”

  1. When I am abroad I miss my soaps lol my footy and my home in general. I haven’t been out now for 40 days not even to the shops and I am worrying that I may get to like my own company a little too much . Love reading your blogs Dom x

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    1. Thank you! I would go crazy if I was in for 4 days, let alone 40! I am not sure how you are managing but I hope you are doing well.

      I think footy is the biggest thing right now, it is bad enough missing a game or two on holiday but now we are on the verge of potentially having the season cancelled.

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  2. I feel like the higher prices would get me down the most. Usually when I’m in a foreign country, it is easy for me to lose myself in it and really get full immersion. I like to imagine what it is like to be a local, so I try to focus entirely on what is available rather than what isn’t. But I miss my routines back home.

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  3. Here is a list of things I really miss when I am away from home.

    1. My parents. I dont know yet, but they are the sweetest. I miss going to bed wishing pappa a good night and kissing my mom. I am 25, but that isnt an excuse for not doing any of these.

    2. The food. Going away to a new place also means new food. Even if it is the same thing, there is a different way of cooking and I donot always find it very comforting.

    3. My home. It has everything I need. So I wouldnt want to go anywhere 😛

    4. My dog. How much I miss him. Cant really tell it in words.

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    1. It is always sweet to have a close family bond, regardless of one’s age. Food wise it sounds like you can like the comforts of your own food but also being able to experiment with new culinary? Oh yes pets are the big one! They deserve the biggest of hugs.

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  4. I miss really simple things when i’m away. I could go without British TV for a while to be honest, as I like to embrace the country I’m in (although I do need some good English language films). I also FaceTime my family a lot.I like going out with the boys to catch on the football and get some of the locals to support our teams.

    The things I miss the most are Sunday Roasts, Salt & Vinegar crisps (can’t get in Asia), English cups of tea and having a good doctor!

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    1. The doctor is an interesting point for sure. Do you feel like this with other people that you are used to seeing, such as hairdressers and dentists? It is quite strange when you are away for a long period of time and you have to get used to seeing new people.

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  5. The most harder thing on this planet to get used to is not the people. But the food. Because making change in that part can result in more of your routine. And this may affect your rest of the habits as well. People after sometime we get in peace with our selves. And same can be said about the other habits but food, water and shelter are harder to let go in our life.

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    1. We definitely love our favourite foods. I am missing a lot of mines and it has made my eating habits poor. It sucks that you cannot buy certain items outside of your favourite countries.

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  6. As someone who has been travelling, I certainly miss the convenience of ultra fast fibre broadband speeds, when I’m abroad. Some places in the world don’t have WiFI and the countries that do there connection is less than half a megabyte.

    It really makes me appreciate having such a privilege once home.

    Your spot on, our food and TV are probably my top two favourites of my home county. My favourite restaurants are Weather-spoons and the all you can eat roast buffet, the Toby Carvery. It’s a shame the hospitality sector has closed tor the time being because of COVID.

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    1. I have never been anywhere with such poor wifi like that, it sounds astonishing. Can I ask what places were like this? I

      I have not stopped going on about roast carveries all year around. I cannot wait to be back home and having one. Are they open right now in England?

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  7. The knock off Jaffa Cakes are amazing from Aldi. I love walking into one of their stores and just smelling the bakery section as well (same with Lidl). I couldn’t imagine not being able to watch the Inbetweeners when you want to either. The UK really has made some great comedies.

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    1. I love British comedies. I noticed I rewatched a lot of them when coronavirus was really new. I think watching them provided me with a sense of normality in this crazy time. Thankfully The Inbetweeners is on Swedish Netflix!

      The jaffa cakes are incredible from aldi. I love the everyday essentials ones which I think are 27p? I tried to explain them to my international friend with this bloke who does a review of themhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_BgFUObRCw It felt like such a British video.

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