Our School Trip to the UK (Broadstairs)


Our WOW moments on our language school trip to Broadstairs

I am summing up the “wow moments” or in Joycean terms the epiphanies of your trip to the UK.   What follows are your observations, which compare and contrast Italy and the UK (seen through your eyes).  This is our first step to cultural awareness.  


  • Something everybody knows, but worth mentioning again, just in case and for your own safety if you decide to travel to the UK: the English drive on the left and the steering wheel is on the right.
  • Supermarkets are open until late at night.
  • Food is generally good, though some dishes are not our cup of tea!  Then Italian recipes are not really our recipes, so watch out.
  • You cannot buy cigarettes, matches or lighters because if you are under 21 you cannot smoke.  If an adult is caught purchasing cigarettes for the under-age, s/he will be heavily fined.  Any shop selling cigarettes under the table runs the risk of being closed down by the police. 
  • Teenagers are not allowed to purchase energy drinks, so if you are a Red Bull drinker and your are not 18, do not think of buying one in a shop.  You won’t be sold it.
  • English people are stricter than Italians.  The laws are enforced and people check your behavior all the time.


  • In England things are less expensive than in Italy.
  • The English sense of humour is a bit strange to our standards.
  • There are lots of different nationalities in the UK.  How lovely!
  • Pubs are small and if you are not 18 you cannot drink anything in them.  You can enter them, but you must be accompanied by an adult.  In most pubs music is played, even live music, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings.
  • Coffee is good, but not as good as the Italian one!
  • The English walk a lot.
  • In the UK you can find Smarties chocolate bars, really lovely. The range of chocolate you can find is endless.  Amazing. 
  • The way teachers teach is more informal, less detached.  Teachers involve their students more and they interact with them more.
  • Everywhere there are lots of stairs, in most houses there are steep flights of stairs with narrow steps.
  • There are lots of windows either with no curtains or no blinds.  You cannot find the Italian shutters.
  • Students wear uniforms, they give them a sense of belonging to the school they go to.  They look lovely in them.  Then, remember that students start school at 9 a.m, not at 8 like us.
  • Most British love spicy food.  They eat very little bread compared to us.  They eat lots of potatoes and onions too and they use the microwave oven a lot, more than we do.  Then, water does not come in bottles, they do not buy their water, they get it from the tap.
  • The British love their fish and chips, but also Kebab food.  They are very  fond of crisps too, which come in different tastes: cheese, barbeque, onion and vinegar too.
  • The British are not as obsessed with cleanliness as most Italians are.  Watch out the bathrooms.
  • In lots of houses people do not have clothing lines in the gardens to dry their laundry.  They use the radiators inside their homes.
  • Most houses have carpet everywhere, even in bathrooms.
  • In the UK you can wear whatever you wish, nobody would look at you in disapproval or tell you that you do not look cool.  In Italy people tend to be judgemental and look down on you if you do not wear designer’s clothes or fashionable clothes.  Who is freer, then? Pointless stating who, isn’t it?
  • The British have lots of pets in their houses.  Dogs do not stay out, they do not sleep in kennels, but inside.  This is the reason why you do not hear dogs barking in gardens.
  • Mind “old” ladies! If you are walking on the pavement and an old lady is approaching, do not block her way.  You would be told off!  Elderly people are more respected than in Italy.  At least this is what it seems.
  • Shop assistants tend to be kind and nice.
  • There are markings on the streets that tell you to “look right” or to “look left” when you want to cross.
  • When you catch the tube in London, do not be noisy or speak loudly.  The British tend to read or listen to music or work on a laptop or tablet.  They do not chat, thus they do not disturb the other travellers.  All in all the English tend to be more silent and respectful.
  • Most families do not have bathroom scales.  Are we obsessed with our weight, then?
  • Most houses have a fire-place in the living room: fake or real, it depends on the family.
  • Everywhere there are lots of take-away places.
  • You can see people eat while walking.
  • The English generally eat their dinner at six p.m.
  • Some people may be rude to you as soon as they realize you are not mother tongue, that is as soon as they realize you are a foreigner.
  • The English countryside is just awesome. 
  • If you visit towns and cities you are likely to see lots of street performers and buskers.  They are great.  Be prepared to give them some of your change.
  • Don’t expect to find the same zebra crossings we have in Italy.  There are not long, wide stripes, but little squares.

 map_of_united_kingdom_by_freyfox-d5ipaqwIt is very easy to fall into the trap of Stereotypes about cultures and as students of different foreign languages you are aware of not becoming a victim of all this:

stsworkshop.wordpress.comThen you do not want to idealise another culture at the detriment of your own!

unionjackSo our school trip experience to Broadstairs has certainly helped you understand some aspects of cultural awareness we are going to investigate together over the years.

On the basis of the nice post Ms. Cimetta prepared, we are going to see what your creativity sparked in you.



The following are your attempts at selfies in the field of study school trips!

Broadstairs through the eyes of 2N students

This entry was posted in Be Creative. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Our School Trip to the UK (Broadstairs)

  1. Laura says:

    Thank you so much my dears! I love this post, your epiphanies, your PowToons, Prezi – Glad you acknowledged us teachers as being present and supportive but not oppressive 😉 and Glogster.
    We’ve succeeded in going BEYOND the green walls of our classroom by sharing our works, cooperating and sparking your creativity. It’s just the beginning of a long term friendship and a new way of learning and conceiving … education. I’m very happy and proud of being a teacher 🙂
    Thanks again
    PS The PDF – if it’s so – is not always clear.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      You are right, the PDF is the e-book version of the students. It is not nice posting the PDF, but I did not know how to share the e-book. This is the only way I found to get about the problem. Since I wanted to give visibility to all the things the students did, I opted for this. Thanks my friend.

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