International Series: Kate’s Experience

Vedika Vinayak, Writer

Imagine moving across the world to a new country, new continent, and new culture. While this may be just a wild dream for you, it was a very real circumstance for Franklin High School Senior, Katie Hansom.

Moving to America in 2013, Katie left England in fifth grade. She has been back once for 2015’s Christmas, but as she likes the US much more, she does not plan on visiting again. Although Katie has not returned to England in a while, she still knows a little bit about British news such Brexit and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

Expectedly, Katie faced many cultural differences when moving countries. She noticed that, “compared to America, English people were more mature, but on the other side, a lot more pressure and focus was applied

The Pie News
The Taunton School in the UK

education and work in the US, even though England is pretty advanced in their education compared to other countries.” Another change was the lifestyle beyond school; American teens play more sports such as cheer, soccer, and softball, than teens in the English schools. Additionally, in the United States, the Royal Family is a much bigger deal and has a larger spotlight than in England.

Cultural differences inevitably come with some stereotypes. A big assumption that many believed about Katie was that she had met the Queen of England; needless to say, this assumption was false. There were some stereotypes though, that were actually true. It is a common thought that people from England don’t show emotion and Katie can confirm that. However, she clarifies that, “it is not that British people are emotionless, but rather that their disposition is just one that does not show emotion.” Although Katie was confronted with stereotypes, she had also believed some about America before coming here. “Most people in Europe believe that everyone in America is like fat and obnoxious. They like to imitate Americans, you should see it” she explains about some American stereotypes. A true assumption that she observed about Americans is that, “they are very patriotic. Like extremely.”  There were some challenges that arose as well. As a result of her English accent and learning, Katie had a problem with spelling and getting people to understand her. In addition, as it is rare to have a foreign student move into a school, it was very overwhelming for Katie to adapt and settle down.

Through Katie’s experiences, one thing is clear: she will never forget her time in England, but looks forward to all her future travels in America.