An·glo·phile noun \ˈaŋ-glə-ˌfī(-ə)l\ : a person who greatly admires or favors England and things English
In two months I will be leaving U.S. soil for the first time in my life to study abroad in the far away and exotic locale of…
OK, so not all that far away or exotic. But as someone who has never even been south of Georgia or west of West Virginia, going to England to study for a few months is a huge deal.
However, I’ve been preparing. You could say I’ve been preparing my whole life. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been exposed the American pastime that is Anglophilia.
Harry Potter, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, all the shows PBS jacks from the BBC, P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster stories, bands ranging from the Paddingtons to Art Brut, the 2006 English World Cup team, Doctor Who, an obsession with Winston Churchill and so much more
S Club 7 was my first CD. I still own that CD and listen to it somewhat regularly.
You get the point. British culture has been a hobby for me.
But the problem with studying abroad in England, and not just visiting as a tourist, is I have to leave that past behind. Because the point of study abroad is a cultural exchange. I bring my American self to Britain and learn about what British life is like. Maybe their culture is superficially similar to American life but in many ways it isn’t. Especially politically because of the design of their government and their government’s role as a member of the EU.
So instead of arriving with my head filled with dreams of Platform 9 3/4, Mr. Darcy, a police box that’s bigger on the inside and cow creamers, I want to arrive in London a clean slate.
(Am I using that correctly?)
So I’m abandoning my preconceived notions of the English.
Right after I catch up on the second part of season 7 of Doctor Who.
Next in the Pre-Study Abroad Diaries: “English phrases, and why you should never say sweatpants.”