5 Perplexing Things Americans Experience

When They Move To England

What You Should Know Before You Move to the UK

Based on what our American Clients have told us!

Working in the relocation industry for over 30 years, we’ve seen the gamut of cultural differences encountered as employees look to relocate to the UK from the States.

For anyone looking to make an international move to the UK, it’s helpful to have an idea of some of the most common baffling or perplexing things that expats experience when they hop across the pond.

Based on what thousands of expats have told us over the years, we’ve put together a quick list of 5 things to know before you move to England:

  1. Queue, Queue, Queue

On escalators in the London tube, everyone and I mean everyone, stands on the right side leaving the left side free for those in a hurry.  Queuing isn’t a common courtesy, it’s a lifestyle.

  1. No Talking on Public Transportation

The British aren't unfriendly, they are just reserved about casual social contact.  Most prefer a quiet ride home on their commute with their evening paper instead of casual chit-chat.  But people will typically help if you ask.  (And by the way, it’s “transport” over here, never “transportation”!)

  1. A Sense of Humour (not humor!)

A big difference in humour is, whilst an American joke really hammers on the punchline as if people will miss it, British humour tends to leave a lot more to the imagination.  Often saying less is funnier as the other person fills in the gaps.  ‘Oh, so you do know how to answer your phone?’ (said with a proud smile spreading across their face)

  1. Great Britain is not the United Kingdom

Great Britain is an island that consists of three regions that include England, Scotland, and Wales.

The United Kingdom is a sovereign state that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It’s official name is “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”

  1. Tea is the Solution for All Things

Bad day? Put the kettle on.

News to share? Put the kettle on.

Had a shock? Put the kettle on.

The only close second to the love for tea is a couple of hours “down the pub”.

These are just a taste of some of the cultural differences to prepare for as you get ready for your relocation to the UK.  Saunders 1865 has been the top provider of international relocation support for Americans moving to the UK for more than 3 decades.

Part of the support we provide includes FREE cultural support which is now included in our Ongoing Support & Tenancy Management Service  Click here to learn more

Be sure to fill out our Contact Form if you’re interested in speaking with one of our relocation specialists, who will be glad to answer your specific questions.