The five British things you didn’t think you’d miss on your Year Abroad

So you have begun your year-long adventure away from the comfort of your university city and friends. They watch in jealousy from rainy home soil whilst your social media is overflowing with beers in the sun, weekends travelling around Europe and very little evidence of anything remotely like work or studying. But whilst they groan at how much fun you look like you’re having, the joke’s on you and in fact those at home are the real winners here. 

Who knew Tesco could become such an integral part of your life? 

Here are the five British things you didn’t think you’d miss on your Year Abroad:

Popping the TV on


Long gone are the days spent channel hopping through reality TV shows, arguments over the remote and Saturday night British television with a take away.

You have your laptop and a Netflix account at your disposal,  and even the joy of nobody to argue over the choice of programme with. But really, all you want is to sit at home with a peshwari naan bread and Gogglebox, the epitome of British television.

You may be lucky to have a TV in your flat, but when none of the channels are in English and the best available programme is a cross between Catchphrase and The Price is Right, frankly, the TV is better switched off.

A British cup of tea


Many say a cup of tea solves everything, and they aren’t wrong. You never thought you’d take the simple task of switching on the kettle and making a brew for granted, until now.

You’re living abroad and no matter how much you scour the supermarket shelves for anything remotely similar to a British box of tea bags, the only thing close is a European supermarket own brand of an English breakfast tea, which for the hefty 4,99€ price tag, isn’t worth it.

You resort to rationing your sandwich bag of Yorkshire Tea bags your parents slipped into your suitcase before you left, and dreaming of the time you’ll once again be reunited with a good British cup of tea.

A Sunday roast


No meal will ever compare to the wonderful creation that is the Sunday roast. The fluffy, yet crisp golden roast potatoes, the honey-glazed parsnips and lashings of gravy over Yorkshire puddings are all you dream about as you sit in your flat on a Sunday twiddling your thumbs and wondering how the rest of Europe cope without the British Sunday staple.

Nipping to the shops on a Sunday


Sunday aka the day to get everything done. The day you do your weekly food shop, nip out to sort some life admin tasks, or treat yourself to a Primark spree. This day is no longer a day of productivity, but a day of woe and sadness as you walk round your new city in dismay at the sight of everything being closed. 

You have to now actively plan to avoid running out of milk to avoid a complete disaster when you reach for your overpriced box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes on Monday morning.

You spend your Sunday moaning to your new friends about how everything is shut and how easy your life once was when you could nip to the shop on a Sunday afternoon.

24 hour Tesco


You don’t realise how wonderfully practical having a 24 hour Tesco a short drive from home is until you move abroad. The mind-blowing concept that you could pick up a prescription, visit the opticians, buy a new wardrobe, take out a new phone contract AND do your weekly food shop all under one roof is a thing of the past as you now live your new life where it is a struggle to find the most simple home-comfort like cold, refrigerated milk. 

In spite of the several downsides of a year abroad, somehow the nearby beaches and sun do help cushion the blow. 

You still can’t wait to fly home for Christmas though. 

Thank you for reading! Wishing you a wonderful Year Abroad. 

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