Student Blog: Culture Shock in Scotland

Suzanna's A2/B1 class at Edinburgh Language Centre come from Angola and Italy. They decided to carry out a survey amongst their fellow students, to find out what different types of culture shock they noticed when they moved to Scotland from their home countries.

We did a survey to find out whether students in Edinburgh had culture shock when they arrived and what things were most different about life in Edinburgh.

1. The majority of the students didn’t have culture shock when they arrived here.  They told us that everything is quite similar in their countries.

2. Many people told us that the most different things are the weather and the food.  However other people said some very useful things, such as double decker buses and traffic lights!

3. One guy from Switzerland told us that for him the biggest different between Edinburgh and his county is about traditions, because he thinks that Scottish people celebrate much more, with a lot of parties.

4. One Brazilian guy told us that he observed that people in Edinburgh are very polite and very organised, and “it’s different from Brazil”.

5. One girl from South Korea told us that she had culture shock to the way that people drive here… and the most different thing from her culture is that most stores here close before 7 o’clock, and in her country they close at 9 o’clock or after 9 o’clock.

6. One girl told us that she didn’t have culture shock because the culture in Edinburgh is similar to her country.

7. Someone told us that Edinburgh has a lot of different nationalities compared to his country.

8. Another student told us that she wasn’t shocked, but all things here are different – like prices, weather here (it is cold than her home), beautiful landscapes and of course the food.  Here the people use the same ingredients but mostly the food is sweet.

9. One guy said just the food because he was from Switzerland.  One guy answers me that the time to eat is really early in Scotland.

10. One guy said that the different thing from his culture was the left hand drive.

11. One guy said that he never saw any bagpipes in his country.

12. One guy from Angola said that the most different things are the weather because in Angola it is always very hot, and he doesn’t like winter.

13. A guy said that he really likes Scottish whisky and Scottish kilts.

14. One guy from Korea said that he likes pubs because there isn’t in South Korea, but he doesn’t like snow and cold weather.

15. Another guy from Korea said that the most different thing is the food because he always eats rice, and he has also never seen a big rock castle like the one in Edinburgh.

By Joelson, Chiara, Antonia, Anisio and Oliver at Edinburgh Language Centre.

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