Culture Shock: England vs Egypt

Amr's picture

Amr K. Moufid is an Egyptian student currently studying music in London. Here he looks at the main differences he has noticed between Britain and Egypt:

When I first came to England, it seemed to me that the only thing it had in common with my home country, Egypt, was that they both start with the letter "E". Let me put it this way, moving from Egypt to England might probably be the best way to explain and demonstrate the meaning of ‘culture shock'.

How so? This is what I mean:

Rules & Organization

To start with, Egypt is not big on rules and organization. For example, we don't do traffic lights in Egypt; we keep that to a minimum! Anyone who has ever been to Cairo will tell you that it's an adventure just driving through the streets, never mind trying to cross the street on foot! By the way, we also drive on the opposite side of the road and we have a little thing called lane separators in two way streets.

The Weather

One thing Egypt will always beat England in, come to think of it most of the world, is its weather. Egypt's coldest winter day is England's "Sunshine, let's go to Brighton" day. You can go to the beach, and actually take a dip, almost all year round back home. You just have to choose between the Red sea in the winter or the Mediterranean sea in the summer. That's it! In England it's a whole different story- I might as well have left my summer clothes back home. You might be thinking I'm exaggerating a bit. Well maybe, but keep in mind this is coming from someone who has only seen snow twice in his life. Half an hour worth of rain is my idea of showers.

Teaching Styles

After my first day studying in London, I noticed something peculiar (by the way, I'm studying a music course specializing in guitar). English teachers do not teach! To put it more clearly, the do not explain anything! In Egypt, you are spoon fed information about topics of which you have no former knowledge. Egyptian teachers give you all the information you need and more without you even asking for it.

In England on the other hand, they prefer self-study and research. The dreaded two! You need to fully understand what you are about to be "taught" before the "lesson" even begins! I thought I was the only one having this problem but after talking about it with my flat mates- very pleasant students from Taiwan and China, I learned that they are having the exact same problem.

Parks & Arts

One thing I can hand to England, London in particular is that it has the most beautiful parks I've ever seen. Take Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Regent's Park as examples. Also London, as far as I'm concerned, is the greatest music and arts city in the world. I will only say this: Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and Rolling Stones! P.s check out the Southbank Centre.

By Amr K. Moufid

Share with friends