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5 differences: A Spanish student’s view on British culture

Back in 2017, German student Joop wrote a great blog for us, getting to the bottom of British stereotypes and finding out if there is any truth in them.

We currently have the pleasure of Spanish student Francisco working with us for 13 weeks and thought it would be a great opportunity to find out some differences between Spanish and British culture. Here’s what Francisco had to say…

Greetings

As some people know, in Spain we are famous for being excessively affectionate when greeting. We have a meeting “code”:

- Man greets man: handshake, and sometimes a hug if they are friends
- Man greets woman: two kisses
- Woman greets woman: two kisses

British peoples’ greetings are simpler: Handshakes for all and maybe a hug if they are very good friends.

This was very weird for me because in Spain, especially in Andalucia (from where I am), we usually are very close people, and a handshake is a too formal greeting for us. At first it will seem strange to you, but in the end I’m sure you will get used to it.

Carpeted floor, everywhere you go

That was very shocking for me, because it is not usual to find a house with carpeted floor in Spain. Here in England, it’s normal to go inside to a home or an office and find carpeted floor everywhere! I have to say that it is very comfortable but, you know, I still prefer the tile floor, especially in summer…

Party hours

As I have been able to verify, British peoples’ party time is too different to Spanish peoples’ party time. You will see that in England, usually there are people starting their parties too early compared to Spanish people party habits. In Spain, clubs and discos usually begin at midnight and ends at dawn. Here, at least as far as I could verify, parties start and end too early. But don’t be worried, I’m sure you will have fun if you decide to go out, because you will find a lot of places to have fun here in Devon easily!

Driving on the left

The first contact with this was funny for me, because when I see my first car here, I thought: “Why is that 5 year old guy driving a car!?” To this day, I still can’t get used to this aspect of British culture, and I look to the wrong side to see if there is coming a car to cross the road. I only expect not to get confused when I have to drive my car in Spain…

Meal times

This is one of the most difficult things a Spanish person has to face when he or she comes to England. English people usually have bigger breakfasts than the ones we have in Spain, and that’s because they don’t usually have a big lunch.

In Spain, it’s more normal to have a small breakfast and a big lunch, I think that’s because we usually have dinner later than English people. Bear in mind that when you come here, you are going to have dinner early too, so make sure to fill your stomach or it will be roaring all night like an angry lion!