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23 Things Brits Learn At International School

It's called "the bathroom", not "the toilet".

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1. Boasting about your A* in GCSE French won't impress anyone.

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It's pretty intimidating when all the non-English kids in your class speak better English than you, and have another four languages up their sleeve. But you get used to it.

2. And it's entirely possible to miss having a school uniform.

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The novelty of wearing mufti everyday lasts approximately two weeks. After that, you spend each morning curled up in a ball, rocking from side to side, and worrying about what to wear.

3. Talking of clothing, Abercrombie > Jack Wills.

#Abercrombie #model #abercrombiemodel #LONDON

Literally no one has heard of Jack Wills outside the UK.


5. And it's absolutely essential to stock up on chocolate buttons whenever you go home.

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America may have Golden Oreos, but we have Dairy Milk, which instantly makes us a target for international love and affection at break time. Put a packet of these babies in your school bag and you'll have the whole school eating out of your palm. Literally.

6. The IB is SO MUCH HARDER than A levels.

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Did you know that in some evil schools they make you do SIX OR MORE subjects until you finish sixth form? AND THAT INCLUDES MATHS. And something called Theory of Knowledge. Wahhh.

7. But at least it makes university feel like child's play.

After sacrificing your summer for the Extended Essay and dreaming about the Areas of Interaction at night, university essays were a breeze.


8. And when it comes to MLA and Chicago citation, you're already a pro.

You learnt that in 6th Grade! If you handed in school work without a bibliography, you failed. End of.

9. You understand that "Creativity" is a valid part of the school curriculum.

“@IBProblemss: Does procrastinating count as CAS hours?” 17 years of creativity

You had DofE; we had "Creativity - Action - Service". And we had to do it to get into the next school year. We were practically queueing up to help out at our mothers' jumble sales.

10. Cultures Day really made you wish Britain had a national costume.

Suzanne O' Reilly / Copenhagen International School

The Japanese students wear Kimonos and teach calligraphy. The British wear football shirts and teach Morris dancing. It's depressing.

11. You soon learnt that calling this a "toilet" in front of your teacher was considered crass.

Flickr: dirtyboxface

It's called the bathroom. Or maybe the rest room. Other words that you'll adopt are: "candy", "elevator", "Kleenex" and "eraser". Especially "eraser". You want to avoid the eyebrow lift when you call it a "rubber" by accident.


12. It won't be long before you lose your British accent entirely.

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The Anglo-American twang is a beautiful thing which kicks in about 2 months after you start international school. Basically, you start kind of sounding Australian.

13. It was totally normal for your teachers to wear these in class.

Muriel Gottrop / Via

In Britain teachers will tell you to tuck in your shirt and put on your school tie. At international school they'll give you compliments on your "pugs not drugs" t-shirt.

14. School dinners are crap everywhere. And they're even crapper without custard and sponge to look forward to.


15. Model United Nations was a very big deal.

At British schools, MUN is usually reserved for people who want to get into politics. At international school, it's legit. Even the cool kids do it.


16. Even against its international competitors, this is the best magazine ever.

Seventeen and Teen Vogue just don't talk about boy problems in the same way.

17. It can totally be worth traveling from Copenhagen to Hamburg to play volleyball against a team from Amsterdam.

Forget your local rivalry with the comprehensive down the road: No one knows inter school rivalry like international school kids, and we'll go to great lengths to prove it. Like cross border lengths.

18. You have to hurry up and tell someone if you like them because they might piss off to Malaysia at the end of the year. / Via

In Britain it is not uncommon to have your first kiss in Year 9 on bonfire night, exchange mobile numbers and then ground to a startling halt as you text away the next three years of your life nurturing your ~thing~. International school kids, on the other hand, live in the moment. Basically, they make out when they can make out.

19. And while we're on the topic, "make out" is a much better expression than "snog".

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"Snogging" sounds disgusting. "Make out" sounds sexy. You'll soon learn that it's best not to tell your Dutch crush that you'd like to snog them.


20. People will be baffled and disgusted when you describe pork pies and clotted cream.

Is out bad when the inside of your pork pie is pink?

"No, trust me on this one: Processed meat with jelly fat and a pastry crust is delicious."

22. You're an expert at making new friends.

A 30% student turnover each year means a guaranteed influx of hot new students arriving to sweep you off your feet yearly. And you're pretty good at making introductions.

23. And you're even better at saying goodbye.

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Just because you say it often, doesn't make it any easier. Long distance friendships are really tough. But don't feel too sorry for us: Having friends all over the world is pretty awesome.