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The Shocking Politeness Of Northern Ireland's Racism

I was so excited when I found out that I would need to complete a semester abroad for my bachelor’s degree in English Speaking Culture. I was studying at the University of Bremen, Germany and I had to find a company of my choice where I could gain work experience and practice my English daily. Rather than viewing it as just a mandatory part of my degree, I decided to use this as a chance to break out of my comfort zone.

I was, of course, looking for placements in the big cities like London and Manchester so that I would get a chance to experience the British “big city life”. I had this picture engraved in my mind of what my new life would look like. You know, “the London lifestyle” – a career woman that goes to fancy bars after work and uses her lunch breaks to take a stroll through Selfridges at Oxford Circus and check out new designer bags. I was dreaming of finally being surrounded by so many cultures and experiencing people from all walks of life. And what I was looking forward to the most was seeing black people in all different positions – something I was not really used to.