The English have brought us some amazing things: tea, the telephone, Colin Firth. What England is lesser known for is it's food, and with good reason. 

After studying abroad in Nottingham, England for an entire semester (shout out to the University of Nottingham!) I have a few things to make sure everyone knows about how the English conduct their kitchens. 

1. Their use of beans is shocking

cereal, vegetable, legume
Eva Reynolds

Beans on toast. For breakfast. This isn't a joke. I've never been so heavily inundated with beans in my entire life. The students were confused as to why I thought it was disgusting, and it was a struggle to get out of the dining hall at breakfast without someone slapping baked beans onto my tray. 

2. Portion sizes are tiny

watercress, spinach
Kaitie Fiore

Granted, this photo was from my friend's 3 course meal in Paris, but every meal in England felt this small. I suppose to an American they seemed tiny. In actuality, they're probably a lot more normal than I think. Still, giving me a chicken breast and 8 chips (or french fries, as the cultured call them) for dinner is unacceptable. 

3. They eat potatoes like it's nobody's business

french fries, salt, potato, chips, sweet
Audrey Aucoin

Potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Honestly, I was unsure if it was England or Ireland. I had potatoes in every form: baked, fried, mashed, small, large. Name a potato, they're eating it today. 

4. They actually do drink that much tea (and other hot drinks, too!)

ice, ice cream, cream, chocolate
Dana Kringel

Tea is a staple of the English lifestyle. Most of the kids were raised on tea, but every restaurant offers several hot drink options. The English seem to really like their warm, cozy drinks, so to fit in I ordered, like, 1,000 of them. 

5. Digestives are better than they sound

chocolate, cream, cookie
Dana Kringel

I know, don't panic. They sound horrible but they're secretly little cookies covered in chocolate, oftentimes served with hot drinks. The English used to think they aided with digestion, hence the name. It's time for a name upgrade. 

6. Pizzas and burgers are heinous

pizza, chicken, onion, cheese
Dana Kringel

Mod Pizza gave me the most regular looking pizza I got in 5 months. I was missing some super cheesy goodness. I'm not sure what they did so wrong, but it was so bad.

On that note, do not ever order a burger in England. I don't know what kind of torture they put the meat through, but the taste is confusing and sad. It's sort of like their food is missing joy. Needless to say, I took quite a few trips to Five Guys and Dominos for my fix. 

7. The drinks are excellent and plentiful

cheese, bread
Dana Kringel

The drinking culture in England is huge. It's not abnormal to order a beer with your lunch (and hey, it was legal for me!). They've also got huge drink lists with fun cocktails to try and it's worth it to try a few while you can. 

8. They don't really believe in seasoning

Nicole Shvayetsky

The amount of steamed vegetables with no salt or pepper I was served was enough to make me blow a gasket. The chicken was usually pretty bland (unless you head off to a cheeky Nando's). God forbid someone sauteéd their vegetables. Again, the food was edible but rather unpleasant.

9. Fish and chips are a must-have

cheese, pie, omelette
Kaitie Fiore

Despite their food-related downfalls, England's fish and chips are actually really, really good. Almost every pub serves the classic meal, and it never disappoints. It's always the better option when you're eyeing something risky like a burger.

10. Salad is a rarity

salad, chicken, lettuce, vegetable, cheese
Dianna DelPrete

Salad just isn't really a thing. My school had a very small salad bar with very limited options, and it wasn't something you could just pick up on the go. You can order salads in restaurants but thats about it, and it's not all that common. And don't even get me started on salad cream: salad dressing's thick, evil cousin.

11. Waffles are considered a dessert

strawberry, cream, waffle
Dana Kringel

Waffles and pancakes are straight up disrespected by the English. They believe our typical breakfasts are desserts. They may be sugary and bad for you, but I want them at 9 am with my orange juice, no questions asked. Let my waffles be. 

12. Ice water is hard to find

water, ice, cocktail, lime, vodka
Nate Aroian

To be honest, the English didn't drink much water at all from what I noticed. Oftentimes beer was the drink of choice for an outing, and ice water was hard to come by. I struggled to find a good refreshing glass. 

13. No iced coffee

tea, ice, sweet
Cara Waterman

Starbucks fans can be heard screaming throughout the U.S. If you're an iced-coffee addict, England is not the place for you. They just don't have it. Asking them to pour a hot americano over some ice is considered weird and just never the same. Try not to cry. 

Don't get me wrong. I loved being in England, and I met some wonderful people there. I'm going to miss my study abroad experience tons, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy to be back in the U.S. surrounded by perfectly cheesy pizza for dinner and waffles for breakfast.