News and Events

cambridge university - Adapting To British Life When Studying in the UK

5 Tips on Adapting To British Life When Studying in the UK

June 29, 2016

The UK is a wonderful place to live and study. It’s a vibrant, diverse and multicultural nation with breathtaking scenery, historical landmarks and cultural places of interest.\r\nWhether you choose to study in one the UK’s largest cities or a university campus tucked away in a countryside town, you’re sure to expand your knowledge, make new friends and immerse yourself in a completely new way of life.\r\n\r\nAlthough student life in the UK can be an incredibly fulfilling experience, leaving home and travelling to a new country can be a little stressful and scary for some. After all, when you first arrive at your university you might not know anyone and you may feel lost. Thankfully, although international students in the UK may feel shocked at first, getting used to British life can be great fun and really rewarding. Here are just a few ways you can adapt to British life when studying in the UK:\r\n\r\n

1. Expect unsettled weather when studying in UK

\r\nBritish weather can come as a shock to some international students, particularly for those who’ve come from a much warmer country. Within your first few days of arriving in the UK, it can be a good idea to go shopping and purchase a good waterproof coat and umbrella.\r\n \r\nIt’s not all clouds and rain though. In the summer you’re likely to experience some glorious weather from time to time. When the sun is shining, Brits tend to go to the park with their friends or have a BBQ on university grounds.\r\n\r\n

2. Try some delicious British food

\r\nIf you’ve never eaten traditional British food, it’s worth popping into a local cafe or pub and giving it a try. Some of Britain’s most popular dishes include a full English breakfast, fish and chips, and a roast dinner. If you don’t fancy a big meal, try a Cornish pasty or scones with cream and jam.\r\n\r\nSince Britain is so multicultural, you’ll be able to try a wide range of dishes from all over the world during your stay in the UK. Whether you enjoy a Chicken Biryani on Manchester’s Curry Mile, Punjabi dishes in Leeds, or Mexican street food in London’s Camden Market, the choice is endless. \r\n\r\n

3. Enhance your language skills

\r\nIf English isn’t your first language, you may get a little lost in translation from time to time. Thankfully, by surrounding yourself with native speakers, you can easily improve your English language skills and even pick up some colloquial phrases. \r\n\r\nDepending on where you wish to study in the UK, you’re likely to hear a wide range of words and phrases, some of which may confuse you. While some people assume all British people share the same accent, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Someone from Birmingham will speak very differently from someone from Cornwall and it may take you a few moments to understand what people are saying. Don’t be afraid of asking people to speak slowly or repeat themselves. Once you’ve made friends, they’re likely to help you understand accents too.\r\n \r\n

4. Make friends

\r\nThere are many benefits of studying abroad, and making new friends is certainly one of these reasons. Although Brits are friendly and helpful in general, they often keep themselves to themselves when they’re on their own in public. For example, if you get the bus, you’re likely to see people sitting alone and quietly listen to music rather than chatting to strangers and making friends. The good news is, if you ever get lost, British people are usually more than happy to point you in the right direction. So don’t be afraid to ask someone for help if you need it. \r\n\r\nAlthough it may be difficult to make friends on public transport or in your local shopping centre, meeting new people at university should be easy. Within days of your arrival you’ll probably have friends from all walks of life. Many international students make friends with the people they live with and the other students on their course. You could also meet likeminded people by joining sports clubs, student societies or taking up a new hobby. \r\n\r\n

5. Prepare for unfamiliar behaviours & fashion trends

\r\nIn Britain, it’s not uncommon for people to kiss their partners or hug their friends in public. This may come as a surprise if you’re from a part of the world where this type of behaviour is not acceptable. \r\n\r\nBritain also has very few rules in terms of fashion and you’re likely to see a diverse mix of people wearing clothes that may seem unusual at times. You may also feel as though people dress immodestly, particularly in hot weather or during the evening. \r\n\r\nIf you’d like to study in the UK, please get in touch with the team at IEC Abroad for more help and information, or apply online today. Whether you’d like to study business, geography, IT or something else entirely, we can help you find the perfect course and university for you. \r\n\r\n