Common myths about the UK debunked
Many international students who arrive in the UK for the very first time have preconceptions about what the country is going to be like. There are many misconceptions about the UK that are held by people from overseas. We’re here to debunk a few and tell you the truth about what the UK is really like.
All the food is terrible
After World War II the UK was on rations and that meant that the food wasn’t very varied or indeed interesting. However, the food has improved much since then and the UK has some delicious food for all tastes to enjoy. The great thing about food in the UK is that there is so much diversity. Whether you fancy Spanish tapas, Indian curry, English food, or Italian, French, Eastern European, African or American – you’ll find a place to eat it in the UK.
There’s actually a wealth of Michelin Star restaurants in the UK and two have the coveted three stars: Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea & Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair.
Everyone speaks like they’re in Downton Abbey
Contrary to what the rest of the world thinks, people in the UK don’t all speak with the same “Downton Abbey accent.” Accents and dialects vary from region to region. You can travel only a few miles to the next town and find a completely new accent.
One of the great things about the UK is the diversity of the people. Many international students who arrive in the UK are surprised to encounter Manc, Glaswegian, West Country and Brummie accents. They may take some getting used to!
The weather is terrible all the time
It is widely believed that it is cold, wet and grey every single day. Whilst that is the case some of the time, especially in winter, weather in the UK can be much better than that. In summer, there is significantly less rain and temperatures average out at about 19°C (66°F).
Contrary to popular belief, the UK does have actual seasons. They’re just not so clearly defined as in other countries. A quick summary of UK weather is that October tends to be the wettest, January the coldest and then it’s relatively warm from May to September.
It is a good idea to invest in a umbrella however, just in case…
There’s no countryside
If you have the idea that the UK is only made up of cobbled streets and closely packed houses, you have only seen a small percentage of it. There’s actually lots of greenery to enjoy. The Peak District and the Lake District offer stunning views and a chance to get away from the metropolitan elements of the UK. Getting back to nature is really easy in the UK. There’s even seaside towns with actual beaches!
Everyone loves tea
This is a bit of a lighthearted stereotype that the rest of the world has about the UK. Whilst tea is drunk a lot, coffee is also readily available. In fact, some British people don’t even like tea – shock horror!
London is the only place worth visiting
Many international students only know the UK through London. London is great. It’s the capital of England, houses Parliament and is home to the Queen. But the UK has so much more to offer than just London. There are a multitude of vibrant cities that rival London in almost every single way. Places like Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Leeds, Sheffield and Birmingham just to name a few. If you’re an international student looking to study in the UK, it’s worth knowing that there are other options to consider.