5 things to know before you study abroad in the UK

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Live like a local, from finding your way around your new home to finding the best bars

Freshers Week

Most international students will arrive even before freshers week, use this time to plan and prepare for what is to come. Be prepared for two weeks of madness. The British nightlife culture is intense at the best of times, and freshers is that – but on steroids. This can involve going out every night, spending lots of that fresh grant that just came in to your bank account and drinking a lot of strange alcoholic mixtures. Citylife has their famous Welcome bar crawl which usually attracts around 400 – 500 students from all around the world. But, if you’re not a heavy drinker or simply want to meet new people away from the booze then Citylife hosts regular activities (usually free or a few pounds).

“It’s not uncommon to experience all 4 seasons in one day.”

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The English weather

The first thing people think when they think of England…is the weather. We heavily recommend that you bring clothes for ALL weathers. It’s not uncommon to experience all 4 seasons in one day. The summer can reach mid 20 degrees Celsius, and the winters can be very bitterly cold with snow. Cardigans and light jackets are a must in your English wardrobe and of course a rain coat.

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Regional Differences

The North and South divide is something you’ll get familiar with once you arrive. There is a strong difference between the stereotypical ‘Northerner’ and the ‘Southerner’. The stereotype is that people in the North are a bit more common, edgier and friendly. While someone from the South would be considered posh. Of course these are stereotypes and considered banterous conversation. But do note the Northern accent is sometimes difficult to understand, especially as you go towards Scotland. Go with it, if in doubt – just laugh.

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British Humour

The British sense of humour is a weird one. It’s sure to be an acquired taste; however it in the blood of every British person you’ll probably meet. It’s quite difficult to describe, a cocktail of sarcasm and put-downs, usually offending the unsuspecting and not so amused foreigner. The best advice is to go with it. Believe us, it’s sometimes a lot easier and better to laugh along at the strange comment your roommate just made about his professor than sit there in an awkward silence. You will get used to it, and maybe even use it before you know it. It maybe worth doing some homework and watching some classic British comedies such as The Inbetweeners, Fresh Meat, The Office and the I.T Crowd.

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Travelling

Fortunately the UK is quite small, you can travel from one side to the other in a day (Although not recommended). As the public transport is privatised travelling without a car can be expensive, however Citylife allows you to travel to many UK destinations for usually less than £30. A great way to meet new people, explore new destinations and gain new knowledge. You can find out about upcoming trips here Another advantage of being in the UK is being able to travel around mainland Europe as well as other close by destinations for very cheap, a huge benefit for those coming from outside of Europe and not having such luxuries. Skyscanner will become your new best friend. .

Overall, you’ve made one of the most important, exciting and best decisions of your life. The UK is a country full of diversity, culture and many travel opportunities. If you’re looking for something a little bit more details about settling in, you can download our welcome guide here

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