10 Biggest Culture Shocks for International Students in UK

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Over the past few years, there has been a 93% increase in the number of Indian students applying to the UK. With the world’s ranking universities and student-friendly cities, the UK is considered the number one destination for studying abroad. From meeting people from across the world to finding pubs at every corner, the UK is sure to be an exciting adventure for international students traveling to the country for the first time. In this blog, we are going to list out 10 biggest culture shocks for international students in UK!

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Culture Shocks for International Students in UK

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Here are some of the biggest culture shocks you will experience living in UK:

More than 100 Languages in One Country

Source: Giphy

UK culture is home to diverse communities, languages, ethnicities! While English is the most common language in the country, there are thousands of people who speak multiple languages and belong to countries from all over the world. While you might find students speaking multiple languages, it is advised that you practice listening and speaking British English to survive in the country.

Variety in British Food & Multicultural Cuisine

Source: Giphy

UK culture has a variety of food to offer! There are regional variations to every dish and a pie for every occasion. If you’re a food-lover then Britain might be the perfect place for you! Students can easily get a variety of staple food items, and even their home food anywhere in the country. Whether it’s cooking at home or enjoying a hearty meal at a restaurant, you will find an amazing variety of food items and multicultural cuisine that you won’t be able to resist!

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No Ceiling Fans or ACs

Source: Tenor

One of the biggest culture shocks for Indian students moving to the UK is the absence of ceiling fans. UK’s pleasant weather means that most households don’t require fans and ACs even during the summer months! Even the electricity structure in England is different. They have 13 amp square pin fused plug sockets, and electricity runs on 230 volts. However, if you need, adaptors can be purchased from the shops at the campus. Overall, you don’t have to worry much about the electricity.

Tap Water is Safe!

Uk culture
Source: Gyfcat

Unlike India, all tap water in Britain is safe to drink. And, if it’s not, you will find a label stating it’s not safe to drink. However, for making hot drinks, it is advised to either boil the water or use a microwave instead of using it from the hot water tap. 

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Driving Can Be Expensive

UK culture
Source: Tenor

You don’t necessarily need to have a car to move around the city. It is preferred to use public transport for that job. Moreover, very few students use cars due to the extra costs involved in using a car for daily activities. If anything wrong happens, your visa gets affected directly.

Students use Bicycles and Subways

UK Culture
Source: Giphy

Subways and bicycles are the most popular choices for students in the UK. Cycling and using public transportation like buses and subways have many benefits, and you might also find it economical and convenient to use. There is plenty of space available for the students to park their bicycles. So, if you are in the UK, give the bicycle a try!

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Safe and Crime Free

Source: Pinterest

UK cities are mostly crime-free. If you have to stay in a city, it is going to be very safe for you. However, it is better to take some precautions for your safety. Always, lock your doors and windows when you leave, and also attend a safety orientation talk from the police.

Unwritten Social Rules 

Source: Tenor

If you are ready to go to the UK, get ready to hear and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you. It might seem like a simple gesture, but you need to say it whenever needed. Britishers are polite and well-mannered people with great social skills. From being punctual to respecting people’s personal space, there are some unwritten social rules that all international students should mug up before arriving in the royal land.

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Polite But Reserved People

Source: Pinterest

People in UK are polite yet extremely reserved. UK culture is such that people don’t like to overly engage with strangers. But, it doesn’t mean they don’t care about other people. London is amongst the friendliest cities in the world with a global population. This means the opportunity to make friends is endless!

No Smoking in Public

Source: Just One Norfolk

Smoking in public is a big NO! Back in 2007, the government imposed a blanket ban on smoking in public areas. All universities and their campuses are considered non-smoking zones. So do check whether you can smoke in a specific area before puffing away!

Exploring Student Life and Culture in UK

These were the 10 biggest UK culture shocks that you might experience while studying in the UK. Did you know learn some facts about UK culture? Do you want to apply for higher studies in the UK or any other foreign country? Get in touch with our Leverage Edu experts to find the most suitable course and country for you.

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