If you’ve chosen to live in Britain for your studies, you’ll probably want to know a little bit about what it will be like before you make the big move. Chances are that you will already have your own ideas about British people and have probably heard plenty more about them from others; some of it nice, some of it less so. We’re here to give you a more accurate picture of British life and the British people than the one you’ve seen in the movies. Here are some key facts for you:
We might not be a large country, but we pack a lot of diversity in to our little island. Each region has its own accent and local traditions, and you’ll often find that people who grew up just miles from each other will speak quite differently from each other. Scotland, Wales and Cornwall in particular are different from England in many ways. We are also a magnet for people from around the world, and our major cities, especially London, have been home to a huge variety of races and nationalities for many generations.
Our food is good
The British are regularly teased for the supposed poor quality of our food, but the critics are only half-right. It is true that not all food in Britain is as fresh or high quality as it could be, but there is also plenty of delicious food on offer. There are some fantastic traditional and artisan products around, such as our farmhouse cheeses, homemade pies and many local specialities. We’re also pretty good at incorporating food from other parts of the world into our own cuisine, from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. It’s easy to eat well here.
You’ve probably heard that the British can be a bit on the quiet side – ‘reserved’ is very often the word used. We can be, and aren’t as good at talking to strangers or expressing ourselves as some nations, such as the Americans or the Dutch. But we are friendly, and are helpful and polite when it matters. You might think that the crowds of people in London you see in rush hour are unfriendly and unapproachable, but if you ask for directions or help, you are likely to be pleasantly surprised.
The British value humour, and use it to get through difficult situations and deal with problems. Scroll through some dating website ads and you’ll see the proof of how important humour is to us – most of them will say that they want to meet someone with a good sense of humour, and that they have one themselves. Socialise with British people and you’ll find they’re often cracking intelligent, quirky jokes.
Getting to know Britain and the British should be a fun and happy experience. We have our faults, but we’re not all bad. Being British means a whole lot more than eating cucumber sandwiches and wearing tweed. Wherever you’re planning on studying, there’s plenty of great accommodation, interesting people and places waiting for you to come and explore.