The basics
THE UK: Destination Guides

What's UK culture like?

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The UK is made up of three countries, England, Scotland and Wales, as well as the principality of Northern Ireland. Each has its own unique history and identity but they also have much in common.

 

Society

The UK has a diverse and multicultural population. People from a range of cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities live in the UK as personal freedom and different beliefs are encouraged and absorbed to form a diverse and eclectic culture.

Independence in the UK is both encouraged and taught. Many students, when beginning their lives in the UK, find room to express themselves both inside and outside the classroom. To question what you learn, put forward your own perspective and express your views and creativity is welcomed in UK education.

 

Landscape

The UK's landscape is similarly diverse. You'll find cosmopolitan cities, picturesque countryside, mountains and long beaches – all within a relatively small area compared to say the US (which is considerably larger). Plus, there is easy access to Europe if you want even more to explore. This often makes students from larger countries feel more comfortable, and less lost than they might feel in a new country. The country's relatively small size means that if you hear about a particular event, place or attraction you're interested in visiting, you can very well do so.

The UK has a moderate climate: the UK's location means it doesn't experience extremes of hot or cold temperature (even the worst spells don't last long).

 

The people

The British are jovial and friendly bunch of people, often always looking on the bright side of things. They enjoy small talk while waiting for a bus, with the topic of the weather often rescuing any awkward silences. Additionally, talking about the football or weekend plans are accepted conversation topics. The British sense of humour, famous throught the world from shows like Benny Hill, Fawlty Towers and The Office, can vary between being dry or intellectual, and cheeky (even a little bawdy at times); so don't take everything you hear literally or verbatim, as there is usually an alternative meaning.

 

Getting around the UK

Flying to the UK when you first arrive couldn't be easier. There are more than 40 airports in the UK, with most major cities having one nearby that handles international flights. Gatwick, Luton and Heathrow are the three main airports you'll hear of. Most airports also have rail and coach stations, so it's easy to travel from there to your study destination.

The transport network within the UK is also excellent. Domestic flights and an extensive rail network connects hundreds of towns and cities, while the Channel Tunnel links the UK to mainland Europe. You can now travel from London to Paris in just over two hours. There is also an extended network of roads in the UK, though if you don't drive there are numerous coach services, many of which offer a price discount for students. Similarly the national train service connects various corners of the country well, so you can make a journey from Manchester  in the north to London in the south in just a few hours (though it does get congested at peak times in the morning and evening).

 

Read more about...

Tourism for international students in the UK and other European destinations.

Transport in London (and nationwide)

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