The UK is an incredible mix of international cultures and contemporary thinking, held together by a strong sense of identity and tradition. As an international student, you’ll find an array of exciting experiences ahead of you and will have the opportunity to discover exotic places and meet new people. As the UK is a cosmopolitan destination, you’ll find that many UK customs are already familiar to you and so you’ll settle down faster than you think.
Whether you just listen or take part, you’ll find pop, rock, electro, hip-hop, classical, folk, jazz, opera and all sorts of world music in the UK. From small clubs, independent cafes and bars to international scale concert halls, rock festivals or gigs, you can listen and dance to live music all over the UK. Many big-name and independent artists and bands play at the UK university and college venues too.
Apart from a wealth of clubs and societies on campus or in local communities, you can visit traditional museums, contemporary art spaces and galleries in most UK cities. Sculpture, painting, video and photography are widely available to see in the UK. The country also has a vibrant theatre and performing arts heritage, maintaining both traditional plays and musicals, and encouraging new and alternative productions.
There are cinemas in almost every UK town and city, showing feature films from all across the world. Numerous film festivals too are organised in Britain, focusing on themes in film, specific directors or animation.
The food you can buy in the UK reflects the many ethnic influences in British society. Most supermarkets sell ingredients from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as food from many other parts of the world. The British are increasingly healthy eaters and there is a very wide range of organic produce available in shops and supermarkets.
Of course, you’ll still find the famous English breakfast and fish and chips, but you’ll also see a very diverse range of meals and menus while you’re studying in the UK. When you become an international student in the UK, cooking and sharing a traditional meal from your home country is a great way to make new friends.
As in most other European countries, it is acceptable in the UK to drink alcohol in moderate amounts, and pubs and wine bars form an established part of British social life. All pubs and bars sell non-alcoholic drinks too, so you don’t have to drink alcohol to enjoy yourself. People also meet to drink tea and coffee, and you’ll find a vast range of different coffee shops in every UK town or city.
The mountains of Scotland and Wales, the rolling hills of England and Northern Ireland, the Lake District and the Yorkshire moors, as well as the coastline of all parts of the UK make sure you make good use of spare time and indulge in some fun activities, including mountain biking and cycling.
Many UK institutions have state-of-the-art sports facilities, but you can also use local authority or private leisure centres to keep fit and healthy. As a student in the UK, there are many opportunities to attend or participate in organised sports activities, or get involved in charitable events like sponsored walks and runs. You can even try to join world famous events such as the London Marathon!
Visit the British Council website for more information