How you can adapt to student life in the UK

16 Feb 2018 - Barni Homden

Studying abroad in the UK is deeply rewarding experience. You'll get to see an entirely new culture, get a great education and develop as a person. But, of course, it can also be challenging. Students are usually young, and their time at university may be their first experience of living away from home. In other words, it may take a little time to adapt to student life in the UK.

One common example of a difficulty facing international students is ‘culture shock’. No matter where you go to study abroad, you’ll almost always experience culture shock to some level; it’s only natural for you to feel out of place in a totally new environment.

Thankfully, there are many ways to overcome culture shock. For instance, talking to other international students experiencing life in the UK, or even British students, will often help. A lot of them will probably have the same feelings and nerves as you do, and it’s comforting to know that you’re not alone.

Culture shock will always pass quickest if you make the effort to immerse yourself into your host culture. You could go out exploring, meet the local people, try British food, learn about the country’s history and go to cultural events to help you adjust.

Homesickness is another common and perfectly normal reaction to living abroad. People experience homesickness in different ways, but one nearly universal complaint is missing food from home.

Thankfully, the UK is a fantastic country for solving this particular problem. As one of the world’s most multicultural countries, the UK offers food from almost every culture.

Speaking to native speakers every day is also a huge help when trying to improve your language skills, and the more you learn, the more confident and comfortable you’ll be. Don’t worry about making mistakes – British people are very friendly and understanding, and are used to interacting with non-native speakers!

Of course, there are also practical considerations for adapting to life here. You’ll need to register with a doctor, create a bank account and make sure you have accommodation – something your education provider in the UK can help with.

Make sure you’re also ready for the hard work, commitment and organisation needed to study a degree. In the UK, students are expected to manage their own time. You’ll need to be responsible for independent study and developing your academic knowledge.

Like all things in life that are worth doing, studying abroad in the UK will present some difficulties. But as long as you put in the effort to make the most of your time in the UK, feelings of culture shock and homesickness will soon pass, and you’ll quickly fall in love with the country. Studying abroad is an amazing thing to do, and you will end up with a bright future ahead of you.

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