The United Kingdom is one of the most popular higher education destinations for international students. Students from all over the world travel to the UK every year with hopes of getting a degree from reputed universities. Studying in the UK means a great way to expand your knowledge while enjoying a complete new culture. More than 500,000 international students enrol in the UK every year, making it the world’s second most popular destination for higher education, after the US.
When you plan to go to a new place, it is extremely important to know about its culture and social norms. As an international student, you must know these things to easily gel with everyone and to get accustomed to everything around you. Before outlining the cultural aspects of the UK, let us share a good news with you. Being a multi-cultural country, you will find quite a few cultural and social similarities when you compare India to the UK.
You will not miss your Indian curries and some of the large scale festivals. Migrants from India, settled in different parts of the UK have introduced many Indian cultures in this place. Hence, you will not miss your butter chicken or the Diwali celebration when you go to the UK for pursuing your higher education.
Let’s take a look at some of the interesting cultural and social norms which you should know about if you plan to study in the UK.
English is the main language spoken in the UK. As it is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, you will come across various dialects of English. There are some common regional languages too used by people such as Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic and Welsh. Other non-native languages which are common are Polish, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese and French. Therefore, if you choose to study in UK, you might end-up learning a little bit of many languages!
Though the United Kingdom is not very famous for its cuisines, but there are few traditional dishes that you must try. The English breakfast and fish & chips are iconic dishes in the UK. Traditional British dishes usually have meat along with two kinds of vegetables, i.e., it will contain a type of meat and two vegetables, especially a root vegetable and potatoes.
If you don’t like this type of food, you need not worry. Migration has made it a multi-culture country and thus, you will get a flavour from all parts of the world. Various curries from Indian sub-continent have become the favourite of many natives of this place.
Some of the major celebrations in the UK are Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, the Queen’s Birthday, Halloween to name a few. Other interesting festivals celebrated are Burns Night (to remember the great poet Robert Burns), Hay Festival (an annual literature festival, held in Hay-on-Wye in Wales), Robin Hood Festival (a week-long celebration which comprises pony and horse rides, archery, nature walks, dance, music shows, magic shows and many more activities), Notting Hill Carnival (music festival), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (one of the largest arts festivals of the world) and many more.
You will be surprised to experience the stature of the Diwali celebration here. The Indian community in the UK celebrates festivals like Holi, Rakshabandhan, Navaratri and others. Hence, you will not miss India too much if you choose to study in UK. Isn’t it amazing?
People in the UK are known to be extremely punctual. Being late is considered to be rude or irresponsible. If you are going to be late for some unavoidable circumstances, you need to inform the person you are meeting in advance
UK civilians love to form a queue wherever there is a large gathering. You should never jump this queue and patiently wait for your turn
People are extremely polite. The three common words you will come across everyday are ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’. To be part of this place, even you need to learn to use these words with people around you. Being polite will always be well-received and will put you in a good stead
If you are invited to a native’s house, it is a good gesture to carry a small token of appreciation such as chocolates,
wine or flowers
Greeting etiquette usually involves a handshake with those present in the room including children. It is polite to even shake hands while leaving a social or business gathering
The United Kingdom is known for its diversity in cultures. Millions of people from all over the world migrate and visit the UK. If you decide to study in the UK, you will be able to experience different cultures and meet different people making it a journey worth cherishing throughout your life. Lastly, you can always get in touch with us if you have doubts or if you have queries related to our study abroad loans.
Hope this has been helpful for you, good luck and all the best with your studies.