LIVING IN UK
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 city, you’ll find that many UK customs are already familiar to you and so you’ll settle down faster than you think.
Made up of four distinct countries- England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom is a very popular study destination for Indian students. The UK is a great place to study in. With excellent quality of institutions and a strong tradition of research, it offers an excellent learning experience. How can you ensure that your time in the UK as a student is well spent?
You might have heard that it always rains in the United Kingdom. It’s fair to say that it does rain a lot, and it can be cloudy, but it is also said that London is drier than Rome, New York, Brisbane, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo!
The reason people associate the UK with rain is because the weather here is so unpredictable. The rain doesn't come all in one season – it can come at any time of year, and on any day. You will often experience beautiful sunshine, blustering winds and gentle rain - all in one day!
But with the right clothes and the right attitude, you can enjoy the UK, whatever the weather. There’s not much better than lazing by the river in the sunshine, dancing in the mud at a music festival, or heading out for a snowball fight.
When it comes to finding somewhere to live you will find that most institutions will guarantee accommodation provided you have applied by the deadline date. If you are looking for an alternative, private accommodation available outside the university campus may work out to be much cheaper.
However, remember to factor in costs of transport to and from the university, utility bills for electricity, heating, internet etc. You must travel to the UK 1-2 weeks before your course starts so that you have enough time to look for private accommodation.
Flat and job hunting can take a lot of trekking across the city on Tubes and buses. Make sure you have some cash for public transport or to purchase an Oyster card, see Getting around the UK.
If you’ve brought your mobile phone from home you still may need to buy a SIM card or pay to have your phone ‘unlocked’ from your previous carrier. Avoid phone contracts if possible and opt for pre-pay calling. Be sure to put aside some cash to buy pre-paid top-ups; not being able to call back a potential employer because you have no credit is not a good look!
You'll probably be using the Internet for job hunting, searching for accommodation and making PC to Phone calls for staying in touch with family and friends back home. Internet cafes charge from £1 an hour, but allow plenty of cash for this as you'd be surprised how many hours you can rack up in these places.
Hopefully you packed suitable clothes for the season you’re arriving in the UK and if you found room in your suitcase or backpack, suitable clothing for job interviews in your line of work. But, if sneakers won out over suits, make sure you have some pounds in your budget for interview and work-wear.