The British are known for their liberal and creative attitudes, and this is often reflected in their culture. There is a wealth of opportunities to experience British music, theatre, cinema, art and traditional festivals; with student areas in particular offering a thriving environment for new cultural experiences.
British people are often quite reserved and polite in their demeanor, and consider manners and punctuality as extremely important characteristics. The British sense of humour can be confusing to foreign people, as they frequently employ sarcasm, irony, and dry wit.
Cuisine of the United Kingdom often reflects the diverse nature of its population, and in most supermarkets and towns one can easily acquire Caribbean, African, Asian, Indian, and Latin American dishes and produce. Of course if you wish to try the traditional British dishes of fish and chips or beef wellington, there are plenty of locations to sample this too. Britain is also an increasingly healthy nation, with many options for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dining.
Most first year students in UK universities choose to live in halls of residence, which are subsidised dormitories with basic amenities. These cost between £50 – £80 per week and you will often be sharing either bathrooms or kitchens with other students, but some rooms do come with en-suite facilities.
Halls are often of a mixed-sex nature, so if you require single sex accommodation you should let the university know this beforehand. Students often have to leave halls of residence after their first year to find alternative accommodation, however many student-friendly houses and apartment complexes are often located close to university campuses.
The average cost of living in the UK is £12,000 per year, with students living in London often paying much more than this. These costs can be lessened using the range of discounts available to international and domestic students; however for visa purposes an international student should be able to demonstrate that they can afford to spend £820 for each month of their UK stay.
On average a student should budget for around £20 – £30 per week for groceries, £10 per week for utility bills, £10 per week for travel, and £7 per week for study materials depending on your course. Cinema tickets cost approximately £8, and a pint of beer £3, with the prices significantly more in London.
It is legal for an international student to work and study in the UK on a student visa, but there are limitations on how much work you can do. During term time you may work 20 hours per week if studying at degree level, with 10 hours maximum if your course is below degree level. During official course vacation periods you may work as many hours as you like, but all of these figures are subject to your course being provided by a recognised body. If you are unsure about how many hours you are allowed to work, your visa sticker or bio-metric residence permit will contain these details.
If you would like more specific details on what student in the UK is like for an international student, contact IEC Abroad today for expert, tailored advice.