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Studying and Living in the UK

The UK has greatly changed in the last 20-30 years, becoming a more cosmopolitan/ multicultural society. Currently there are about 60 million peoples living in the UK. The breaks down to:

England

49, 997, 100

Wales

2, 946, 200

Scotland

5, 114, 600

Northern Ireland

1, 697, 800

Religion
The UK is primarily Anglican/ Church of England. This is due to Henry VIII, as when he was ruler of the country he split from the Catholic Church and created the Church of England with the monarch as the head of the church. With over 27 million people in the UK following the Church of England, it is the largest religion. Roman Catholics follow behind this with about 9 million practicing in the UK. The worlds other main religions are also well represented such as Hindu, Sikh, Methodist, Muslim, etc..

Accommodation
Whilst you are staying in the UK, you will have a variety of accommodation options available to you. Of course, this is very dependent on what college or university you are attending as some schools have halls of residence and other don't.

Halls are a great way to meet new people. They are large buildings, sometime divided into flats where you will have either a single room or share with another student. The room itself may be basic, if it does not have an en-suite bathroom, communal ones will be provided for. Generally you will get basic furniture such as a bed, desk and chair and the rest you will have to supply. Most halls of residence have a canteen where food is supplied (at a cost) to students. Halls are either single or mixed sex, so if you have a preference for either you will need to make this very clear from the beginning when choosing where to live.

  • Self Catered Halls - Many International students prefer to opt for the self-catered option because it allows them the freedom to cook their own food and on their own schedule. Self-catered halls are very similar to standard halls of residence, however the only difference being communal kitchens are provided to cook in.
  • Flats/ Houses - Opting to move into a house of flat which is not part of the university is not something that many students do in the first year, it is seen more in the second and third year. Students will move into halls during the first year, so that they can develop friendships with which you could possibly move out with in the second and third year. If you do move into a flat or house, you will have to sign a tenancy agreement, which is a legal document outlining the terms of the tenancy.

Moving into a flat or house is generally more expensive than any other option, and you may find it hard to find accommodation that is close to your campus, however you will have the freedom with a house or flat to live where you choose, live with who you want to and choose the type of place you want to live in. With halls, you don't have this flexibility.

Getting Around
Travelling around the UK is very easy, and there are several ways to travel around.

  • Underground/ Trams - If you are located in a major metropolitan area, such as London, the cheapest and most cost effective means of transport is the underground or tram systems. They run all day and generally finish at midnight most days. For smaller cities such as Manchester or Nottingham, they have tram systems which are in place, which serve the same way as a tube will, offer service to major parts of the city.
  • Bus - As a student, buses will be the most popular form of transport if you want to travel locally and throughout the country. If you want to travel locally, there will usually be some form of bus service in most parts of the country, however the larger the city or town, the larger the service will be. To travel throughout the UK, the National Express bus service runs convenient service to all parts of the UK. To learn more about their service, please visit:
  • Trains - Train service around the UK does have the stigma of having many problems, such as delays and high costs. This however is changing very quickly and the rail service is improving. The UK is also a great stepping stone to Europe, and with the Channel Tunnel, you can now travel direct to Paris, Brussels and other major European destinations very easily.
  • Car - Travelling by car can be very expensive and thus may not be an option for many international students. There is also the added complication of license's and registrations. If you decide to purchase a new car, the dealer with whom you are purchasing should take care of all the registration documents.

If you are coming from one of the following countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) you will be able to drive using your current license. However if you are not from one of these countries you will have to check to see if you can drive on your current license - more information can be obtained from the DVLA in the UK.

Lifestyle
UK Lifestyle Studying in the UK is not only a wonderful opportunity to benefit from a world-class education but also a chance to experience the country's vibrant culture. Although the UK is relatively small in size, it offers a wealth of attractions. London is one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan cities in the UK and if you look beyond London you will find a nation as diverse as it is accessible and affordable.

UK cities and towns display a rich and varied historical and cultural heritage. For seaside splendour, you could head south to Brighton or the palm-fringed English Riviera, or west to the surfing culture of north Cornwall or Wales. Great civic centres, such as Cardiff, Belfast, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds offer some of the best nightclub scenes in Europe. Further north, Edinburgh beckons, with its blend of old-world architecture and up-to-the-minute arts, while Glasgow is one of the happening cities in the country.

The UK is a tolerant, democratic society, where different beliefs and political views are respected. You will find that many people dress in the same way and eat the same food you would in your own country. In large cities, there are shops that sell every imaginable type of food from around the world, from halal meats and Asian vegetables and rices to kosher desserts.

Throughout the year, in different towns and cities, there is a succession of religious festivals celebrating various events and phases in the main world religions. Food and Eating Habits as the UK has welcomed people from all over the world, it has also imported their culinary styles, foods, sauces and recipes. British cuisine has changed dramatically in the past few decades. Chinese, Indian, Italian and French cuisine is now as popular in the UK.

Supermarkets offer vegetables, fruit, spices and other ingredients from all over the world, and numerous smaller shops specialise in international foods. International students staying with British families can expect to eat the same sort of food as their host family. Host families will, of course, take into account any special dietary restrictions you may have for religious or other reasons.
Britain is a multicultural place, where all sorts of languages are spoken and all major religions are practiced and people from all ethnic groups live. Religions in Britain are a part of global village of many tribes with parallel worlds of religious scholarships and practice. The government in the UK is strongly in favour of a multi-racial society and you will find a range of religions followed in most towns and cities throughout the UK.

 

 


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