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Life and Culture – Study in UK

What is the life and culture like in the U.K?

Many Indian students face something similar to a ‘Culture Shock’ when they go to the U.K to study as they are not used to what they see and experience around them. Going through a culture shock can be difficult and can make you feel lonely and alienated.

It is important to know about some important aspects of the U.K culture before you make a decision regarding studying in the U.K. Knowledge about these cultural aspects will help you decide whether you wish to study there or not.

U.K, Britain and England

The first thing you need to understand is the difference between U.K, Britain and England. Many people get confused between the three and consider them to be the same. However, that is not true.

England, along with Wales and Scotland, are countries that together constitute Britain or Great Britain.

U.K comprises of Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Northern Ireland as well as some smaller islands. The full form of U.K is the ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’.

You will often find these three terms being used interchangeably. Always remember that U.K is not just England, but includes Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well. This is one of the biggest reasons behind U.K’s diverse culture.


The climate in the U.K is unique and you will often find the weather to be damp and rainy. Summers are usually much cooler to what you are used to here in India. Winters, on the other hand, can be much colder than what you have experienced. Many places in the U.K experience severe snowfall.

Before you decide to study in the U.K, consider the climate as an important factor. If you are not comfortable with extreme winter, then you should choose a college near the South – East of England, where it is warmer as compared to other places.

English Accents and Languages

One of the most unique aspects of the U.K culture is the diversity of accents you will find. For example, the accent in Liverpool will be very different to the one people use in Manchester and that will be very different to the one people use in Cardiff.

Initially, it might be difficult for you to understand and follow all these different English accents but do not be embarrassed as you will start to understand all these accents and dialects with time. It can be helpful to watch U.K shows and listen to the local radio while you are in the U.K.

Individualism and Personal Space

People in the U.K are very protective about their personal space and privacy. The concept of an ‘Individual’ is highly valued and everybody is allowed to live their life the way they wish to without interference. People in the U.K like to maintain a safe distance from the other person during conversations.

International students often consider U.K people to be ‘cold’ and ‘formal’ but soon realize that it is not so and their distant behavior is more due to their concept of individuality and personal space. It will help if you do not invade in anybody’s personal life and you will soon see the friendly side of people in the U.K.

Etiquette, Manners and Politeness

Etiquette, manners and politeness are considered to be very important in the U.K. You would need to be respectful to everybody and use words like ‘Thank You’, ‘Please’ and ‘Sorry’ whenever necessary.

Small things like standing in a queue, not talking loudly in a public place etc. are considered to be very important. You will need to be polite to everybody whether the person is smaller or elder to you.


Punctuality is very important in the U.K and you would be expected to be on time for lectures, seminars and classes. People in the U.K respect time and expect the other person to respect their time as well. It is considered rude and impolite to be late without informing the other person beforehand.

Reaching late for classes and interviews can create a bad impression in front of the teacher or prospective employer and is considered to be unprofessional.


One of the greatest aspects of the U.K culture is the concept of equality. Everybody is considered to be equal regardless of their race, religion, profession or social status. You are allowed to practice your religion the way you want to. No profession is looked down upon and everybody is treated with equal respect.

You will need to accept diverse opinions and viewpoints and respect everybody equally. Do not look down upon any job as most college students do all sorts of part – time work so as to fund their living expenses.


‘Freedom’ is a very important part of the U.K culture. Everybody is allowed to live the way they want to and have their own viewpoints without being targeted for them. You are allowed to dress the way you want to and choose your own social circles.

You will find nobody interfering with your personal freedom and you should also not interfere with anybody else’s. You will be free to have your beliefs, orientations and opinions. Do keep in mind that it is always better to not offend anyone through your beliefs and always apologize if you ever feel that you offended the other person.


Sports of different kinds are very popular in the U.K and you will find almost everybody supporting one team or the other. Football and Cricket are extremely popular in the U.K along with athletics and golf.

People often meet up to watch matches at homes or in stadiums. Being interested in sports will help you mingle with the local people more easily and help make a big group of friends who share common interests.


Art forms like theater, music, writing etc. are greatly respected in the U.K. You will find that many people have a keen interest in music and theater. The U.K is a great place for you to explore your artistic talents and viewpoints.

New artists are constantly encouraged in the U.K and people often go for musical concerts and stand - up comedy shows.

Study in UK