Studying in the UK is a fun and exciting adventure! Despite being part of the Commonwealth and being an English speaking country like Canada, there are still some things you should know before studying in the UK that you might not expect!
There are Four Nations
The terms the United Kingdom and Great Britain can be a little confusing, which one do you use and what do they mean? The term “Great Britain” refers to the land mass that comprises England, Scotland, and Wales. The UK or United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland- the full name is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
How to stay in Touch
For calling home, you can use Skype on your laptop, cell phone (mobile) or tablet to call another Skype account back home for free – or you can top of your Skype account to make calls to landlines/ mobile phones. If you have an iPhone, you can also use FaceTime in the same way. Other free apps that might be helpful include Viber, Whatsapp and even Facebook messenger as an option for calls now.
You Might be Homesick
Preparing to study in the UK can feel like a long process, preparing your application, waiting for responses from universities and then going through the student visa process. When you finally get there and the excitement wears off, a lot of students can become homesick and that is totally normal! Moving to a new country plus the pressure of doing well in your program can be a big adjustment. Keep yourself busy and get into a routine. You will feel at home in no time!
Stand on the Right
This may seem like a silly thing, but it might actually be the best advice you ever get! Stand off to the right when you step on an escalator. If you want to walk up or down to pass people, you pass them on the left. You will see what I mean when you get there!
There are several British phrases/ terms that you will encounter. Some will be obvious and some will leave you scratching your head. It will also depend on what region in the UK you are in. Here are a few of the essential terms:
Mobile- Cell phone
Queue- line up
All right? – How are you?
Cheeky- Brash or irreverent – basically a smart aleck
Chuffed- Really happy about something
Gobsmacked- Amazed or shocked
Nick- To steal
In case you weren’t aware of this, the UK is known for its cold and wet weather! Pack lots of warm and waterproof outfits for the winter months, and definitely wear layers! The winters aren’t as cold in Canada but the summers are also not as hot- so keep that in mind when you are packing!