5 Ocak 2012 Perşembe

Life In The UK --- İngiltere'de Yaşam

Merhaba. İngiltere'ye ilk kez gelecek olan herkesin korkulu rüyası nasıl bir ülkeye geleceği konusunda belirsizliklerdir. Yaşam nasıldır, nereden alışveriş yapılır, resmi işlemler nasıl yapılır, insanlarla nasıl diyalog kurulur. Ben de işte tam bu noktada size çok faydalı olacağını düşündüğüm bir doküman (İngilizce) paylaşacağım. Bu yazı İngiltere'ye okumaya gelen üniversite öğrencilerine yönelik hazırlamış bir İngiltere Yaşam rehberi. Çok faydalanacağınızı düşünüyorum. 

New2UK? Welcome!

Life in Britain may seem very different. Perhaps you are already missing your family and friends. Perhaps you are finding British culture unfamiliar and sometimes puzzling.
We hope this guide will help you learn a little more about the way of life here. Many of the habits or actions of British people may seem strange in comparison to your culture. This guide has been put together to help you understand British people a little better!
We will not be able to cover every aspect, so please contact us if you need any further assistance, we will be very pleased to help. 

An introduction to UK culture

Casual contact

British people are often shy and do not always make conversation on a first meeting. This is called being ‘reserved’. You will find that most local people will not talk to strangers while shopping, on the bus, train or when in a queue. You should not interpret this as being unfriendly, although it may well seem strange to you. You should not try to make continuous conversation at such times unless it becomes obvious that the other person expects it.

A first meeting

On first meeting someone, try to ask general questions and not personal ones which may be thought to be impolite. Questions like ‘What is your name?’ ‘Where do you live?’ or ‘What do you do?’ are acceptable, but questions like ‘How old are you?’, ‘How much do you earn?’ or ‘How much did you pay for this?’ would be considered impolite.
If in doubt, try to talk about yourself: what you do and where you come from. Most British people know very little about other countries and their culture in detail. Even if they have travelled abroad, tourist travel is very different from actually living in a country.


Time keeping is quite rigid in the UK. Life revolves around our watches and clocks and dominates everyday life! To arrive late, even by a few minutes is considered impolite. Yourlecturer or supervisor may disapprove if you arrive late at a seminar or lecture, whatever the reason. For example, if a meeting or lecture is arranged for lunchtime, there might be a plan to eat and then to talk or the other way round. If you are late you could miss the part that you needed to attend. 


The British are known to be reserved in nature and are very reluctant to show their emotions in public. Unlike some cultures, people do not usually slap each other on the shoulder or otherwise make physical contact during a conversation. A British person may misinterpret such behaviour as aggressive or being too emotional.
It may be usual for you to stand close to another person while in conversation. In the UK people usually maintain a distance of 60-110 cm, so do not be surprised if British people move away from you when talking!


A British person will often greet you with ‘Hello, how are you?’ This is simply a way of saying ‘Hello’ or ‘Welcome’ and they will be expecting a reply similar to ‘Quite well thank you’. ‘Hello, how are you?’ is not a request for a lot of details about your health!
In a more formal situation (such as meeting your tutor or landlord for the first time) it is usual to shake the right hand of the person you are meeting. It does not matter if you make the first move with your right hand. Kissing and embraces are not usual in the UK on a first meeting and you should avoid them.

Hands and eye contact

In the UK, there is no special significance to the left and right hands. Both can be used for giving and receiving presents, although the right hand is always used for shaking hands.
You may be used to avoiding eye contact as a sign of respect for an older person or authority figure. This is not the case in the UK where avoiding eye contact is seen as a sign of insincerity and slyness. Try to look at people when speaking to them although it is usual to avoid eye contact with strangers (for example the person next to you in a train).
Most British people will smile when they meet you, irrespective of how they are feeling.

Gender and equality

It is important to be aware that in the UK female and male members of staff are equally respected and accepted.

How to address people

Many members of staff expect to be called by their first names. If you address them as Mr, Miss, Mrs, Dr or Professor you may be thought of as being very formal. Listen carefully to how they introduce themselves and to how other students address them.

Will you come for coffee?

People will often use the phrase ‘Will you come for coffee’ to mean ‘would you like to comeround for a short while and chat’. Normally several different drinks such as tea, drinking chocolate or a soft drink like orange will be available as well as coffee, and you will be asked what you would like. Your host will not normally offer you alcohol at a ‘coffee’ event. You should accept the invitation the first time it is offered if you would like to go. If you refuse the first invitation you are given, a British person will think this is your final decision and may not ask you again.


Queuing is the normal method of waiting for your turn in shops, at bus stops and in similar situations. If in doubt as to whether someone is actually waiting in the queue, or just standing around, always ask before rushing in. To rush to the front of a queue could cause great offence.


If English is your second or third language, you may find some of the local forms of speech or accents difficult. Inferences, sarcasm and inflections of the voice can all alter the meaning of a statement.

Expecting indirect answers

Answers that mean yes usually include the word yes. However answers that mean no may be worded indirectly. For example, if you asked a friend if you could come for tea, your friend may say ‘Well it would be nice to see you today for tea, but we are rather busy so I will let you know’. Your friend might well be saying in this case, ‘No I would rather you came for tea another day’.

Saying 'no'

Do not be worried about saying no. In this country a ‘no’ is not considered impolite. Honesty is much preferred, so that people know what you really mean. If you do not wish to do something do not worry about saying so.

Asking questions

Never be afraid of asking questions to your host, tutor or lecturer. Asking questions, or putting another point of view is not considered rude in this country. It is often expected that students should have a reasoning, questioning mind, so you will be expected to ask, but don’t take over every conversation by asking too many questions.

Improving your English

The best way of improving English is to use it! Try to find someone with whom you can speak regularly. It is best to talk to people who are not too busy, such as young or retired people. Ask them to tell you if you use a wrong word or if you mispronounce a word.
You may also find that your college or the Adult Education Centre in the town run English classes. If you are having problems writing English, you may find that a book helps. There are many good books on written English but if you have difficulty finding one, here are two suggestions:
The Complete Plain Words by Ernest Gowers
One hundred per cent Report Writing by RA Ward

What should I do if I cannot understand what someone has said?

First ask the other person to repeat what they said more slowly by saying ‘I’m sorry, would you please say that again more slowly?’. If you still cannot understand, ask for it to be written down. This will help the other person to know that you are having difficulties and may mean that they will take more care to use simple English and speak more slowly. Do not be worried about letting the other person know that you have not understood: it is not considered rude in the UK to ask a question.

What should I do if someone else does not understand what I have said?

You should repeat the comment using different words if possible. Try writing down your comment if you wish – it may be that the other person is not familiar with your pronunciation.


Many British Christians drink alcohol, which may be a real shock to you. A common point of view is: ‘I wouldn’t get drunk, I only drink in moderation’. Do not judge someone who drinks or tell them it is wrong. Other people in Britain drink to socialise and town can get quite crowded on Friday and Saturday nights as people go around the pubs. 

Youth Culture

There is no such thing as a typical British young person. Most people affiliate to one group or another by the clothes they wear and the music they listen to. A friendship group is often very important to them. Britain is no longer a Christian country, and so you may find that many people live in a way you find surprising.

British Politics

You might just be interested in our politics! Britain has no written constitution, but the system of parliamentary government is the result of gradual change over many centuries. The oldest institution in Britain is the Monarchy – which dates back to at least the ninth century.
The British Parliament is one of the oldest representative assemblies in the world. The House of Lords and the House of Commons both have medieval origins.
The British political party system depends upon the existence of organised political parties, each of which presents its policies to the electorate for approval.
In practice most candidates in elections belong to either the Conservative Party (Tories), the Labour Party or the Liberal Democrats, although there are smaller parties who also stand for Parliament.
In recent years, there has been a movement to political decisions being made in the geographical location where they have the greatest impact. The UK now has a devolved government for Scotland and a regional assembly for Wales. 

Finding out Information

There are several organisations that will help you to find out what you need to know. Here are some suggestions – but remember, do not be afraid to ask!

Your College/University

Your college will usually be able to help you on such matters as obtaining grants, health care or where to find the information that you are looking for. Before going anywhere else, try to find out if there is an International Office, Welfare Centre, Students’ Union or Library. It might be best to start off there.

College Chaplaincy Centre

The Chaplaincy Centre will also be able to provide you with information, or put you in touch with British friends if you wish. You do not need to be of the Christian faith to go there, nor will they seek to ‘convert’ you.

Students’ Union

In universities and colleges, the Students’ Union building or area will have many resources to be able to help you. Information, insurance & travel information can usually be obtained there.


You will probably find two types of library where you live. First there is your University or College library. This may not be very large (depending on where you are studying). It will often have books of a technical nature, reflecting the courses available at the college. The second type of library is called the Public Library and it will usually be found in the middle of the town or city where you live. This will contain a much wider range of books (both fact and fiction), newspapers and magazines. You can also use the internet in some public libraries.

Small adverts

As well as books, libraries contain a variety of advertisements about local activities, entertainment, places of interest to visit and local special events (fairs, carnivals). They also have a wide range of reference books including information on obtaining grants, further study, bus and train timetables and accommodation.
Local newspapers and shop notice boards are good places to look if you want to find out local activities, events or places to visit. When you visit shops in the town, look out for advertisements, even if you do not need anything. You may see something that you will need in the future. Newspapers, supermarkets and local shops often contain job adverts and ‘Small Adverts’, from anyone who wishes to sell something. Have a look if you need furniture, a bicycle or kitchen utensils!


Museums contain a wide range of local information including advertisements of activities, societies and various groups.

Tourist Offices

Tourist Offices have a great deal of information about places of interest, historic houses, places to stay and accommodation whilst travelling. The tourist office will usually be able to make inquiries about places if you are thinking of visiting a different town or city whilst in the UK.

Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB)

CAB's are useful if you have any legal problems, difficulties with purchases, problems with accommodation or landlords, or if you just need to know what you are entitled to in a situation. Even if they cannot help you, they will often know who can. The local office can be found from the telephone directory or on the Citizens Advice website. Your Students’ Union may also be able to give advice of this nature.

The Police

The police are well respected in the UK and will be very pleased to help you if they can. Apart from dealing with law and order issues, it is always worth going into your local police station if you lose anything while you are out. Lost property is often handed in to the local police station. If you come across an accident, it is always worth contacting the police. You should also report any crimes at your local police station, for example if somebody steals something from you. Click here to read about what to do in the case of an emergency.

If you are disabled

If you are disabled in any way, or have special needs, talk to your college about how they may be able to help you. If you want to travel about locally or nationally whilst you are staying in the UK then, depending on your needs, there are several organisations that may be able to help you. Contact the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation for more information:
Phone: 020 7250 3222 • email: radar@radar.org.uk • Web Site: www.radar.org.uk

The Yellow Pages

The Yellow Pages is a local directory, giving you details of shops and companies who provide different types of products and services. There may be a copy of the directory in the place where you live. You can also look up local companies, eg local taxi companies, your nearest cinema on the on-line version of the Yellow Pages, www.yell.com.


There are many ways of spending your free time. Do not be afraid to do what you enjoy doing back home if you can find it here!

Getting to know people

There are many ways of getting to know more about British culture and way of life. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to join in with a local hospitality scheme. Why not contact the local international student group for more details? This will put you in contact with local families and activities. To find out more about a hospitality scheme near you, go to the section on 'Finding Friendly People Near Me' and click on the town or city where you are studying.
There is also a HOST hospitality scheme that has been set up jointly by the British Council, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship. This scheme also operates throughout the UK and gives you an opportunity to widen your circle of friends beyond those with whom you live and study. All international students are welcome to participate. For more information, visit HOST's website.

Sporting activities

Your campus may well have a sports hall, in which you can take exercise in many different ways. There will normally be a charge for joining the club. If your college does not have a sports club, try looking in the nearest town. Weight training, exercise machines, badminton, tennis, squash, table tennis, football, cricket, hockey, rugby and basketball will all probably be available. Larger sports facilities will usually have a swimming pool and other water sports.


You should be able to find cinemas, theatres, dances, and informative lectures in your area. Your local international students group will often put on activities of special interest so keep looking out for details. You should remember that some films and plays may contain violence, language, or sex scenes which you may find objectionable. Look for the classification / rating of films as a guide to content - see the British Board of Film Classification's website for details of what the classifications mean.

Public Houses (Pubs)

If you are ever asked to go into a public house you don’t have to drink alcohol. A wide variety of soft drinks are available and often tea and coffee too. Food is usually reasonably priced and a reasonable quality. You usually need to go to the bar to order your food and drink – don’t wait for a waiter / waitress to come to you!

Clubs and Societies

There will usually be a number of different societies either at your college or in the nearest town. These include drama, modelmaking, martial arts and rambling (walking) activities. Look out for a list in the library or ask at the Students’ Union.

Museums and places of interest

There will be many things to do and see near to where you are staying. A local museum is often worth a visit: it will give a lot of the history of the area. The National Trust and English Heritage are national organisations which now have control of many old houses, gardens, castles and areas of land designated as being of outstanding natural beauty. There is often a charge for entry which goes towards upkeep. If you enjoy seeing these sorts of things you will find that membership of the National Trust (click here to see website for England, Wales & Northern Ireland or here to visit website for Scotland) or English Heritage gives a much reduced entrance fee.

Eating and diet

British Diet

Eating habits in the UK have been steadily changing over the last few years, with the introduction of fast food restaurants and other diets. Vegetarian food, pizzas, burgers, Chinese, Indian and other international foods are all now part of the everyday British diet. This means that it is quite difficult to define what ‘British food’ is like!
Traditional British dishes normally contain a meat dish with potatoes and other vegetables such as carrots, peas, broccoli and cabbage. The meat dish is often a type of stew which is meat cooked in a sauce, with vegetables, in the oven. Meat may also be fried, grilled, or roasted in the oven. A variety of sweet dishes will normally be served after the main course: dishes such as apple pie (two pastry layers filled with apple), ice-cream or cake. Sometimes an extra course called the ‘starter’ or ‘appetiser’ is served before the main course: you might be served something like soup, pâté or melon.
Sunday lunch is a great British tradition, and normally a roast meat dish with vegetables will be served as the main course.
A traditional ‘English breakfast’ consists of cereal followed by fried egg, bacon, sausage and tomato. There will then be served toast and an orange jam known as marmalade. Tea, coffee and orange juice will also be served. However, most British people will usually have a much simpler breakfast of cereal and/or toast with marmalade or jam, with tea, coffee or orange juice to drink.
The British mealtimes have various names. This is often very confusing, even for British people – so do ask if you’re not sure! The first meal of the day is normally ‘breakfast’, but sometimes a late breakfast is called ‘brunch’ (combination of breakfast and lunch). A meal is often eaten in the middle of the day, and is usually called ‘lunch’ – this is often light food, such as sandwiches. The evening meal is often the main meal of the day, and it has various names: ‘dinner’, ‘supper’ and ‘tea’ (‘tea’ or ‘high tea’ is more common in northern England and Scotland).
Afternoon tea’ is different to the main meal called ‘tea’. Afternoon tea is a light snack type meal eaten in the late afternoon. Traditionally toasted teacakes (a sweet bread bun with currants and sultanas) or scones (a form of bread dough) are eaten with jam and cream. Often a variety of cakes is served. However many people understand ‘afternoon tea’ as a cup of tea or coffee together with a cake or biscuit.
The British traditional takeaway meal is ‘fish and chips’. A variety of fish is available (normally cod, haddock or plaice) which is coated with batter and fried in vegetable oil. Batter is made from flour, eggs and milk. Chips are chopped, fried potatoes. Many international takeaways are also available, eg Chinese, Indian, Italian, Thai.

International Food

Although not every item of your own national food is available in the UK, it is surprising what can be found. First of all try a large supermarket near you. It may well stock some of the more common items. Many large UK cities have specialist food shops.You can find details of the specialist food shops in your area by looking at the ‘Yellow Pages’ telephone directory or the on-line version. You could also ask in your local library, International Student office at your college or an appropriate student society for names.


If you go to a restaurant, you will usually be taken to a table by a waiter/waitress. If the restaurant is a popular one, it is best to telephone and book in advance to ensure that you get a place. Most restaurants serve vegetarian dishes as well as meat dishes. If you go to a restaurant with a British friend each person usually pays for their own food, unless your friend has specifically said they will pay. It is usual to leave a tip of approx 10% at the end of the meal except where service charge is explicitly mentioned on the bill. 

Cafes, tea shops and coffee shops

These are good places to go for a drink (usually non-alcoholic, hot and cold drinks). They always have a range of snack foods. In some cafes etc, a waiter/waitress will serve you; in others, you need to go to a counter to order and collect your drink/food.


Before you are ill!

Do not leave finding out about health care until you do not feel well! One of the first things that you should do when arriving in the UK is to find out whether you are eligible for NHS (National Health Service) treatment. You will also need to inquire what arrangements your college has for medical treatment. You should then register (through your college health centre if possible) with a local doctor (a General Practitioner or GP).

If you are ill

First visit your college health centre or the surgery of the doctor with whom you are registered. College health centres often have special arrangements with local doctors. If there is no health centre, visit the nearest doctor’s surgery or health centre. You will be sent somewhere else if they cannot help you. You may need to make an appointment to visit the doctor at a later time. 
You could also try using the NHS Direct service. This is a website and telephone service that can be used by anyone, at any time of the day or night. The website at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk has a lot of information about different illnesses and advice on treating less serious illnesses. In England and Wales, you can call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 to talk to a nurse. In Scotland, you can call NHS24 on 0845 424 24 24.


If you are very sick or have violent pain, then you should make your way to the Accident and Emergency department of your local hospital. Use a taxi if you do not feel well enough to walk. If you are extremely ill then use a telephone to dial 999 (UK only) or 112 (UK and other countries in Europe) and request an ambulance.

Paying for healthcare and prescriptions

Emergency treatment in an Accident and Emergency (or Casualty) department and from a local doctor (General Practitioner) is free. You may need to pay for other health services and prescriptions. Ask your college health centre or doctor’s surgery whether you can apply for an exemption certificate, which would enable you to receive treatment and prescriptions for free.


Dentists specialise in the treatment of teeth. You may choose any local dentist. Be sure to ask before you start having treatment if it will be paid for by the National Health Service or not. If you have an exemption certificate (see above) you do not need to pay for dental treatmentIt is worth asking about dentists before you need them! Inquire first at your college health centre or international office, or if this is not possible, at any dentist.


During your visit to the doctor or dentist, you may be given a prescription. This is a    notedescribing the medicine you need. You should take the prescription to a chemist shop which has a ‘pharmacy’. The shop will supply you with the medicine. There is usually a charge. If you have an exemption certificate (see above) you do not need to pay for your prescriptions.


It is possible to buy some medicines for common ailments at the local grocery store, supermarket or chemist/pharmacy. In a chemist shop or pharmacy, you can ask for advice if you do not feel well, for example if you have a headache or sore throat. However if you continue to feel unwell you should go to see a doctor.

Optical treatment

If you need glasses go to any specialist optician or high street optician. Compare the prices at several different shops before having your eyes tested or buying glasses as some shops are more expensive than others.

Private treatment

It is also possible to have all forms of medical treatment ‘privately’, i.e. paid for by you rather than the National Health Service. Talk to your doctor for details. You will obtain treatment more quickly if you have private health cover than through the National Health Service, although the treatment itself will probably be the same. Be warned: private treatment can be very expensive.

Tap water

In the UK it is safe to drink water straight from the tap without boiling or other treatment. The exception to this is if using a public toilet or building make sure that you only drink from a tap clearly marked as drinking water. Some large buildings use water from a tank supply rather than the main.

Transport and Travelling


The rail network provides a fairly fast way of travelling around the country. You can find out information about train times and ticket prices from National Rail Enquiries (Tel 08457 484950 • Web: www.nationalrail.co.uk) or from a train station or travel agent. You can buy train ticketsfrom any train station. Ideas for cheap train travel:
Young Persons Railcard: If you are 26 years old or younger or a full time student, you can buy a Young Persons Railcard. This will gives you a 1/3 discount every time you buy a train ticket, so it is worth getting one if you intend to travel a lot in the UK. You can buy one at most stations in the UK.
Buy a return ticket: Return tickets are usually cheaper than two single tickets. If you are travelling to and from your destination in one day, you might be able to buy a ‘cheap day return’, which is even cheaper.
Buy your ticket in advance: If you plan to make a long journey, it is often worth buying your ticket a few days, or even weeks before your journey – this will save you money and should ensure you get a seat on the train. The tickets you can buy in advance include Saver, Super Saver and Apex tickets. For some of these tickets, you will need to book the time of train you will travel on – your ticket will not be valid if you travel on a different train.
Network Card: In the South East of England, a ‘Network Card’ works out cheaper (at the time of writing) than other discount cards, such as the Young Person’s Railcard.
Travelcards/season tickets: If you are intending to travel around in London or any of the major cities, it will probably be cheaper to purchase a travelcard. A one-day travelcard allows you unlimited travel for one day, and normally works out to be the price of three journeys! In London, you can buy an offpeak travelcard for Mondays-Fridays after 9.30am, or weekends. You can also buy a travelcard for weekdays before 9.30am, but these are much more expensive. You can also buy travelcards/season tickets for longer periods, eg a week, a month, a year for travel in lots of towns/cities in the UK.
Ask for help: Ask at the train station which would be the best ticket or you – do compare the costs of the different types of tickets available.

Train stations in London

Many cities around the UK have one main railway station. However there are eight main stations in London – you can catch trains to/from a different part of the UK from each station: Charing Cross serves south east England; Euston serves the Midlands, and north west England; Kings Cross serves north east England and Scotland. Normally it is quicker to travel to Scotland from Kings Cross as trains are faster than on the west coast route (from Euston); Liverpool Streetserves East Anglia (you can catch a train to Stansted Airport from Liverpool Street); Paddingtonserves west and south west England and Wales (you can catch a train to Heathrow Airport from Paddington); St Pancras serves the East Midlands; Victoria serves the south coast (you can catch a train to Gatwick Airport from Victoria); Waterloo serves south and south west England. You can catch a train to destinations in continental Europe (eg Paris and Brussels) from Waterloo.

Local buses

You can get information on the routes and times of buses in your area from Traveline (Tel: 0871 200 2233• Web: www.traveline.info. You can often find a leaflet with local bus routes and times from a public library.
Many buses in large towns and cities operate an ‘exact fare’ policy – which means that the driver will not give you change if you do not have the right amount of money in coins. Make sure that you have a selection of coins ready before you board the bus. You may be able to buy a travelcard or season ticket to save money if you use the local buses regularly.
To catch a bus, find a bus stop for the right bus route. When your bus approaches, show the bus driver that you want to use the bus by stepping to the edge of the pavement and stretching your arm towards the road. You usually need to pay the driver, or show any travelcard/season ticket as you get on the bus. When you want to get off the bus, you usually need to press a button that tells the driver to stop at the next bus stop. Ask the driver for help if you don’t know where you need to get off the bus – the bus driver will then tell you when you reach your destination.

Long-distance coaches

National Express, a chain of national coach operators operates a comprehensive network of coach services across the UK and this can often work out much cheaper than other forms of travel. However, travel by coach takes longer, may not be as comfortable, and often has fewer services. If you are 26 years old or younger or a full time student, you can buy a Discount Coachcard. This will save you 30% on many National Express journeys. It is wise to book your ticket in advance as seating is limited. For more details, visit your local coach station or contact National Express (Tel: 08705 808080 • Web: www.nationalexpress.com)
An alternative company, Megabus also offers very cheap coach travel across the UK.
You can also travel by coach to many destinations in continental Europe – these services are run by Eurolines. These coaches always start and finish at London Victoria coach station.

Underground trains

Several cities in the UK have an underground or metro system (in London, this is called thetube’). The underground has the advantage that trains are not held up by traffic. However, be prepared for a squeeze, especially at peak travelling times! It is easy to plan your journey if you are not familiar with where you are going. Stations are clearly marked on maps and by signs in the street. You need to buy your underground ticket before you get on the train – either from a machine or a ticket seller. Beware of 'ticket touts'. These are people who sell tickets unofficially, usually at a higher price than the official price.


Sometimes you need to travel in areas where there are no buses or trains. In this case, taxis are useful. Look for names of taxi companies in local telephone directories. All taxi firms have to be registered by the local council so for short journeys, different taxi companies will charge you similar fares. However, always get a quote before taking a journey of more than 8 miles: prices can vary a lot between different firms. Taxis are often thought to be expensive, but if a group of people use a taxi together, and divide the cost, the price will work out quite favourably. For your own safety, you should only travel in a registered taxi. Do not enter a car if you cannot see a taxi sign, even if the driver offers you a cheaper fare.


If you plan to be in the UK for some time, you may consider buying a car. Remember that you can purchase a second hand or used car more cheaply than a new one! It is a good idea to take a British friend along with you to help you check it out. You could also arrange for someone from the AA (the Automobile Assocation, a British organisation that provides services for car drivers) to check a second hand car, for a fee. Having a car can work out to be quite expensive, as you will need petrol, insurance, motor tax as well as paying for repairs. If you have a driving licence from your home country, you may be allowed to drive in the UK - or youmay need to apply for a UK driving licence. Contact the Driving and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) to ask about this.

Hitch-hiking (getting a lift) 

Asking lifts from strangers in passing cars is known as hitch hiking. Hitch hiking is not considered safe these days, especially for women.

Accommodation around the UK

You may need to stay somewhere overnight if you are travelling around the UK. Here are a few of the types of accommodation you could use:
Youth Hostels: The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) organisation provide dormitory accommodation (where you share a bedroom with 1 or more others) at cheap rates in many locations around the UK. 
In return for a cheap bed, you will be expected to do a variety of ‘chores’ such as cleaning. You do not need to be a ‘youth’ (young person) to use a youth hostel. Visit YHA's websites to find out more about youth hostels in England and Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland.
YMCA & YWCA: You may also find YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association), the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) and other hostels near where you are staying. They provide cheap and convenient accommodation. You do not need to be a young person or Christian to use one of these hostels.
Camp Sites: If you intend taking a long break, camping can be both fun and cheap. It might be worth buying a cheap tent, and then selling it at the end of your stay. Or you may be able to either hire or borrow a tent. Your local library may have a list of sites. You should always camp on a campsite, not on the roadside.
Bed & Breakfast: This is often called B&B, and is one of the cheapest forms of accommodation. You will normally have your own room (sometimes in a residential house) and will be provided with breakfast the following day. Call in to your local tourist office for a list of available B&B accommodation.
Hotels: Hotels will usually cost several times the B&B rate, but are more luxurious.

Letters and parcels

Receiving mail

Postal mail in the United Kingdom is extremely reliable. Mail will normally be delivered direct to your house or flat. If you live on a college campus, mail will be delivered centrally and often put in a ‘pigeon hole’: small boxes labelled alphabetically. Sometimes a piece of mail cannot be delivered to you, eg if you are out when a parcel is being delivered. If this is the case, you will receive a postcard giving details of where you should go to collect your parcel.

The Post Office

Letters and small packets may be placed in any local post box for collection if they have a correct postage stamp on them. Read the sign on the side of the post box to get an idea of what time the post will be collected. If you do not know the cost of posting a letter, visit your local post office or look at www.royalmail.com.
Post Offices are open during normal office hours, and as well as postal services, they can often help you in other ways. You may be able to pay certain bills there (such as electricity and gas), send flowers by post and even have photographs developed at some of the larger post offices. Social Service benefits and claim forms are also available.

Postage stamps

You can send parcels and letters to addresses within the UK either by first or second class post. First class post normally gives a next day delivery and is the most expensive. Second class post takes 3-5 days. You can buy any type of stamp from your local post office. You can also buy some types of stamps (those most commonly used to send letters within the UK) from other shops, such as supermarkets and newsagents.

Writing the address

Always ensure that you use the post code for addresses within the UK. Always PRINT the name and address carefully and use an airmail sticker for letters going abroad by airmail. At Christmas, mail takes longer to arrive due to the increase in numbers of letters being sent, so make you allow long enough for the letter to arrive.

Special services

If you need to send a letter in a hurry, ask for the special fast service available from any post office. There are also services available for sending valuable items. ‘Special Delivery’ is the fastest service, and guarantees delivery by 1pm the following day. You can also insure any piece of post you send by Special Delivery. ‘Recorded Delivery’ is a cheaper and slower way of guaranteeing that a valuable piece of post reaches its destination – as the recipient must sign a form when they receive the letter.

Mail redirection

If you move house or return home, you may arrange for any mail that arrives at your old address to be redirected. Redirection can be arranged for 1 month, 3 month or year periods. There is a charge for this service. For details of this service, ask at your local post office or look at www.royalmail.com.

Telephones and the internet:


In an emergency, you can call the following services by dialling one telephone number: Fire, Police, Ambulance, Coastguard, Mountain rescue or Cave rescue. The emergency telephone number, which is free, is 999 – you can dial this from any telephone (including mobile phones) in the UK. (You can also dial 112 in the UK and any other European country). If you are using a college (internal) phone, there may be a different number to dial, or you may need to dial another number first in order to access the public network. The operator will ask you whether you need ‘Fire, Police or Ambulance’ and you should explain what service you require. They will also ask you where you are, so that the help can be sent. It is illegal to call out the emergency services when there is not a real emergency, and you may find yourself in serious trouble if you do this.

Public telephones / payphones

There are public telephones in many places. Some of them also give you internet access. You will usually find illustrations and instructions to on how to use the phone. You can pay for calls with coins, a phonecard or a credit card. To use a public telephone:
If you are using coins: lift the handset and insert some money (at least 20p for local calls). Enter the number. When your money has almost been used up, you will hear some beeps prompting you to add more coins or to finish your call.
If you are using a phonecard: see details below.
If you are using a credit card: lift the handset and then swipe the card through the slot. You can then dial the number you want. It is often more expensive to pay by credit card.
Although most public phones are provided by British Telecom, you sometimes see payphones provided by another company. You may also find payphones inside private buildings, such as hotels, which are run by the building’s owner, who may set higher charges.

International calls

To call another country from the UK, dial 00 before the country code. You can make international calls from most phones, including public telephones, by dialling the number directly. However it it usually cheaper to use a phonecard or to use an international calling company.


Pre-payment phone cards are usually the cheapest way of making an international call, and can also be used for calls within the UK. You can buy phonecards from newsagents, post offices and from some other shops. Many different companies offer these cards, so it is good to compare prices when buying one. To make a call using a phonecard, dial the 0800 or 0808 number on the back of the phonecard to be connected to the phonecard company. Next enter the PIN number on the back of your phonecard. Then dial the number you want.

Costs at different times of the day

Phone calls often have different costs, depending on what time you make a call. The most expensive time for calls inside the UK is 8am-6pm Monday to Friday. It is usually cheaper to make calls between 6pm-8am and at weekends. For mobile phones, the evening rate usually starts later (e.g. 7pm). With phonecards the rate is usually the same at all times.

Finding numbers

You can find numbers of local residents and businesses in the telephone directory. In the front of the telephone directory you will find the dialling codes for many countries and cities in the world. You can also find contact details for local companies (listed by subject) in the YellowPages books, and from their on-line directory.
You can also call one of the Directory Enquiries services to ask for any telephone number – there is a charge for all of these services. Several companies offer a Directory Enquiries service, with different prices, but all the numbers start 118. The person you speak to will offer to connect you to the number they give you - this will be more expensive than dialling the number directly. The following numbers are British Telecom Directory Enquiries Services:
UK Directory Enquiries, when you call from a residential phone: 118 500
UK Directory Enquiries, when you call from a public payphone: 118 141
International Directory Enquiries, when you call from a residential phone: 118 505
International Directory Enquiries, when you call from a public payphone: 118 060
You can also use the BT Directory Enquiries service for free on-line. This has a link to some international directory enquiry websites.

Direct dialling and the operator

You can make telephone calls by keying the number directly into most telephones in the UK. However, it is occasionally difficult to get a connection. Or maybe you need to ask a question about using the telephone. In this case, phone either the UK operator (100) or the international operator (155) to be connected. Both operators are free services, but if the operator connects you to the person you want to speak to, the call is charged at a much higher rate than if you dial yourself.

Mobile phones

Mobile phones in the UK use GSM standards, so if you already have a GSM phone, you can often just buy a new SIM card and continue to use your phone. The main mobile phone networks at the time of writing are: T-Mobile, Virgin, Orange, Vodafone, O2 and 3. Each of these companies offers various packages and tariffs. It is best to start by visiting a shop that sells mobile services for all networks. Get advice from the shop assistant on the most economical package for the amount of time you plan to use your mobile phone – for example, pay-as-you-go packages are more economical if you do not use a mobile phone very often. If you send a lot of text messages, look for a package that makes each text message more economical. It is often very expensive to call mobile phones that are on a different network to yours – so be careful when you call other mobile numbers! Make sure you investigate all the options before signing up! Also remember that calls from ordinary landline phones to mobile phones are more expensive than calls to other ordinary phones, so people who are calling you may not want to talk for too long!

The internet and email

Getting an email account
Your university or college may give you an email address to use during your period of study. It might not be activated until a few days after you have registered with your college or university. You can also get a free personal email address from web companies such as www.hotmail.com and www.yahoo.co.uk.
Using the internet and checking emails
There are usually places in universities and colleges where you can use the internet and check your emails, such as a computer centre, computer rooms in your department and libraries. There may be restrictions on what you are allowed to email and download from the internet. You can also access the internet in some public libraries and internet cafes.


Shopping in Britain is quite easy but you might like to invite a friend to go with you for the first time in case it all appears a bit strange.

When to shop

Shops are usually open 9.00am-5.30pm Monday-Saturday, and in some areas shops might close for an afternoon on one of these days. On Sundays, some shops stay closed and others open – but for less hours than the other days in the week. Supermarkets generally have longer opening hours than smaller shops (some are open 24 hours a day!).


In many shops you help yourself to goods off the shelf and place them in a basket or trolley. When you have completed your selection you take it to a counter where you pay for what you have selected. This is called ‘self service’. In smaller shops you will sometimes find an assistant who will help you. In this case just ask them for what you want.


A supermarket is probably a good place to start because it is self service and you can walk around and choose items that you like. Supermarkets often have an information desk where you can get information about what you need to buy. When you go into a supermarket, always collect a trolley or basket. Many supermarkets supply some international foods. The main supermarket chains in the UK are : Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Safeway, Morrisons and Asda, but you will also find some discount supermarkets called Netto, Lidl and Aldi.

A few guidelines

If you’re not sure what a good deal is, ask someone to go shoppingwith you and show you where to get the best product for your price range.
Everything should have a price on or near it and the law says that the shop has to sell it to you for the lowest price that it is marked at.
Most big stores use bar codes and scan the items at the checkout, the price will be shown near the product (eg on the shelf).
Always get a receipt so that you can change things if there’s a problem.


The pricing of goods may be very different from your own country. Different shops often sell the same goods at different prices. You may be able to save money by comparing prices in several shops.
Here are some ideas of what things cost at the moment:
Onions (per kg) £0.64
Potatoes (per kg) £0.50
Tomatoes (per kg) £1.58
Apples (per kg) £0.99
Margarine (per kg) £0.95
Orange juice (per litre) £0.64
Beef (per kg) £8.00
Lamb (per kg) £9.00
Pork (per kg) £5.00
Chicken (per kg) £3.50

Cheese (per 500g) £2.50
Milk (per 558ml / pint) £0.32
Eggs (for 6) £0.75
Bread (per 800g loaf) £0.55
Dried pasta (per kg) £0.60
Basmati rice (per kg) £0.95
Cornflakes (per kg) £1.33
Flour (per 1.5kg) £0.44
Sugar (per kg) £0.73
Instant coffee (per 100g) £2.14
Teabags (for 80) £0.99
Washing powder for clothes (per kg) £1.56
Shampoo (per 200ml) £1.65
Soap (4 x 125g bars) £0.99
These prices are based on a Sainsbury’s supermarket in London in 2005. Prices may vary between different supermarkets and at different times of year.


Virtually all prices in shops are fixed so you will not be able to bargain, unless the goods are damaged, in which case the shopkeeper may agree to a lower price. However, if you are purchasing something from a newspaper or other advert, it is usual to bargain.

Charity shops

Many of the charity organisations such as Help the Aged or Oxfam have shops. Goods are donated to the shop, which then sells them to raise money for the charity. It is worth finding out what charity shops there are in your area. They are often a source of good quality second hand goods such as clothes, kitchen utensils, furniture or children’s clothing at very cheap prices. You may be fortunate and just find what you want but it is worth having a look round each time you go into town. You may spot something that you know you will need in the future!

Claiming back VAT

All shops pay a tax on the goods they sell. This is called Value Added Tax (VAT). The tax is part of the price you pay. If you are only visiting the UK for a few months, you may reclaim the VAT you pay. To do this, always ensure you get a note from the shop listing all of the goods you buy and the price you pay. This note is called a receipt. You should also ask the shop for a tax refund document. You need to present the completed document and the goods to Customs when you leave the UK. For more details, visit HM Revenue & Customs website.


The unit of currency in the UK is the pound sterling (£). One pound is divided into 100 pence (p).

Coins and notes

There are coins for 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 & £2, and paper notes for £5, £10, £20 & £50. In Scotland, you might receive notes issued by a Scottish Bank – you can use these notes in all parts of the UK.

Changing money

You may change your own currency into pounds sterling at a bank, building society, post offices and at some travel agencies. Ports, airports and larger railway stations often have places for changing money. You will pay a charge for changing money. When you are arriving in the UK, if you can, bring a small amount of sterling with you to allow for travel, food and so on. £200 should be enough to cover these immediate expenses when you arrive.

A bank account

Even if you are only going to be in the UK for a few months, it is worth opening a bank account. You may need proof of your home address from your home bank. Some banks do not let you open an account unless you are going to stay for at least 9 months. Banks and building societies offer many types of account. You are most likely to need a ‘current’ or ‘student’ account. Most current accounts remain free of charge provided you do not go ‘overdrawn’, that is, take out more money than you have in the bank. Quite large charges may then be incurred so keep careful note of the money you put in and take out of your current account. It normally does not matter which bank you open an account with: conditions and rates are about the same. If you are keeping a lot of money in the UK you should think about opening another account which will give you interest on your money. In this case ask student welfare at your college for advice.

Cheques and Switch/Solo/Visa debit

When you open a current account you will be given a cheque book and guarantee card often called a cheque card. You can use cheques instead of cash to pay for goods and services (click on this Money Matters website for guidance on on how to write a cheque). When you present a cheque you will need to show this card to prove your identity. You will only be able to obtain instant credit on cheques up to the card limit – normally £50 or £100. To purchase items over this limit would normally mean presenting a cheque in advance of collection of your goods.
You may be able to request the ‘Switch’, ‘Solo’ or Visa Debit facility when you open your bank account. These are debit cards – you can use your card to pay for goods/services in a shop and over the internet. The payment is taken straight from your bank account (unlike a credit card, where you receive a bill at the end of the month). When you pay with one of these cards, you need to hand over your card, then either type in your PIN number (a 4-digit code that your bank gives you) or sign the receipt.

Credit Cards

There are two main types, Visa and Mastercard. The different types are identical in operation. There are many shops that take these types of card in the UK. You will need to hand over the card when making a purchase and you will be asked to sign the receipt or to type in your PIN number (a 4-digit code from your credit card company). Items purchased on the card must be paid for on a monthly basis. If you do not pay all the money outstanding on the card in one month, the balance is carried over to the next. You pay a substantial interest charge on any money carried over to the next month. You may spend on each card any amount up to your credit limit, which is usually £500-£2000. Credit cards are useful for purchasing items like concert tickets over the phone or the internet. You can also use some foreign credit cards in some bank cash machines. Many companies offer credit cards – a good starting point is to have a look at the cards offered by the main banks. But be careful! It is very easy to run up large debts with credit cards.

Cash Machines

Many banks and supermarkets have cash machines (or ATMs) which will enable you to withdraw money at most times. To use these machines you normally enter your cheque card and then type in a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The machine will then ask you what service you require. You may see how much money you have in your account, order a statement or withdraw money. Never keep your PIN and your cheque card together for security reasons. It is a good idea to memorise your PIN so that you do not need to write it down.


This is the name given to a thief who steals money or your wallet from your pocket or bag. Be careful! Make sure you know where your money is. Keep it safe when you are in crowded places like the bus, underground or walking around.

Advice on debt

Money worries are one of the biggest causes of stress for students. It can be difficult to find enough money to pay for course fees, accommodation and living costs. It is vital that you do not wait and let any debt get out of control. The problem will not go away - it is better to get advice as soon as possible. Talk to the International Office, a counsellor in the Students' Union or a member of staff in your college for help.

Religious life

Can I practise my own religion?

In the UK people are free to follow the religion of their choice. There are places of worship dedicated to all the major world religions. Any religion is permitted provided it does not encourage people to break the laws of the country.

Immorality and violence?

Many international students have asked us ‘If the UK is a Christian country, why is there so much immorality and violence?’, so we include an answer in this section. Christianity is only the nominal religion of the UK, and although many people would profess to be Christian, only a very small minority would claim to be committed followers of Jesus Christ, and to have a living, personal relationship with God. You will therefore find a vast difference between the practice and belief of committed Christians and the typical British person.

Different churches?

Another common question is ‘Why are there so many different Christian Churches in the UK?’ There are many historical reasons why this is so. However, this is not such a bad thing as each type of church provides a different form of expression of worship. One person is more suited to one type than another. All evangelical churches believe in the central truths of the Bible, and in the need for a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The differences between them (often exaggerated by the media) are very small in comparison to this. In fact, Christians often arrange special services where they may worship together as a group where many different churches will be represented. There may well be larger differences between evangelical churches and more liberal ones.
While you are staying in the UK it is well worth attending different types of church before you return.

Can I visit a church?

All churches are open to visitors, although some are now locked during the day to prevent vandalism. The members of a church usually come together on Sundays for meetings called ‘services’ – these are usually the best times to visit a church. Church buildings usually have a noticeboard outside that gives the times of the services. You do not need to be a member to visit a church, and you will be made most welcome.However, since the service may be strange to you, you may want to ask a friend to go along with you who can explain what is happening.

Contacts for other faiths

There are a wide variety of groups in the UK. If you want to practise your own religion whilst here in the UK, you could look for details of local groups in the local telephone directory or library. ‘Religions in the UK - A multi-faith Directory’ by Paul Weller is a helpful book. University Chaplains also have contact with many different faiths and would be pleased to help you.

A Warning about cults

Be aware of possible approaches by cult members, although it is unlikely to happen. A cult is a group that generally appears very friendly when you first meet them. However, the leaders of a cult usually try to stop the members from thinking for themselves, and to control their lives. They generally have very authoritarian leaders/founders. As you are unsure of the British culture and not so familiar with the different religions in this country it may be worth speaking to your student union, international advisor or university chaplain if you are in doubt about any approaches made to you. You can also find information about cults at through the Cult Information Centre website.

If you are invited out

General rules

Some British people may invite you out as a sign of friendship and also so that you are not on your own. You should not invite yourself to a meal unless you have got to know the person very well. It is not normal to ‘just turn up’ at someone’s house. If you need to call to collect something or see someone, either write or phone first to arrange a suitable time. An invitation for a meal, or visit to an event or historic sight should not be taken as an invitation for an intimate or long term friendship.


Some people may not know what you like to eat, so try to help them as much as possible by explaining the things that you do and do not eat. Tell your host the things you do not eat the week before they prepare a meal for you.

Arrival & gifts

When you arrive, try to be punctual. If you are delayed, always phone to tell your host you will be late. Do not arrive too early either, 5 minutes early is about right. In most cases (especially when you do not know your host very well) it is usual to take a small gift, such as a box of chocolates or flowers.

Can I bring my children?

If you have children, it is always advisable to ask your hosts in advance whether they are expecting them for the meal or not. If they are coming, you may like to tell your hosts the sorts of things that they eat. If your hosts don’t have children, it may be helpful to take a book or toy for your children to play with.

Seating & eating

If the meal is served at a table, you should wait until you are called to sit down. The meal will either be pre-served on a plate, or bowls will be passed round from which you help yourself.
If there are several knives, forks and spoons at your place at table, always start with the ones furthest from your plate and work in. Often, the fork and spoon for the dessert will be placed at the top of your plate.
Always wait to be offered more food, do not just take it. Only if you know your hosts very well should you help yourself. However, if food has been served from a bowl, and you see your neighbour’s plate empty, it is polite to ask your neighbour if you can pass anything to them. Do not serve your neighbour, just pass them the bowl.
If you are offered more, and you would like to take it, always accept the first time that you are offered. If you refuse the first time that you are offered more, your host will think that you are full or do not like the food and you may not be asked again.
The way you place your knife and fork will indicate to your host whether or not you have finished. This is illustrated in the sketch below:

Part way through the meal

I have finished - please clear my plate

What if I cannot eat the food?

If anything is served that you do not know, feel free to ask, especially if you are vegetarian. If you cannot eat anything please tell your host. They will usually understand, but remember, mistakes sometimes happen, especially if your hosts are not used to having international visitors.

Clearing away

It is polite to offer the host help to clear away and wash the dishes after the meal, although you should not be surprised if your offer is refused.

Should I return the hospitality?

British people enjoy having guests and will not expect you to invite them back for a meal. Do not feel that you have to invite them. However, if you have a suitable room or flat, and enjoy making a meal, then you will find that a return invitation would normally be considered a privilege by your British friends.



Nurseries are available to look after children from about 2-5 years old, before they start school. There are many nurseries in the UK, and charges vary. You may even find a nursery is provided by your college. Some college nurseries are free, while others charge commercial rates.


Children normally start school education at 4-5 years in the UK. Schooling is compulsory. It is possible to choose which school your child goes to and so in the preceding year it is worth making some preliminary investigations. Start by visiting schools and asking other parents about their views.

Clothes and toys

Clothes and toys can often be very expensive in the UK. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, try charity shops, jumble sales and clothes swaps. Look in your local newspaper, libraries and notice boards for details.

Medical help

It is particularly useful and important to register with your local medical practitioner if you have young children. The health visitor from the local practice can be a helpful support and source of information.


Academic differences

Some students find difficulties because of the differences between their own education system and that in the UK. The UK system assumes that students willdevelop independence and individuality. You should try to take full part in discussions where appropriate. Quiet and uncommunicative students are often misunderstood by British teaching staff as being unmotivated or unable to follow a discussion. Students often have some choice in their area of research or study. Do not feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of books on the reading list (if you have one) or feel that you must read all of them. Some will be more useful than others: seek guidance from your tutor if in doubt.

Can I ask questions?

Asking questions in a tutorial session, or lecture where you have been told you may do so is perfectly acceptable. If you do not understand something, it is likely that there are others who also do not understand, but who do not like to ask.

What should I do if I do not understand or have other difficulties?

If the problem is with understanding a particular part of your course, then you should approach the lecturer who teaches that section. If you have any other problems you should first approach your personal tutor. Your tutor needs to know how you are doing because he or she has overall responsibility for you during your studies. If you have valid reasons for failing a subject or missing deadlines (e.g. you are ill) then your tutor will help represent your case. In the case of personal, health, accommodation or other problems your tutor should know the right person to go to.
There will often be other people that you can go to for independent confidential advice. Look out for student counselling services, college help lines, international student services or chaplains. The chaplains will always be pleased to advise you, without any discussion of issues of faith (unless you want to).

Report presentation

It is usual to write/type up your coursework on a computer. Most colleges/universities have acomputer centre where you can use a computer.

Software availability

If you own your own computer, you may find that other students will be prepared to sell you some of their old software that they no longer use. Look out for advertisements! However you should try to ask for proof of original purchase (disks, manuals or a receipt) if you buy in this way. Some software for sale is illegal! Remember that your computer centre may have special deals for purchasing software: ask them for details.

What is the most effective way of studying?

Different people study in different ways, so each person would answer this question differently. If you are finding studying difficult, try to work out whether you study best in the morning or evening. Also try to be methodical. Make a list of all the work that needs doing, and its priority, and fit it in around your schedule. For example, you may find it easier to read at night whereas you may find writing easier in the morning when you are fresher.

Should I give gifts to my teachers?

It is not customary to give gifts to members of staff, nor will gifts make any difference to your final result. Grades are based solely on academic achievement, not on the relationship that you have with the teacher. However, after you have finished your studies, you may wish to give a small souvenir from your country or other token of your appreciation.

How is cheating dealt with?

Cheating or copying work is normally dealt with quite severely. You will either lose marks for the piece of work, be asked to resubmit, or fail that item altogether. In the worst case you can be suspended from your course.
You should remember that even if you are not caught, cheating affects you more than anyone else, because it means that you have not fully understood your course. You will therefore not have obtained all that you might from your studies. It is far better to ask for help as this results in you having the satisfaction of being successful in your area of work.
If you quote from someone else’s work, e.g. book, research paper or internet, you are expected to acknowledge your source.



International students can generally get a part-time job during term-time or a vacation jobwithout obtaining a work permit, though it’s a good idea to talk to the international office before finding work.
The UK has a national minimum wage (which also applies to ‘commission only’ jobs). Find out what the current level of the minimum wage is from your student welfare office (from October 2005, workers aged 22 and over must be paid £5.05 per hour).
A leaflet prepared by the Department for Education and Skills called 'International Students: Working in the UK' outlines some of the basic information you may need to know, such as how to get a National Insurance Number.

Looking for a job

There are many places you can look if you are trying to find a job. Some of these are:
Job Centres: these have advertisements of jobs available locally. You can also search a national database of jobs advertised in job centres on their website.
Local newspapers: these often have a few pages of local jobs available.
Noticeboards: these often display advertisements – look for them in your college/university, local supermarkets and shops and local libraries.
Agencies: employment agencies are companies that specialise in finding jobs for people. Find out how much they charge (eg how much of your income they keep) before you register your name and details with them. It is usually worth registering with a few agencies at the same time.
Your university: some work may be available within the university – ask in your student union, library etc.

Holidays, seasons and time

Public holidays

The UK has a variety of public holidays when workplaces and offices close for the day. These are often called ‘bank’ holidays. Many shops and facilities close during the public holidays, especially at Christmas. You should try to find out about other activities if you do not intend to spend the time studying, as these holidays can be quite lonely when everything is closed and there seems to be nothing to do!
1st January: New Years Day
2nd January: Bank Holiday (Scotland only)
17th March: St Patrick's Day (Northern Ireland only)
March/April (date varies): Good Friday and Easter Monday (not Scotland)
First Monday in May: May Day
Last Monday in May: Spring Bank Holiday
12th July: Battle of the Boyne (Northern Ireland only)
First Monday in August: Bank Holiday (Scotland only)
Last Monday in August: Bank Holiday (not Scotland)
25th December: Christmas Day
26th December: Boxing Day
Joining in Celebrations
Many of the celebrations can be very good fun, and it is worth finding out what is happening in your locality. Hogmanay (Scotland’s new year celebrations) can be particularly lively. At Easter there are often parades and fairs.
Christmas is a part of the year when there are lots of celebrations throughout the UK. However, many facilities in town and at college close down for the week in between Christmas and New Year. On Christmas day and Boxing Day, most shops are closed and most public transport doesn’t operate.
During the weeks before Christmas, churches have special services called ‘Carol Services’, where traditional Christmas songs are sung. There are always special Christmas services on Christmas Day itself. It is well worth participating in a hospitality scheme as otherwise you can feel quite lonely during the Christmas period.

The seasons and weather

The weather is a favourite topic of conversation in the UK because it changes so much! Thewinter (November - March) is cold (average 2-5°c) with a combination of rain, snow, wind and fog. In the autumn (September - November), it is generally mild, but sometimes cold. The summer (June-August) is warm (average 15-20°c but often hotter) and reasonably dry. In the spring (March-May), you can expect pleasant and mild weather - sometimes sunny, sometimes rainy. The north of the UK is generally cooler than the south.
You will need a variety of clothing for different times of the year. It is helpful to have several layers of clothing that can be added or removed as required: wool for warmth, cotton for keeping cool and waterproofs for the rain. An umbrella is always useful! A thick pair of gloves, a scarf and some heavy boots (in case of snow) are also very useful, especially if you live in the north of England, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Changing the time

In the UK, we change the time / our clocks and watches twice a year. In the winter months, we have GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and in the summer it is BST (British Summer Time). GMT starts at the end of October and we put the time back by 1 hour. BST starts at the end of March and we put the time forward by 1 hour. The change is always made on an early Sunday morning (to minimise disruption) and the exact date is therefore different every year. The date is usually noted in UK diaries and newspapers.

Further information

Here is a list of links for some organisations included on this website, plus other useful contacts.

The British Council

The British Council provides information on studying in the UK. Their booklet 'Studying and Living in Britain' is helpful.
web: www.britishcouncil.org or email: general.enquiries@britishcouncil.org


UKCISA - The Council for International Student Affairs offers advice to international students. There are many useful documents on their website.
web: www.ukcosa.org.uk

Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB)

CAB offers advice (not only to students) on many issues, including legal matters, debt and employment. You need to visit your local office if you want advice. Find out where your local office is by looking in a local telephone directory or by searching the directory on their website.
web: www.citizensadvice.org.uk


HOST gives international students the opportunity to spend a weekend in a British home.
web: www.hostuk.org or email: info@hostuk.org 

Kaynak: New2UK

5 yorum:

  1. Hocam paylaşımlarınız için teşekkürler.

  2. Merhaba öncelikle teşekkürler yazılarınız için, gerçekten çok yararlılar. benim bir sorum olacak, bir okul hakkında bilginiz var ise sizden bilgi alabilir miyim ?

  3. Cok muğlak bir soru olmuş sorduğunuz, nasıl bir okul yani?

  4. Evet tabii ki sorabilirsiniz, burada bildigim ve ogrendigim herseyi paylasiyorum zaten. Ama acikcasi universiteler hakkinda pek bilgim yok. Burada her universite farkli bolumlerle on plana cikabiliyor. Yani bazi universitelerin kimi fakulteleri iyi iken kimileri pek tercih edilmiyor olabiliyor. Sadece isme bakmak yanilgi olabilir. Burada universiteye gidecek olan ogrenciler bunu ogrenmek icin universitelerin veya gidecekleri bolumun "ranking" durumlarina bakarlar. Sizde eger www.google.co.uk 'de (google.com degil) "london school of business and finance ranking" veya "university rankings uk" diye aratirsaniz aradiginiz bilgilere daha rahat ulasabilirsiniz. Ben sizin icin simdi baktim, faydali bilgiler iceren linkler var. Eger onun disinda bir bilgiye ulasirsam yine sizinle paylasirim. Selamlar..

  5. merhaba resmen destan gibi olmuş ama mükemmel çok verimli bir yazı olmuş. eğer isterseniz yeni açılan sitemizde yazmaya da bekleriz...