The reason you are coming to the UK might be to study, however, the experience is so much more than just school. It’s a chance to experience a new culture, meet people from around the world, and just have a really great time! Although you will spend a lot of time on your school work (duh, you kinda want to pass!) there will still be plenty of time to get out there and have some fun. Below I highlight the main extracurriculars you must try while across the pond.
Making the move to study in England is a big decision, you’re leaving your friends, family, bed, and the comforts of your own home. As exciting and life-changing this experience is, it can also be a big adjustment, one such adjustment is grocery shopping. Coming from Canada we are used to everything being big, maybe not as big compared to our southern neighbors, but for the most part things are quite over-sized. Everything from our coffees, to our highways, and especially our grocery stores. Not only are our grocery stores huge, each offering every possible thing you could imagine, they are also everywhere, located at every possible interval within a city. In England this is just not the case.
I have always envied the people who can enter new situations and immediately become best friends with someone else. Although I like to think of myself as friendly, it always takes me a bit of time and multiple interactions to form a close and lasting relationship, making travelling across the world, away from my friends and family quite intimidating. Would people like me? Would I make friends? Would I find travel buddies to pop over to Europe with? Would I have people to grab a coffee or pint with on a Friday? If you are also agonizing over these types of questions, let me assure you that the answer to all them is a resounding yes! But if my word is simply not enough, let me highlight a few tips to make the friend-making process a little easier.
Christmas in England is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Say what you will, but Brits know how to do Christmas. By mid-November the lights go up, the markets roll into town, and the carolers take to the streets. Before you know it it’s December and the holidays are right around the corner. I decided early in the year that I wasn’t going to go home for Christmas, but many international students do go home, but whether you are staying or going there are plenty of must dos during the Christmas season.
What is not to love about October? It is the perfect time to cozy up in your favorite sweater and sip on a cup of, well, pumpkin flavored anything while cracking open a new novel. October is a time for walks in the changing leaves, brisk morning runs, and of course Halloween. A classic holiday in North America, I was prepared for jack-o-lanterns adorning every doorstep, cheesy gravestones on lawns, and human-sized bags of candy being sold in shops. Alas, this is not the reality over here in fair old England. Halloween, although gaining steam, is just not as big or built-up as it is back home. Pumpkins do fill giant tubs in the entrances of grocery stores, and you may find a shop window or two covered in fake spider webs, but the overall extravagance of Halloween is sadly lost. Despite the lack of decoration, there is still plenty to do on the scariest night of the year!