StudyAdvantage Magazine

18 Things You Will Understand Only if You Are an International Student in the UK

Published: December 8, 2016

If you’ve been lucky enough to get into one of Great Britain’s fine learning institutions, but your cultural roots are not in this blessed nation, well then you may recognise some of these fabulous encounters.

1. Being Constantly Asked How You Speak English So Well


Do people seriously NOT realise that nobody can get escape it in High School… Anyway, IT IS the official language of both Nigeria and Singapore and yes Europeans speak English.


2. Trying to Get to Terms with How Expensive Everything Is

Picture1Credit: 9GAG

£2.40 for a 2 stop tube journey in London’s Zone 1? I can get a restaurant meal back home for that money. Don’t even get me started on the rent.


3. Wondering if that Hottie You Met at the Pub Voted Brexit?


Credit: @markcjgreenwood

Would offering to send them some Toblerone from Latvia be a good way to find out?


4. Being Annoyed by Tap Water Technology From the 19th Century (and having to choose between dirty, frozen or burnt hands for the rest of the day)

Picture1Credit: Quora

Really why does Britain insist on being so painfully different?


5. Having to Explain to People Why You Aren’t Going Home for Christmas

Picture1Credit: zipmeme

Yes, let me just book in the casual 12h flight to Vladivostok, followed by a 15h train journey on the Tran-Siberian. Exams on 4th January? Who cares!


6. Trying to Rent a Flat and Failing

Picture1Credit: Jason Allen

What do you mean I need a British guarantor to rent a flat? Please take my money!!


7. Continuously Being Surprised at the Standard of Living in What Is Allegedly a Developed Country (!?)


Credit: Carpet Vidalondon

The best thing about fully carpeted floors is that they come with free food!


8. Being Here for Almost a Year, but Still Not Having any British Friends

Picture1Credit: QuickMeme

Please talk to me! …I’m not that bad I promise.


9. Constantly Having Your International English Corrected



Well guess what? Whether you call it trash or rubbish it’s still the same bloody thing.


10. Constantly Missing Out on Cultural References


Credit: The Telegraph

I have honestly not heard of Ab Fab before. Anyway, who in their right mind would want to watch a show about two middle aged women who do nothing all day, but drink?


…Your British Friends Are Really the Ones Missing Out on that Great Scandi Drama Your Friends from Home Are Crazy About

Picture1Credit: NRK

Because who in their right mind would not want to spend their time watching a show about Norwegian teenagers who do nothing all day, but drink?


11. Facing the Existential Puzzle of Figuring Out Whether You Are Going Home or Leaving Home


So I was born in one country, raised in another, and now live in the UK…during terms. When I go to see my family, who now live in a fourth country, am I going to my home or leaving my home?


12. Having to Deal with the Bureaucracy. Constantly…

 Picture1I’m so happy it only took me 3 months to open a bank account! My German friend tells me it could be much much worse…


13. Making up Stories About All the Amazing and Cultured Things You Did Abroad to Tell Your Aunt About, When Really All You Did was Stay Within a Half-mile Radius of Campus

Picture1Credit: Pixabay

Is this culture to you?


14. Coming Home for Summer Only to Realise You Haven’t Spoken Your Mother Tongue in Months and You Keep Thinking of the English Words for Everything

Picture1Yup, my mother tongue is moving into the very light green sections of this chart scarily fast.


15. Trying to Understand Why Every Grocery Store is the Size of a Small Toilet Back Home


Credit: Meme Generator

I have only 1 piece of advice for Sadiq Khan – rent controls!! Make London Berlin Again 😉


16. Wondering Why the Brits Keep Being Polite When They Are Really Irritated!?

how to be polite1

Credit: English E.A. Sant Sadurni

PS. I drowned…


17. Being Disgusted Yet Utterly Charmed at the Weekly ‘Sesh’ Behaviour


It will be ‘banterful’. It can get ‘laddy’.


18.  Pretending to be Appalled but Secretly Sort of Enjoying the British Food ‘Mixeroos’

Deep fried za

Are the mixeroos crimes against cuisine culture? Fries and curry sauce? Check. Deep fried-pizza? Better than it sounds. Scottish pupils in particular will get it…

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