They say a certain species has to be able to “adapt” to challenging environments in order to survive. Humans, clearly, are one of the most resilient and intelligent species ready to overcome any challenging environments it has to face.
This can also be said for people living or studying abroad. At first, you must be utterly lost and confused in the new country you have moved to. But after gradual adjustment, everything just becomes a part of your surroundings and you get used to it –or sometimes even become a part of it. Either way, it is at that point you have learned to “adapt”, and hence “survived”.
If you are a student who has recently moved to the UK for education, you might find yourself baffled at the various customs, languages, traditions, and other significant things that form the U.K. and its spectacular culture.
Here is what you need to in order to adapt and survive in this culture-rich environment.
- Be-Open minded: The first step to adaptation is having an open mind. The open-minded attitude is what will allow you to observe the culture, learn from it, accept it and adapt to it. Avoid any stereotypes you may have formed before you entered the country because they may not be applicable, and will certainly prevent you from accepting and adjusting into the new culture.
- Learn the Map: There are four major, dominating cultures in UK that root from four main countries comprised of the whole U.K.: England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. Each country has its own culture, traditions, and language. Apart from that, you will also find a well-blended culture deriving from various immigrants (Asians, Chinese, etc).
- Get used to Drinking Tea: In the United States, it’s all about coffee. In the UK, however, people are accustomed to drinking their “teas” in the morning and the evenings. The United Kingdom is the world’s greatest tea consumer. It could be served with milk, but many prefer to drink it black or with a lemon in it.
- Get Used to Tight Spaces: If you are coming from a country where everything is large and spacious, you will find the tight spacing in U.K. a bit surprising. Although, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise to people since U.K. is a small piece of land with a considerable population (compared to its other Western counterparts). People in the U.K. mostly live in apartments, drive smaller cars, and have a habit of utilizing small spaces.
- Get Used to Pub Life: When it comes to entertainment, the pub is on the top of the list for British people. Whether you go for a beer alone or with a friend/colleague, you’ll find that the pub is, as Samuel Pepys puts it, “the heart of England” (or other places in the UK ofcourse).
- Learn the Slang: British accent itself is hard to comprehend for someone who is completely new to it. Once that is (with time) conquered, you need to get to learn the slang language to fully comprehend the meaning.
For example, “Bob’s your uncle” and “It’s monkey’s outside!” means “You’ve got it!” and “It’s very cold outside”. No one could possibly guess the meaning unless they knew!
- The Left Lane: If you will be driving, get used to the left lane. This means that the steering wheel is on the left side, which could also be a bit uncomfortable at first if you are used to the opposite. Be careful about where you drive! You don’t want a £100 ticket – or worse (yikes!).
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