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Study in the UK

  • The UK is one of the greenest and most beautiful nations in the world. Its glorious countryside includes rugged mountains, beautiful lakes, rolling green valleys and mile upon mile of stunning coastline.
  • It also boasts the evidence of more than a thousand years of history with a wealth of beautiful ancient buildings and settlements, a fantastic industrial heritage, and an unrivalled selection of art and cultural treasures.
  • All this, and yet the UK is compact enough for visitors to travel extensively during their stay. It’s not surprising that students from all over the world want to come here, the birthplace and home of the English language, to improve their skills.
  • Living in Britain is a great experience for students, whether they are 16 or 60.
  • All the time they will be improving their English formally in some of the world’s leading language centres, and informally with native speakers. And at the end of their stay they will have an internationally-recognised qualification and much valuable experience to help them in their careers.

Life in the UK


    The United Kingdom is made up of four separate countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 61.4 million people live here.
    England, Scotland and Wales share the island of Great Britain, whilst Northern Ireland occupies the northern end of the adjoining country of Ireland.
    England is the largest of the four nations, and the most densely populated, especially in the South East in and around London. Western areas of Great Britain tend to be mountainous and rugged. The countryside becomes flatter and more fertile to the east.
    Although the UK is a northerly nation, it has a mild and damp climate. Winters are wet rather than cold, and snow is rare.
    The weather varies according to region. Scotland and Northern Ireland, the most northern parts of the country, have the coldest winters and most snow. The South tends to be the warmest and driest part of the country. Western areas get the most rainfall. But wherever a student chooses to live, it’s important to note that the British climate is temperate and changeable – it can be raining one day and warm and sunny the next.
    London is the biggest city in the UK, and also the most multicultural. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, Belfast the capital of Northern Ireland and Cardiff the capital of Wales.


    Britain and the English language have been shaped by other cultures. The benefits of early Roman and French invasions included roads, law, and a strong Latin and French input to the English language.
    The absolute power of the King was curbed in 1215 by a revolt of high-ranking citizens. Parliamentary government was established in 1689 by a Bill of Rights.
    The Queen is officially head of state and has an active role in Government. Britons are not citizens, but subjects of the Queen.
    The London-based government and Parliament ruled the whole of the UK until 1999when The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established.
    The UK is an active member of the European Union (EU) although it has not joined the Euro currency system.
    The UK Parliament, which sits in the House of Commons in London’s Westminster, has Members of Parliament (MPs) representing every area of the UK, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
    There are 646 MPs, each representing an area (constituency). Most belong to one of the three main political parties (Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats) and will usually vote with their party.
    The Government will propose legislation and introduce Bills to the House of Commons which will then go to the upper chamber, called the House of Lords for further debate. Members of the House of Lords are not elected. They are senior members of the Church and people who have either inherited or been given a title such as Lord or Lady. Their powers to change legislation have been reduced.


    English is the official language of the UK. In Wales, around 20 per cent of the population also speak Welsh, and most official communications, including the signs, are in English and Welsh.
    In Northern Ireland about 7 per cent of the population speak Irish. In Scotland a small percentage speaks Scottish Gaelic and a third speak Scots.
    Students often ask about the different regional accents in the UK.
    These do exist but the pronunciation differences are smaller than would be found between British, Australian and American English. Teachers and host families will always speak very clearly for students, and they are unlikely to encounter any problems with local accents.


    Two-thirds of mothers of young children go out to work in the UK, though they are more likely than men to work part-time. Their children are usually cared for in private nurseries or by childminders, who look after small numbers of children in their own homes.
    Marriage rates are at their lowest since records began. Women are less likely to marry and more likely to live with a partner.


    There are an enormous range of things to do in the UK during the evenings and weekends.
    British people like to socialize in pubs and bars, and this is usually a popular option with overseas students.
    Eating out in the UK is also a fantastic experience. Britain now has some of the world’s top restaurants. It is also possible to spend far less and get a really great meal. Since the UK is now such a multi-cultural society, it’s possible to sample food from all over the world even in small towns.


    Even the youngest students will use British currency.
    One UK pound (£) is worth 100 pence. Every British coin and bank note has a picture of the Queen on one side. The most common banknotes are £5, £10 and £20. £50 notes are usually available from banks rather than cash machines.
    Anything smaller than a pound can be called a pence or a pee. £1 coin are fat and gold. £2 coins are larger. Less valuable coins are the 50p, 20p, 10p and 5p which are silver coloured, and the 2p and 1p which are bronze.
    Some students staying for longer courses (usually over 6 months) may wish to open local bank accounts. Their language centre will usually assist with any paperwork needed to show the student’s status in the UK.
    Banks are usually open Monday to Friday from 9-5, and sometimes on Saturdays. They are usually found in town centres.
    Cash machines are found outside banks and supermarkets. There are sometimes cash machines at petrol stations and inside small shops and pubs, but these may charge extra to withdraw money. Many accept international bank cards.