Welcome to London - one of the most cosmopolitan cities of
the world. Steeped in years of history, London offers a variety of
entertainment, tourist attractions and special events. It is influenced by many
different cultures. Studying in a different country can be very exciting.
When you arrive
You may find the change in
climate, food and culture more dramatic than you thought. This can be shocking
You may be more likely to get
stomach aches, colds and headaches as you adjust to the new way of life and
You have left family, friends
and familiar life, and you will probably be feeling homesick and uncertain.
If English is not your first
language, it may be tiring or frustrating if you are struggling to communicate.
You may, unfortunately,
encounter prejudices and assumptions about your culture and/or beliefs.
All of this may make you feel
overwhelmed or possibly run-down and tired a lot of the time.
The Good News
These are all perfectly normal
Don’t be critical of yourself -
adjusting to life in a new situation takes time.
Remember - your fellow students
are perhaps having similar feelings. It helps if you can support each other.
Things you can do to help you adjust
Try to familiarise yourself with the British culture: read newspapers and watch
the news or documentary programmes.
Making friends with students from the same country or culture may help if you
are feeling homesick. But remember to talk to people from other countries - it
is a fascinating opportunity to learn about other cultures.
Speak to a member of college staff, your local library or tourist information
office and take the opportunity to explore.
Keep in touch with family and friends back home - tell them about your progress
(this will also remind you of what you have achieved so far)!
Most importantly - don’t be afraid to ask. The College staff can help you with
questions, such as:
Using the London Transport system
How to open a bank account
How do you register with the
General Practitioner (GP)
How to get to the famous tourist
Seeking specialist advice or
Look After Yourself!
If you do have a persistent illness or continued feelings of depression or
anxiety, seek help. Talk to a member of staff or your GP (doctor). If you are
not registered with a GP, speak to a member of staff to find out how.
English Language Support
It is tempting to speak your own language with members of staff or fellow
students who are from the same culture as you. Do try to speak English whenever