Produced by Linh Trinh
MA Marketing Communications
Moving to a new country and adapting your lifestyle to a new culture can be challenging initially. However, by embracing changes and being open-minded, you can overcome culture shock while cherishing your living experience by immersing yourself in UK rich culture. This blog post will share some of my own experiences to create a sense of belonging after six months of living in the UK.
Getting used to the British etiquettes
Until now, I still remember one of the first lessons that I attended at the beginning of my course at BU was about British etiquette and culture. In this sharing session, I was introduced to some British customs like being polite, punctuality, or queuing. Something is very simple yet essential and becomes a part of British people’s lives.
By being aware of these etiquettes, when I first arrived in the UK, I tried to apply those simple things in my daily life and school life. ‘Please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘sorry’ are some of the words I have used the most in my conversation. And doing that put me in good stead when talking with others.
Culture shock is inevitable to many international students while studying abroad cause UK culture can be different to your culture in terms of social behaviour, climate, language, food and values.
I was so surprised to see the four-season weather within a day. Even if you are fluent in English, you will find certain regional accents are sometimes difficult to understand. However, one of the most effective ways to overcome culture shock is to be open-minded and embrace all the changes in the future. Treating everything new as a chance to learn about the culture and turning surprise into an adventure will make you cherish your experience living and studying in the UK.
Before I arrived in the UK, I barely knew anything about British food. Now having scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam while sipping some English tea is becoming part of my favourite breakfast. The more I welcome new change, the more connection I have created with this culture.
The sense of belonging
The bond I have built with the people, the UK nature and culture over the past six months is something I really cherish. I like exploring hidden gems in Bournemouth, trying new food, seeing the sky, the sea, feeling the sand under my feet. I love going to museums, discovering the vibrant forms of arts, watching British TV shows, going to the pubs, trying local restaurants/bakeries. And for me, that makes a sense of belonging.We belong wherever we are, and I hope you enjoy your studying and living experience in the UK to the fullest as much as I do.