The United Kingdom (UK) stretches approximately across 243, 610 square kilometres of land and is split into four countries - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The UK is run by a central government; however, each country runs its own national administration. The country of England is split into 48 regional counties, such as Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, Yorkshire etc. The capital city of the UK is London, located in the South-East of England.



The UK is an ethnically diverse country with a population of 65.6 million; and home to many people of different ethnicities. 7% of the population being Asian / Asian British (including Chinese) ethnic group. Most large cities and towns will have a multi-cultural community whereas rural areas tend to be less ethnically diverse. University cities and towns in particular will have a large overseas student population comprising both international and European Union students. According to the UKCISA (United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs), there were 438,010 international students in the UK Higher Education, between 2015-2016.



The UK is often stereotyped as the place of perpetual rain, but this isn't the only type of weather that the UK has to offer. Generally, the UK has a temperate climate with the weather differing from each region. , the South-east is the driest and warmest area in England, whilst Northern England experiences cool weather with moderate rainfall. During the winter and early spring period (November to April), snowfall may occur in most areas of the UK, in particular in areas of high ground in Wales and Scotland. Flooding is also a problem especially in low-lying areas close to rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Summers are generally dry and warm and occasionally droughts occur.

Monthly Average Temperature 

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Birmingham 1-7 1-7 3-10 4-13 7-16 10-19 12-21 12-21 10-18 7-14 4-10 2-7
Cambridge 2-8 1-8 3-11 4-13 7-17 10-20 12-23 12-23 10-19 8-15 4-10 2-8
Exeter 3-9 2-9 4-11 5-13 8-17 11-20 12-22 12-22 10-19 8-15 5-12 2-9
Leicester 1-7 1-7 3-10 4-13 7-16 10-19 12-22 12-22 10-18 7-14 4-10 2-7
London 3-8 3-9 5-12 6-15 9-18 12-21 14-23 14-23 11-20 9-16 6-11 3-9
Manchester 1-7 1-7 2-10 4-12 7-16 9-18 12-20 11-20 9-17 7-14 3-10 1-7
Nottingham 1-7 1-7 3-10 4-13 7-16 10-19 12-21 12-21 10-18 7-14 4-9 2-7
Surrey 2-7 2-7 3-10 5-13 8-16 11-19 13-22 13-21 11-18 8-14 5-10 2-7
Sussex 2-8 2-8 3-10 5-13 8-16 11-19 13-21 13-21 11-19 8-15 5-11 3-8
Oxford 2-8 2-8 4-11 5-14 8-17 11-20 13-23 13-22 11-19 8-15 5-11 2-8



Lifestyle & Culture

The UK is known for its historical heritage and pageantry evident from the many military parades, castles and traditions but it's not only tradition and history that the UK has to offer. As the land of Shakespeare, and the Beatles, the UK has a strong tradition in the arts, reflected in the many theatres, cinemas and musical venues that are dotted around the country. Moreover, annual music, literary and arts festivals are held up and down the country.


As home to one of the world's fashion capitals, the UK is home to both well-known British fashion brands as well as international ones. Every town and city has a shopping mall and high street, providing both expensive and affordable shopping experiences.


As a multi-cultural society, the UK can offer a unique culture and lifestyle that combines traditional British with foreign influences from its variety of ethnic cultures; this is evident in the wide variety of food that can be found in and around the UK. Not only does each region have its own unique dishes (Yorkshire puddings, Lincolnshire sausages, Cornish pasties and Scottish haggis etc.), but you will find varieties of food from almost all corners of the world - curries from India, dim sum from Hong Kong, jerk chicken from the West Indies and tagine from the Middle East are just some of the many dishes that overseas students can enjoy.


The UK has a comprehensive transport network consisting of air, sea, and rail and road links throughout the country and to other parts of the European Union.


Standards of living throughout the UK are generally quite high with urban areas tending to be the most expensive and modern whereas the rural and suburban areas tend to be less expensive and more quiet and traditional. Shops usually open between 10 am till 5-6pm. Opening hours are extended during weekends and public holidays. Banks open at 9am till 5pm and are open only for half a day on Saturdays. However, there are plenty of ATMs available in every city and town centre.



There are various choices of accommodation in the UK. Mostly, international students are offered accommodation options provided by the school or university (e.g. on/off campus hall of residents (En-suite or shared house), boarding school, homestay, etc.). On the other hand, students may also rent a shared house/apartment with their fellow students and friends normally after the first year of university. Apart from weekly rental costs, students may be required to pay for utilities such as gas, electricity and water. There is also a likelihood that broadband and television license fees will have to be paid for. It is advised to check carefully with the landlord of the property or with fellow housemates before committing to rent.



Living costs in the UK vary in each region with London and the other major cities being the most expensive in terms of accommodation, and cost of living.



Recommended places for study

While Oxford and Cambridge universities are well-known throughout the world, there are many other universities and educational institutions that have a similar record of academic excellence. Most universities in the UK have a particular specialisation, for instance, York University is renowned for its history whilst Portsmouth University has an excellent mathematics and science record.



 The common currency for the UK is the Pound Sterling. However, in Scotland, the currency is the Scottish Pound which is of similar value to the Pound Sterling. Pound notes come in 50, 20, 10 and 5 notes.