UK is overall a very tolerant and welcoming country and friendly to immigrants & visitors from all parts of planet. UK (along with U.S. and Europe) donates a lot of money for Developing Parts of planet, which is often neglected in sensational news hungry media reports. In author’s opinion , UK scores much higher on Human Rights Protection Scale than many other countries the author has visited so far. If you wish to further enhance your knowledge about UK’s efforts for the developing and under-developed parts of the world then please checkout the following websites
Note: If you are a vegetarian, you should always ask before buying any food item as name of some food items can be misleading.e.g Cheese Burger and many Mc Donald’s Milkshakes (e.g. Strawberry) are also Not VEG. Veg marked Sandwiches here can have Eggs. There are two kinds of vegetarian terms used here
- Vegetarian – No-Meat, But Egg is OK and products from Animal Milk are also OK.
- Vegans – Only Plant products, NO Meat, NO FIsh, No Animal Product like Eggs or Milk, Yogurt etc.
What you might call Vegetarian In Asia is actually known as Hindu-Vegetarian (food option offered in most flights) here.
Emergency No is 999 here. (112 in europe). When you call 999, Operator asks for police or ambulance? If you say Police then call is transferred to Police Department. If you find understanding their accent difficult then you can always ask them to let you talk to someone who speaks Spanish/Portuguese/Chinese/Hindi etc.
What is considered rude/inconsiderate/anti-social/taken-for-granted here (Grooming yourself for UK Culture and Social/Office Climate):
Well every culture is different! Something which can mean “thumbs-up” in one country can mean “derogatory” in other. There are some habits/physical gestures which can be pretty normal/ok in your continent/country but here they are not liked.
- You need to say “thank you” for every little favor! For Ex:- Cab drivers here are not supposed to handle your luggage or put it in/take it out from boot of their cab. So when they do it, they expect a “thank you”. When driving, in a face to face road block situation, if someone lest you go first, they expect a “thank you” gesture in form of raising palm of your hand. The superstore counter guy/girl packs your stuff for you in carry bags, they too expect a “Thank You”. Basically, nobody is a servant here. They are doing their job and for the extra nice things they do, they expect an appreciation back.
- Honking Horn Anywhere! Breaking the Q when stuck in traffic jam, crossing roads without proper signal is all considered Rude and Uncivilised!
- Shouting, playing loud music in tube/bus. Always check the volume of your earphone/headphone. Don’t stare at people/girls in tube/bus. Especially don’t stare at girls here. Its Not OK here. They might find it disturbing or irritating and might change the seats because of you. Try to giveup your seats for elderly or pregnant ladies. Click Here for Tube Etiquettes
- Breaking the Q anywhere – Bank, postoffice, BUS Q, Ticket counter Q, Cash/ATM Machine Q ( Stay 2 steps behind the person on cash machine). You need to arrive at time if any friend/colleague is waiting. LateComing is totally totally not liked here. So always give yourself 15-30 mins grace time for Tube/metro/buss/traffic/TicketQ issues.
- Mobile not silent in Cinema. Picking calls in Cinema is totally disliked here. I will say again. Don’t pickup calls in Cinema and don’t obstruct other’s view by sitting high. While watching movie, when you change sitting posture, don’t push the chair of person sitting infront of you. Its highly irritating. Also if you are one of those whoss legs vibrate during the movie, please don’t do that as it vibrates all the seats linked with your seat because the base of seats is usually connected with each other. Also don’t talk during the movie, that is so normal in some other countries, but is considered disgusting behaviour here.
- Overtaking someone sharply when driving. Overtaking someone sharply when walking.
- Pushing/Shoving in Tube, Bus, Shops especially places where buffet food is served.
- Sneezing/Coughing without covering your mouth. Never go to your office when you have flu or cough n cold. Coughing disturbs other in office and is not taken as Normal. You are expected to take cough syrups or soothing lonzenges to keep the volume of your coughing in control.
- Letting the (office/venue/lift) door shut on person coming behind you.
- Picking things at display in shops and not putting them back nicely where they are.
- Never treat a Waiter/Server in a rude way. Order anything with respect. “1 bacardi please” is Ok. “1 bacardi” isn’t OK.
- Always greet old people in parks with a smile. Always meet superstore counter staff with a smile. Don’t forget to say “Thanks, good bye!” when leaving.
- Don’t ask for emailid/ telephone nos from strangers in first meeting. Don’t ask personal Qs. Don’t give out judgemental remarks based on someone’s choices. Don’t peep into neighbour’s windows. Don’t make noise after 11pm in night. In multi-floor buildings, be considerate of people living on floor below you.
- Don’t pickup/touch others’ kids without their permission. Don’t offer them candy etc in their care-taker’s absence.
- Don’t frown when you don’t like/want something. Frowning comes so natural to some people but here in UK its considered as display of disgust/repulsion.
- Don’t stand with arms folded together. Its usually a Club Bouncer’s posture and is considered aggressive here.
To find out any location in UK based on postcode or street name click www.maps.google.co.uk
To find out any local business like, Surgeries (GP), Nursing Homes, Plumbers, B&B etc click www.yell.co.uk.
To find out about your neighbourhood safety records etc see here http://www.upmystreet.co.uk
A little Note on Racism: Don’t be afraid to seek help from Police. Police here is your friend. They are very friendly chaps. You should report to them any racist comment/incidence happened to you without any fear. Although most visitors/tourists have a very pleasant stay in UK with rarely any mildly-racist remark/comment made at them. London is most diverse place on planet and so least racist in UK, countryside areas in UK can have a few less-educated ppl who might spoil your day by making a mildly racist remark, overall British people are very friendly and decent people. UK Law provides you protection and compensation for every wrong thing. You should also be careful about saying a remark about any other ethnic person. London is world’s most diverse city and every ethnic person here has equal rights.
Useful Info for Students
Q:- I am coming to UK to study in XYZ college. How good is XYZ college?
- Before everything, one should check the UK League Tables also known as Uni Ranking Guides e.g. (http://education.guardian.co.uk/universityguide) More Ranking Links mentioned below.
- One should do some google research about XYZ college. Check any blogs or reports about it.
- Try to find communities for that college on facebook. Try to get in touch with community members on these platforms.A course search facility is available from the UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) website: http://www.ucas.ac.uk.
Some very useful advice for International Students is also available herehttp://www.ukcisa.org.uk/ – UK Council for International Student Affairs
http://all-unied.com/acatalog/advice.html – General Instructions about Culture shock, Weather etc
http://www.gostudyuk.com – Provides information and advice to prospective international students looking forward to study in the UK.
Student Finance Option for International Students – http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/student/fees_student_support.php
League tables in UK
To judge the quality of a university’s undergraduate course in a particular subject, you can refer to ranking tables. Ranking sites :-
http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/tol_gug/gooduniversityguide.php – TimesOnline Uni Ranking Guide
Also Checkout : http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk – Highly Recommended Site.
The Guardian newspaper Uni guide (Most Recommended – Tells about course fees and many helpful details):
www.topmba.com ( to search best mba college with your own assessments)
One common way of ranking is based on the average grades of students entering the university to study the subject (A-levels or Scottish Highers are the exams taken by UK students before going to university). Although they can be useful as general guides, do not place too much importance on the ranking when making your choice. A particular dept of a low ranking Uni can be doing very good in terms of job placements after the course. So try to find out the web forums for that University. Or call their respective depts about placement figures.
The G8 (Best 8 MBA colleges) includes Judge Business School (Cambridge), London Business School, Said Business School (Oxford), Imperial College Business School, Manchester Business School, Lancaster Business School, Warwick Business School and CASS (City University, London).
Tip: There are thousands of college in UK. Don’t waste your time contacting random people on internet about a random college. Only someone who studied at that college can tell you real stuff about that college. Contact the college directly and ask them to put you in touch with some Alumni of that college. Then ask that alumni about his/her experience at that college. Try getting in touch with Students Union Representatives of the college. They are usually the helping kinds.
http://scholarship-positions.com/category/uk-scholarships/ – UK Scholarships
Student Visa for UK Info
VISA Information at UK Govt site – http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/infs/inf5students
Official British Govt Site for Online Visa Applications http://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk
Common reasons for refusal of student visa:-
- No evidence of the student possessing funds required for the course
- Insufficient funds
- Poor preparation, no sound knowledge of the course applied for
- Lack of English knowledge
- Forged documents: Students found with fraudulent documents are banned from applying to any UK varsity for 10 years
Q:- Bringing a wife/husband/civil partner and children to the UK?
Q:-Working while studying? / Working when your studies have ended?
Some very useful links
* advice for International Students
* a checklist of things to do before you leave home
* recognising and coping with culture shock
* a glossary of words and phrases in the UK education system
http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/ukinfo/index.php – Interactive Map of UK’s UNIs And Reputed Colleges Along with addresses
http://www.ukeas.com/interactive_uk_map/index.htm – Interactive MAP of all UK Universities
http://www.imahal.com/education/uk/all/list.htm – List of All Colleges In UK
Big Q:-How to Find out which course to do and from which university?
Ans:- There is no simple Answer. Everyone has different requirements. You will have to do your own research using links provided here. One Good link is Prospects.ac.uk.
UKCISA provide guidance notes for students on “Choosing the right course” at: http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/student/information_sheets.php.
A helpful blog on the subject is http://ukadmissionposts.blogspot.com/ . More on this mentioned below under the section “Find a course!”.
How safe is your university town/city? Click here to find out.
An alternative source of information (aimed mainly at British students) which includes rankings for various non-academic factors is published by Push: http://www.push.co.uk
To read comments from other international students about a university, see: http://www.iagora.com/istudy.
International students: an assessment is made based on the qualifications obtained in the student’s own country. In addition, universities also require evidence that the English language skills of international students are good enough. Often students must have a recentIELTSscore of at least 6.0, apaper-based TOEFLscore of at least 550, or acomputer-based TOEFLscore of at least 210 (check your university for their requirements).You may be able to take an English course at the university or college before the main course starts (apre-sessional course).
If you are not in the UK, contact the British Councilin your country (see: ttp://www.britishcouncil.org/home/home-contact/home-contact-worldwide.htm). Representatives from UK universities and colleges sometimes travel abroad to meet prospective students at presentations or interviews, or to attend a local “study abroad” or “UK education” fair. The British Council may also organise seminars explaining about choosing a course, applying and living in the UK.
Find a course to study in UK
A course search facility is available from the UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) website: http://www.ucas.ac.uk. There is a map of university and higher education colleges on the site, and direct links to each of their websites. There is a guide for international students at: http://www.ucas.com/studyuk/index.html. UKCISA provide guidance notes for students on “Choosing the right course” at: http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/student/information_sheets.php
The following sources may also help you to find a university course:
http://www.prospects.ac.uk/ Education Opportunities in UK for International Students
HEROinclude a “university finder” at http://www.hero.ac.uk/uk/universities___colleges/index.cfm
Hobsonsproduce a guide “Study UK” at http://www.studyuk.hobsons.com
Study Choice: http://www.studychoice.com contains information about courses at UK universities and other institutions.
Hot Coursesprovide a directory of courses at: http://www.hotcourses.com. This includes a section of information for international students.
UKCISAprovide guidance notes for students on “Choosing the right course” at: http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/student/information_sheets.php.
A lot of very useful info about courses for students can be found here http://www.ukstudentlife.com/Course.htm
Students should keep in mind that they can very well earn back their course fees by working part-time within legal permissions. There are many temp jobs available in London. Minimum pay rate in London is £5.50/hr. Best way to get a temp job is ask your friends or simply walk down to a nearest high street (where most shops of a town are located) and ask/apply in each shop.
How to find a job as Student in UK /Temp Job/ internships/ Apprenticeships
Please also read the helpful FAQ -Info given after these links http://www.work-experience.org– The National Council for Work Experience website :
Checkout Local Town Newspaper and Loot : published 6 times a week. Tues is the best day for jobs.
Evening Standard : published Mon-Fri. Mon is the best day for jobs
Metro : free newspaper issued at train stations. Thurs is the best day for jobs
http://www.student-jobs.co.uk – A good resource
http://www.studentjob.co.uk – Another good website
http://www.inspiringinterns.com – Another good website
http://www.freelancestudents.co.uk – Latest students part time jobs, internships and graduate jobs.
http://jobs.thisislondon.co.uk -Site run by the Evening Standard newspaper
http://www.prospects.ac.uk/ -UK’s Official Grad Jobs Site
– Work Placements UK: http://www.workplacementsuk.com
– Intern-UK: http://www.internuk.com
– Southern Work Experience, http://www.yeseducation.co.uk
– Placement UK: http://www.placement-uk.com
– Aspect: http://www.aspectinternships.co.uk
– The Student Placement Co: http://www.spco.co.uk
– Eagle UK: http://www.eagle-uk.demon.co.uk
– Jobs.efinancialcareers.com – Graduates & Internships Jobs UK
– Apprenticeships In UK – Apprenticeships In UK
www.work-experience.org – The National Council for Work Experience
GLA Placements – These are amazing paid placements are for students to get first hand experience working for the GLA 2009-10
www.studentemploymentservices. co.uk – SES advertise a number of placements.
www.fledglings.net – Student resources for industrial placements
www.step.org.uk – Shell step Programme offering a range of summer placements
www.ratemyplacement.com – This website gives you the chance to read reviews from students about placements that they have completed, as well as offering various placement opportunities.
www.prospects.ac.uk/cms/ ShowPage/Home_page/Law/Law_ searches… – Work placement opportunities within the legal profession
www.topinternships.com – This website advertises a large number of placement opportunities
www.yummyjobs.com – This company specialises in placements in the USA particularly if you are interested in the hospitality and catering industry
Intern Options.com – Placement Opportunities in Austrailia or New Zealand
Hobsons – A wide variety of year, summer, project based placements in a broad spectrum of industries
http://www.iprofile.org UK’s leading Online CV formatting service
http://www.freemycv.com – Upload your CV once, and they register you with other leading job sites.
http://www.cv-library.co.uk ( useful site to compare and develop your own CV by benchmarking it with simillar skills CVs of others available on site)
http://www.jobs4medical.com (for pharmacy and medical jobs)
www.careerforums.co.uk – Career Exhibitions and Seminars
www.theappointment.co.uk – retail and hospitality
www.inretail.co.uk – Leading Job Site for retail sector
http://get.hobsons.co.uk – 750+ Pages of Jobs, Recruiters and advice
http://insidecareers.co.uk – Detailed insight into a career as an actuary
http://www.topgradschool.com – World’s Top Unis on tour to Screen students and offer advice.
http://www.gradjobs.co.uk – Fresh Graduate Jobs site
http://www.top-consultant.com/ – Biggest UK Consultant Companies – 9th and 10th oct @ Barbical Exhibition Hall – Tkts usually £10
The BBC offers a wide range of work experience placements, including many which require fluency in a certain foreign language: http://www.bbc.co.uk/jobs/workexperience
There is a National Work Placement Exhibition each year. For details, see: http://www.gradjobs.co.uk
For latest on Post Study Worker’s Visa etc Checkout http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/
Q:- Working while studying? / Working when your studies have ended?
Usually student work experience like internships etc is unpaid. Also you need to make your own arrangements for accommodation if you need to work far from where you are currently living, and need to pay for your own expenses for travel (Student RailCard), accommodation and other living costs. Please Note that if you are from outside the UK, you should have a visa or passport which allows you to work in the UK – even if there is no pay for the work.
Applications process for work placements usually starts 3 months or more before the placement starts, so it is a good idea to start planning as early as possible. Work experience is often for quite short periods, typically between about 1 week to 3 months. The most popular times are during the UK school/university holidays, especially during the summer months.
To find Temp Jobs for 20hrs/week when you are studying regular course – best way is to Prepare a One Page CV and apply to a local Job Centre Office or Reed Agency Office and other local recruitment agencies on the nearest highstreet. Check Yell.com to find a Local Recruitment Agency or contact local council office for help. Also Drop copies of your CVs to Local Highstreet Stores like Primark, Newlook and supermarkets like ASDA, Tesco etc.
OTHER USEFUL LINKS:-
For Latest Student Visa and Uk Education News – http://www.workpermit.com/news/2008-08-05/uk/foreign-students-tier-4-points-based-system-proposals.htm
Information About NI Number– You must apply for NI number before or soon after Jjoining a Job. Because preference is given to candidates with NI Numbers.
Student Finance – Bank Accounts
for College/UNI Projects
Studying in the UK
British Council http://www.britishcouncil.org/
Study abroad agency
Study Overseas Ltd http://www.britishhighereducation.com