Life beyond the university: understanding and navigating British life and culture
Introduction This chapter looks at UK culture beyond the university. It particularly focuses on aspects of UK culture that you may notice as different or strange but that you may need to understand and engage with. The aim of this chapter is to help you to be better placed to understand and participate in the life and culture of the UK as an international student. After a general introduction to modern Britain, the information is provided under separate sections. It will give you a basic understanding of UK society and also provide you with some exercises to develop your awareness of this culture and your own response to it. The final part of this chapter, ‘Streetwise’, is designed to help you avoid certain pitfalls and possible dangers and to stay safe during your stay in the UK. It is not designed to frighten you: the UK is generally a safe environment to be an international student in, but the overriding concern here is that it is ‘better safe than sorry’ and being safe is often about knowing things beforehand.