Erik's picture

The First Five Things I Noticed About London

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. In the first of a two-part article, he describes five things he initially found unusual and different about London:

London is a city where man can have everything if he is able to take the time and spend the money. It may be paradise for the tourists, but after a few years, some of the permanent residents can start to have second thoughts about the expense and constant waiting, and decide to relocate to the outskirts, or to the countryside.

I have spent 6 months of my life there and could give you a long and boring lecture on the history, customs and politics of this conglomerate of cultures. Instead, I pinned together ten observations- things that I happened to find interesting since I first entered the ‘big world' four years ago. Some of them are peculiar only to London, but most of them can refer to much of the ‘Western World'. In this first part I look at everything from sport to work.

Giacomo's picture

Learning from London and its Multiculturalism

Giacomo Tirelli is an Italian student in his first year at Goldsmiths University in London. Here he explains  why he chose to study in London and why he's learning from the city all the time:

Differences are what make the world a unique place, and it is within these disparities that citizens are likely to learn more about themselves and the people around them. Some cities offer the opportunity to live in this stimulating environment more than others. London is well known for its multiculturalism and its uniqueness.

Here, people willing to broaden their minds are able to share their experiences and backgrounds. In this setting, the ‘others', as the media often relate to them, become ‘us', and the idea of a unity and community develops among people, even if dissimilar from one another. Therefore, religion, skin-colour, ideology, cultural background, sexuality become secondary priorities in choosing your friends.

Aryan's picture

The True Benefits of the Olympics writer Aryan looks at the differing opinions about London hosting the Olympics and comes to a novel conclusion.

"So it looks like the summer is finally back. While many of us may not have seen our beloved Sol since way back in April, its timely return has coincided with the dawning of the grandest worldwide event of the year. The sun is shining brightly on the British Isles, the athletes are warming up, and thousands of spectators from all over the world are waiting eagerly in gates of Olympia!

Well, Stratford.

I am, of course, referring to the Olympic Games, the longest running international sporting event in history, its inception dating back over two thousand years. Granted there was a fairly lengthy hiatus during its run - several hundred years, to be precise (longer even than Doctor Who was off the air) - but since its revival in 1896 it has been going strong, developing into a global event in which almost every nation in the world participates, an impressive feat in itself.

Angelique's picture

British Students’ Love of the Arts

Angelique is originally from the Seychelles and has recently finished as a Law student at the University of London. Here she looks at one of the differences she has noticed between British and international students.

Each September, thousands of international students cross the border into the United Kingdom with the aspirations of attaining a degree, starting a new life and being submerged into a foreign culture. Months pass and quizzical looks emerge as Britain and British students reveal their oddities. The mind of an international student only wonders: "Are we right or are they right? Or maybe it's just a cultural thing". However, no one dares ask but sits there always wanting to know.

Studying the Arts at University

Higher education for international students is seen as a great opportunity and often difficult to attain with the high cost of living in the United Kingdom and excruciating tuition fees. Therefore, international students are always perplexed when told that a student chose to study Philosophy (for example) at university because they enjoyed it or had an interest in it. Many British students simply love the arts, such as philosophy, history of art, languages, photography, film production or illustrations. I wasn't sure if this was just my bias, but then I found this table:

Tessa's picture

International Student UK Culture Shocks

A month ago, we featured a post about a Dutch student studying in America. Tessa ten Cate had started her own blog called with loads of brilliant images pointing out the common problems and differences that international students face in a new country.

She has recently moved to London and so has a whole new country to pick out the differences for. Here she describes her early experiences of the UK and shows us some of her brand new images:

"So far London has been great! Monday through Thursday every week I am in class, but on the weekends I have been exploring London as much as possible. This isn't my first time in London so I had seen the majority of the main tourist sights before, but it was great going back and taking photos of everything.

It has also been an experience getting around the city on my own this time. I have walked many places, taken the tube tons, and used the railway trains too. Of course one of the main things that has taken a while to get used to is that all traffic drives on the left and that pedestrians stay to the left as much as possible too."

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