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Living in a new culture is sometimes difficult. However, it can also be very interesting. Living in a foreign country can open new doors, introduce you to new ways of thinking, and give you the opportunity to make friends from a different culture.

Some of you might experience “culture shock” after arriving in the UK. “Culture shock” is the emotional discomfort some people feel when they live in another country. Certainly, many things will be different for you. Here are some examples:

  • Being unable to speak the language well
  • Not understanding the “social rules”
  • Not knowing how to speak to teachers
  • Not knowing how to use the telephone or postal services 

When you come to live in the UK you might experience some of the following aspects of “culture shock” 

  • Sadness and loneliness
  • Worries about your health 
  • The desire to sleep too much or too little 
  • Feeling powerless 
  • Not wanting to interact with people from the UK/other countries 
  • Loss of identity 
  • Lack of confidence 
  • Feeling “useless” 

If you get these feelings DON’T WORRY! These are normal reactions and you are not alone.  A lot of international students will experience the same feelings as you. After some time you will adjust to living in the UK. You will learn the “rules”.


Please note that at Cornerstone College you will have a Personal Tutor who will help you to integrate into the British way of life. We also have a Welfare Officer (Alma & Dr. Chuks) and a group of student volunteers who can help you during your time at Cornerstone. In addition, you can help yourself in the following ways:

Make an effort to talk to British people.

  • Write about the new things you experience every day. Writing things down will help you keep them in perspective. When you read them later they’ll make you laugh
  • Play some games/sports. You will feel better, meet new people and keep fit.
  • Try to see something of value in every new experience and challenge.
  • Join a club. Ask your Personal Tutor about this.
  • Accept the UK; it’s just different to your country.  

·      Focus on improving your English. If you do not develop your language you can never be fully successful.

·      Find a community and social group like a faith-based group to attend and be connected to.


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