River Thames, London

Living in UK >

Cope With Culture Shock in the UK - Useful Tips

By Lenna Ntala

Free International Moving Quotes

Summary: Expats in the UK sometimes expect an easy transition, but end up finding it hard to assimilate. Lenna Ntala shares tips for dealing with culture shock in the UK.

Living in England - Cope With Culture Shock in the UK

Culture shock is the feeling of loneliness, insecurity or confusion that can occur to you when you move to a new country. If you have just immigrated to the UK and you feel the first symptoms, read on for specific tips and advice of how to cope with culture shock in the UK.

Be Prepared

Familiarise yourself with the concept of culture shock and accept it as normal. Bear in mind that most people went through this process when they first arrived in the UK, whether it was a long and intense period or a short period of time consisting of a few days. This will help you realise that what you are going through is temporary. Discuss how you feel with other immigrants. You will find plenty of people who are going through the same, especially if you live in a multi-cultural city, such as London or Leicester.

Make friends with the British

Don't hesitate to try to make friends with the locals. Having friends in your host country will make you feel like home. Join the gym or classes you are interested in. Apart from a great opportunity to meet people with similar interests, this will reduce your stress levels. Most English Universities have Societies with different interests; if you are a student, identify them and become a member. Avoid inviting new friends or colleagues to your home. They may be unwilling to enter the house of a person they don't know very well. Instead, invite them for a drink at the local pub.

Avoid stereotypes

There are so many stereotypes about the British and most of them are not true. Try to forget all about them if you want to integrate fast. The fewer stereotypes you have, the shorter the culture shock will last, as you will realise that, beneath the surface, everyone is the same. Even if you have had a negative experience, try not to generalise.

Learn the language

If English is not your first language, you may find it difficult to understand what people say and communicate with them. Take English classes before and/or after you move to the UK. Take every opportunity to speak with the locals. Do not be over-concerned about your foreign accent or the mistakes you might make in grammar. At this stage, the important thing is for you to become more confident when using your English. Most British people will appreciate your effort to learn their language.

Keep in contact with your roots

By all means keep in close contact with your friends and family back home. Thanks to Skype and the various networking sites, this is really easy. If you live in a big city, such as London, find convenience stores, restaurants and bakeries with products from your country. If you are religious, find out where you can practise your religion. Find the neighbourhood where people from your country usually live and consider renting a home in this neighbourhood. When you are in Britain, you will have plenty of opportunities to interact with British people; it will be nice, though, if you also find people from your own country to hang out with.

How excited are you about moving to the UK?

Before you move to the UK, examine your motives, as the intensity of culture shock will largely depend on them. Do you really want to move to the UK, or are you just doing it because your partner has been offered a good job here or your parents want you to study in an English university? Many people who fall under the second category never really integrate as they are only waiting for the day they will be able to return to their countries. However, if you really want to meet new people and you think that living in a foreign country is an exciting experience, you have taken the first step towards overcoming culture shock.

About the Author

This article was originally published in Move to England. Move to England is your complete guide to immigrating to England and the UK. It contains top tips about getting a visa, studying, finding a job and accommodation and living in the UK.

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UK from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Join our UK Expat Forum

Visit our UK Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in , UK.

More about UK

Healthcare-in-the-UK

Healthcare in the UK

Expats in the U.K. are able to utilize the public health care system, which is managed by the NHS. Many expats want to have private health insurance to help reduce wait times and several other reasons. Read for more details on how to navigate the system.

Expats in the U.K. are able to utilize the public health care system, which is managed by the NHS. Many expats want to have private health insurance to help reduce wait times and several other reason...

Moving-to-London

Moving to London

Expats describe London as a love it or hate it city. With it's high cost of living and rainy weather, it's not for everyone. But, those who move to London and love it will tell you that the city's tremendous diversity, vibrant nightlife, incredible restaurants and varied neighborhoods.

Expats describe London as a love it or hate it city. With it's high cost of living and rainy weather, it's not for everyone. But, those who move to London and love it will tell you that the city's t...

10-Tips-for-Living-in-the-United-Kingdom

10 Tips for Living in the United Kingdom

Expats in the United Kingdom live in one of the most sought after destinations in the world. Its four countries - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - offer expats a broad range of expatriate experiences.

Expats in the United Kingdom live in one of the most sought after destinations in the world. Its four countries - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - offer expats a broad range of expatri...

5-Tips-for-Living-in-St-Albans,-England

5 Tips for Living in St Albans, England

Expats living in St Albans live in a suburb with a very easy commute to London. Almost all of the areas within St Albans are desirable. In addition to a lot of options for enjoying the great outdoors, there's plenty of shopping, dining, and pubs.

Expats living in St Albans live in a suburb with a very easy commute to London. Almost all of the areas within St Albans are desirable. In addition to a lot of options for enjoying the great outdoor...

5-Tips-for-Living-in-Hassocks,-England

5 Tips for Living in Hassocks, England

Expats living in Hassocks live in a suburb with a relatively easy commute to London. It's proximity to the South Downs and Brighton make Hassocks a small town worth considering a London suburb.

Expats living in Hassocks live in a suburb with a relatively easy commute to London. It's proximity to the South Downs and Brighton make Hassocks a small town worth considering a London suburb....

Cost-of-Living-in-London

Cost of Living in London

The cost of living in London routinely ranks among the highest in the world. Here is some basic information about the realities of living in London and what you'll need to consider when deciding whether or not to move there.

The cost of living in London routinely ranks among the highest in the world. Here is some basic information about the realities of living in London and what you'll need to consider when deciding whet...

Living-in-London

Living in London

If you're a global nomad in London or living in London, expats there have a lot to share to newcomers. Here are 11 things to know about living in London.

If you're a global nomad in London or living in London, expats there have a lot to share to newcomers. Here are 11 things to know about living in London....

Best-Neighborhoods-in-London

Best Neighborhoods in London

Here's a guide to the best neighborhoods in London. There are a lot of options for a lot of different situations. We'll be adding new neighborhoods and updating it regularly.

Here's a guide to the best neighborhoods in London. There are a lot of options for a lot of different situations. We'll be adding new neighborhoods and updating it regularly. ...

Moving-to-London

Moving to London

Expats describe London as a love it or hate it city. With it's high cost of living and rainy weather, it's not for everyone. But, those who move to London and love it will tell you that the city's tremendous diversity, vibrant nightlife, incredible restaurants and varied neighborhoods.

Expats describe London as a love it or hate it city. With it's high cost of living and rainy weather, it's not for everyone. But, those who move to London and love it will tell you that the city's t...

International-Schools-in-London

International Schools in London

Families moving to London who are interested in an American curriculum, IB program or bi-lingual education for their children, may be interested in these popular expat schools.

Families moving to London who are interested in an American curriculum, IB program or bi-lingual education for their children, may be interested in these popular expat schools. ...

Cigna International Health Insurance

Write a Comment about this Article

Sign In to post a comment.
addacomment

First Published: Oct 08, 2011

River Thames, London
Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UK from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

10-Expats-Talk-about-What-Its-Like-Moving-to-the-UK10 Expats Talk about What It's Like Moving to the UK

Expats talk about what it was like moving to the UK. Topics covered include meeting people, NHS, culture shock and more.
Expats talk about what it was like moving to the UK. Topics covered include meeting people, NHS, culture shock and more....

Living-in-LondonCost of Living in London

The cost of living in London routinely ranks among the highest in the world. Here is some basic information about the realities of living in London and what you'll need to consider when deciding whether or not to move there.

The cost of living in London routinely ranks among the highest in the world. Here is some basic information about the realities of living in London and what you'll need to consider when deciding whet...

Expats-in-LondonLiving in London

If you're a global nomad in London or living in London, expats there have a lot to share to newcomers. Here are 11 things to know about living in London.

If you're a global nomad in London or living in London, expats there have a lot to share to newcomers. Here are 11 things to know about living in London....

Moving-To-SheffieldAn Expat Talks about Moving to Sheffield, UK

An expat in discusses renting a home in Sheffield, England. The red tape involved in finding a rental can be challenging (i.e. a 3 year history of utility bills) coupled with the high cost of housing.

An expat in discusses renting a home in Sheffield, England. The red tape involved in finding a rental can be challenging (i.e. a 3 year history of utility bills) coupled with the high cost of housing...

Copyright 1997-2021 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal