How much do you know about UK? Is it just the bad weather? Although it’s a country we may have heard a lot about, there are still many interesting things that make it unique other than its unpredictable weather. If you’re considering studying in UK, read more about the country in this guide.
The United Kingdom is the biggest island in the continent of Europe. It consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and many islands around the world. The country is surrounded by water, having only one land border with Ireland.
Quick facts about UK
The United Kingdom is located in northwestern Europe and it comprises an area of 242,900. There’s an important thing you need to know about UK at the beginning. Technically, the full name of the country is The United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland, but it’s commonly referred to as the United Kingdom. Its population exceeds 63 million, with London, its capital, counting for over 8 million of them. Other big UK cities include Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Bristol, Belfast, Leicester, etc. The official spoken language is English and their currency is the sterling pound. Its political definition is that of a parliamentary monarchy. The United Kingdom is one of the greatest countries in the world, playing a major and a central role in global politics and economy.
A brief history of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom or The United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland has a long history hard to be traced to its first stages. The scientific interpretation of the UK and its people is that the area which today is known as the British country, was first inhabited during the Ice Age thousands of years ago.
Referring to this theory, at that time the land mass of the UK was attached to the other part of the continent.
Until the first union of Scotland and England Kingdom in a kingdom called Great Britain in 1707, the UK can’t be thought as a sovereign country. In 1800 a treaty was signed to join Ireland in the union.
The Union came to as of the most influential and strongest country in the world. As of the start of 20th century, the UK had a quarter of the world’s land under its control. In the aftermath of World War II, the country lost control of many of its colonies. Today, the UK contains the Britain island, the Northern Ireland and some other islands in the area around. Until a referendum held in 2016, the UK was a member of the European Union. However, its role in global processes is still unprecedented.
The British Culture
As for every other country, the most breathtaking thing you’ll learn about the UK is the British culture. Having such a long history and containing a diverse community, you will meet an exceptional culture. Britons boast on a large number of one-of-a-kind and historical places which attract tourists from all over the world.
Many people enjoy going to the UK because of its rich history and because there is so much to do! On this site, you can check out some of the great things to do in the UK while studying there, but if you’re into history, this is the place to go. It’s perceived that their lives are much simpler than those in other countries (like the United States). If you want some great food, like bangers and mash, hot buttered crumpets, and Cornish pasties, then the UK is a good place to visit as well. And who doesn’t love tea time? All in all, people enjoy the overall atmosphere of the country, which is why a lot of students decide to do either their undergraduate or their postgraduate studies in the UK.
If you find yourself in the middle of a typical British environment you’ll encounter many interesting traditions, delicious food, breathtaking nature views, folk music, old stories and tales and more to recount their rich culture. It compasses different lifestyle; starting from the urban metropolis to the old quite villages. The architectural display is unique too. Its most impressive architectural structures came in different shape and styles and represent different ages of the British architecture. You wouldn’t reject the joy of visiting one of the eight miracles in the world: the Stonehenge. Or you might like to visit any of its numerous old castles spread all over the country, like for example the tower of London. Or maybe you would like to have a walk under the hedges in Ireland.
On the other hand, although the official language is English, there are many dialects and accents that will get you by surprise when moving from place to place. In fact, because the United Kingdom comprises of four countries, it has a number of regional languages other than English that have their own differences. Even if you move by less than a hundred kilometers you’ll notice certain changes in spoken language.
Moreover, British universities are some of the best universities in the world. Not by accident the UK is numbering the second highest number of foreign students. Today that many people of different nations live in the UK, the culture is more diverse and richer. Frankly speaking, the UK it’s a place where the old meets the modern in entire life spheres. You’ll love everything about UK even its people who you may have thought aren’t friendly.
Now, we’ll give you some British traditional foods and places you might want to visit when landing the UK.
Places to visit in the United Kingdom:
- York Minster, York
- Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
- The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
- Castel Coch, Wales
- Mealt Fall, Skye
- Shetland Isle
- Hadrian’s Wall
A list of UK traditional foods
- Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
- Fish and chips
- Toad in the hole
- Scones and clotted cream
- Cumberland sausage
- Shepherd’s pie
- Lancashire hotpot, etc.
You’re just a decision far from having an unforgettable experience.
The UK education system
Every word you say about the UK education system is abundant. The United Kingdom education system is one of the most eminent in the world. Many countries in the world actually adopted the British school system with minor changes. Some of the British universities are worldwide known for their outstanding quality with particular ones topping the global rankings.
Britons start their education at the very young age, usually at three. At the minimum, they’re obliged to finish secondary school (compulsory education). The British education system has in total five stages: early years, primary years, secondary education, Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE). With its world-class universities, advanced programs, and teaching, the UK education system is a magnet for the international students. They share a significant part of the British student population. The UK universities are home to more than a million foreign students. These figures make the country the second most popular study destination after the US.
More details about the UK education system.
The UK weather
One of the most recognizable traits about the UK is its climate; it rarely goes below freezing there during the winter months (It is coldest in January and February), and it rarely goes above 32°C (90°F) during the summer months. Because it comprises a larger area its climate is a bit diverse, but in overall all country has a unique clime. Those who have lived there for a long time are used to the damp, rainy, and often changing weather. If you’ve seen movies that are set in the UK, you will note that it is often raining in those movies; you’d be surprised to know that that is quite accurate, especially if you live near the western border of England or in the Lake District! Rainfall can happen even during the coldest months of winter; snow is rare but it has been known to happen.
Common misconceptions about UK
Misconceptions are an inherent part of a country, and the UK makes no exemption to this. There are many misconceptions established about UK. At a certain level, we all have heard stories around them like for every country in the world. Nobody knows how did they come out. Eventually, their over-use made them popular so people thought them to be true. Some of them may have sounded very odd to us. Here are some of them
Britain is not the same as the UK
Probably the most common misconceptions about UK. The notion Great Britain or just Britain it only comprises the England, Scotland, and Wales, leaving out the Northern Ireland, which is also a part of the United Kingdom. Officially the country’s name is The United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland. Furthermore, there are some people who still confound England and the United Kingdom; they refer to the later on stating the first. This can sound offensive to a Scotish or a Wales citizen, so keep this in mind.
One of the weirdest on this list maybe. Probably you’ve heard it before. The truth is that a Briton won’t drink a beer way hotter than yours. British people are known as people who drink a lot and this story could have stemmed from this fact.
Britons drink too much tea
Well, that’s not too far from the truth. It is said that the UK is ranked third worldwide in tea consuming. But that doesn’t mean every British citizen drinks tea. Some statistics note that on average 165 million cups of teas are consumed in the UK.
Not all Britons love the Royal family
Although the majority of UK citizens share a positive opinion about the Queen there are many who don’t in reality. It’s just another misconception about the UK and its people.
British like the weather either
The first thing it comes to one’s mind when you think about the UK. The weather in the UK is boring, right? Well, you’re free to say it even when you’re in the UK. British people also don’t like it because of the changeability that makes it distinct from the rest of the world. It’s not that it rains every moment, but you just can’t plan your day because every moment it can start.
They all have bad teeth
If you have watched Simpsons you probably remember an episode when a patient into good oral hygiene goes to the dentist. The doctor scares him by giving the Big Book of British Smiles. The book featured people with bad teeth, so you can guess the humor here. However, it’s not just a misconception. Just like in other societies there are people who may have dental problems, but it doesn’t mean it is a typical British issue.