Before you arrive
Information for new students
Questions and answers about life in the UK
Q: What’s it like to live in the UK?
A: United Kingdom consists of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. People from all around the world, of all cultures, beliefs and religions live here. The UK has a vibrant and cosmopolitan feel that will make you feel welcome.
Q: What’s it like to live in Brighton?
A: Brighton is located on the South Coast of England, close to London. The city is easy to get around on foot, and it has beautiful architecture, interesting shops, restaurants and a beach, making it the perfect place to live and study.
Q: What’s the weather like?
A: The weather in the UK changes often, but it is not extremely hot or cold. It could rain and be sunny all in one single afternoon. It is a good idea to pack a coat to bring with you. During the summer, in some parts of the country temperatures may reach 20 degrees and in the winter they do not often drop below 0 degrees Celsius.
Q: How will I meet people and make friends?
A: To help you settle in, we will organise fun events where you can meet your new teachers and classmates. You can also get involved with sports, societies and groups at the University of Sussex, or go along to fun student events taking place on campus.
Q: What if I can’t speak English very well and need to improve my language skills?
A: Learning a new language can take some time, so try not to worry if your English language skills need improvement. You can help others understand you more easily by speaking clearly and slowly, and repeating yourself when necessary. If you don’t understand someone, you can politely ask them to repeat what they have said. Over time you will become confident and comfortable with speaking, writing and reading in English. You will also start to understand different accents from around the country, slang words and phrases.
Q: Will I be able to find food from my home country?
A: There are food shops on campus, and shops and supermarkets that sell food from around the world in Brighton, so you will be able to find what you’re looking for. There are also many restaurants that serve food from around the world, so you’ll be able to eat food that reminds you of home.
Q: What if I get homesick?
A: Moving to a different country to study is exciting, and many students also feel a little nervous as they prepare to leave their home. It is normal to feel this way. We will do everything we can to help you settle in, so that you can be comfortable and happy living in Brighton and the UK. The teachers and staff at the ISC are always here for you if you need to speak to someone.
Q: Who can I talk to about my problems?
A: You can always talk to our tutors and staff at the International Study Centre – they are friendly, understanding and here to help you. There is also a whole range of support services at the University of Sussex, where you can get free and confidential advice.
Q: What can I do to help me settle in?
A: Once you join us at the International Study Centre, you can take advantage of two great schemes organised by the University of Sussex Students’ Union:
- Language Café – practice your language skills and make new friends
- Buddy Scheme – settle in to student life faster by partnering up with a supportive student at Sussex.