International student life at Nottingham and life in the UK

We are here to help you adjust to life in the UK wherever in the world you are joining us from. 

We understand there may be differences like the food and the weather, but we are here to guide you through life as a new student in Nottingham.  

Starting a university course in the UK is an exciting new opportunity, but don't worry if you feel a little overwhelmed at first. Read on for our top tips on settling in during your first few weeks.  


What to expect in the UK

  • Weather and temperature change with the seasons, and the UK is known for some unpredictable weather. Summer can reach hot temperatures, and in winter it can snow
  • Food and drink vary in the UK, and Nottingham has a diverse range of food and drink available. You will find restaurants and shops in Nottingham selling all types of cuisine
  • Fashion varies and people in the UK celebrate different styles of clothes. We all respect how other people choose to dress
  • Equality and diversity in the UK is encouraged and supported, and there are laws against discrimination. Respect other people's cultures and beliefs. Find out more about our standards of behaviour
  • Safety is a priority. Nottingham is generally a safe and friendly city. Be aware of keeping yourself, your home, and your belongings safe. Read more about noticing calls from financial scammers and our guide to personal safety
  • Privacy is important. Students are treated as independent adults. Your data is confidential. Find out more in our privacy policy


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University life, new skills, and study support

A degree from a British university is valued worldwide. The UK has high academic standards, and you will learn new skills including critical thinking, analysing evidence, decision making, and more.  

Depending on your course you will study and learn in varied ways including lectures, seminars, workshops and meetings with your tutor. Coursework and study will include essays, research, group projects and presentations. 

You will need to organise your work and complete your work on time. If you have not studied in the UK before it is normal to find this difficult at first, but you will adjust over time, and we can help you.  

Helpful links to support you: 

British Council: online course


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Making friends and settling in

Global Buddies

Our Students Union Global Buddies scheme is a great way to start talking to current students in Nottingham. You will have a student mentor who can help you settle in and meet other students at fun monthly meetups. 

Global Buddies

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Tips for your first few weeks

The first few weeks are an exciting time to explore Nottingham and make friends, but don’t forget to have time to relax too.  

You may find you feel homesick or experience culture shock, this is completely normal when you arrive in a new country. Here is some advice on things you can do: 

  • Check our 8-step guide for international students explaining what to do when you arrive  
  • Get a UK SIM card for your mobile phone 
  • Try joining a sports club or a society through our Students Union. There are many national, cultural and faith clubs too 
  • Stay connected with your friends and family back home 
  • Take time to relax. See our tips for mental health and wellbeing
  • Explore Nottingham city and our local attractions
  • Talk to other students, they might be feeling the same way and talking together can help 
  • Find things to do which remind you of home, such as cooking food from your home country and meeting other students from the same country 
  • UKCISA has a helpful guide on how to deal with culture shock
  • Use our Welcome Kit for International Students to find out more about support, advice, and welfare services available to you 

Welcome Kit for International Students

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University Park

Visit our contact us page to find the most relevant contact details for your query