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UK attitudes and values
It is not just a useless platitude that the UK is an open and multicultural society. It is a fact that has a massive impact on how we live and also on how comfortable international students are in the country. In the UK it is possible not only to meet a wide variety of people but also to feel accepted yourself for who you are no matter where you are from.
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Here are some of the most famous attitudes and values in British people and culture, and why they contribute to improve student life for all.
The UK is one of the most tolerant societies in the world, with people being open to the inclusion of all without emphasis on their ethnic background, sexual orientation or place of origin. Although levels with diversity vary in different parts of the country, you don’t need to be in London to feel the tolerance and respect that British people have for others. Overall this is great not just for British postgraduates leaving their communities for the first time but also for international postgraduates who fear how welcome they will be as a ‘foreigner’ in a new country.
If on the off-chance you do encounter some unseemly behaviour, UK laws on discrimination, harassment and other problems students face are extremely stringent. This means that if you ever experience a problem, you will have the law handily on your side.
‘Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps’ is a tradition dear to many people in the UK and one that is reflected in British universities. People from all kinds of socioeconomic backgrounds are present at UK universities meaning that the amount of money you have is not a factor in your social acceptance. As long as you work hand and to the best of your ability, there is no discrimination or bias against those who have came from humbler beginnings.
Tight-knit communities are the staple of British society and that is often reflected well in university cities and towns. Whether you study in Bath or Bangor, the sense of welcoming and community is palpable between students and the residents of their area. Because university students are often involved in philanthropic projects that benefit communities, it is easy to get involved and feel local pride for a place even when you are an ‘outsider’.
In addition to all these serious notes on British attitudes and values, perhaps the most distinguishing part of the British character is humour. British people are the masters of jokes and satire, and everyone from cab drivers to Prince Charles are known for cracking a good quip or two. Humour is a great part about British attitudes and culture because it helps put people at ease and also to help them feel part of the society.
The strange and quirky traditions of the UK are often things that British people take for granted but serve to delight and bemuse the international visitors. Whether it is our love of the Queen or our need for a Sunday Roast, traditions are what make Britain interesting. But just because our traditions are old does not mean we are not willing to incorporate the new. British people respect the past at the same time as embracing change, meaning even the oldest of universities retain their old-style charm while still being excellent modern institutions.
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