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Common Mistakes of UK International Students

Common mistakes of UK International students

International students often find the move to the UK a daunting prospect. With a new culture and way of life to adapt to, it’s easy to make mistakes that can affect your studies and everyday life.

To help you get off to a good start in the UK, here are some common mistakes that all international students should avoid.

1. Failing to prepare for cultural differences

The UK is home to people from many different backgrounds and cultures, so it can be easy to get caught off guard by differences in attitudes or behaviors compared to your home country. For example, communicating directly with professors or university staff may be seen as rude or inappropriate in other countries, whereas it’s perfectly acceptable in the UK. 

It’s important to research the local customs before moving to the UK so that you can better adapt and integrate into your new environment.

2. Not preparing for language barriers

Many international students experience difficulties with language upon arriving in the UK, whether due to difficulties understanding British accents or struggling with the English language itself. It’s important to take time to improve your language skills before moving to the UK, whether through attending classes or working with a language tutor. 

Additionally, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with common slang terms and phrases that are used in everyday conversation.

3. Not preparing for the academic culture

Studying in the UK often involves much more independent work than what you may be used to back home, so it’s important to get organized and plan ahead before classes begin. This includes familiarizing yourself with course materials and assignment guidelines, scheduling regular study sessions, and finding reliable resources for research purposes.

 Moreover, taking advantage of campus resources like writing centers or tutoring services can be helpful in ensuring you are well prepared for your classes.

4. Failing to manage finances​

Managing your money and budgeting responsibly is key to being successful as an international student in the UK. This includes setting a budget for living expenses, tracking your spending habits, paying bills on time, and taking advantage of any financial aid or scholarship opportunities that may be available to you. 

Additionally, it’s important to consider all the costs associated with moving abroad and adjust accordingly, whether by saving up in advance or seeking out part-time employment once you arrive.

5. Failing to make friends and build a support network

Making friends, getting involved in campus activities, and establishing connections with other students can be key to helping you feel more at home in the UK. This includes taking the time to attend meetups or student events, joining clubs and groups that interest you, or simply reaching out to others for help or guidance as needed. 

By putting in the effort to build meaningful relationships with others, you can help yourself feel more comfortable and confident during your time studying abroad.


As an international student in the UK, it is important to prepare for the many challenges and changes that come with moving to a new country. By avoiding common mistakes such as failing to prepare for cultural differences, language barriers, or academic expectations, you can set yourself up for success during your time in the UK. 

Additionally, by taking steps to manage your finances and build a supportive network of friends and peers, you can help ensure your experience as an international student is a positive and fulfilling one.


1. What should I do to prepare for my move to the UK as an international student?

There are several key steps you can take to prepare for your move to the UK, including familiarizing yourself with local customs and cultures, improving your language skills, and getting organized with your academic work. Additionally, it is important to plan ahead financially by setting a budget and exploring any scholarship or financial aid options available to you.

2. How can I improve my language skills in preparation for studying in the UK?

There are many different ways you can improve your language skills before moving to the UK, including taking classes or working with a tutor, familiarizing yourself with common slang terms and phrases used in everyday conversation, and seeking out resources like language learning apps or online dictionaries.

Additionally, you may consider joining student groups or activities that focus on language learning and culture to help build your confidence and improve your skills over time.

3. What resources can I use to help me manage my finances as an international student in the UK?

There are a variety of resources available to help you manage your finances effectively as an international student, including budgeting tools and apps, financial literacy guides or workshops, and opportunities to seek out financial aid or scholarships.

Furthermore, it may be helpful to connect with other students or recent graduates who have experience managing their money while studying abroad in order to learn from their experiences and get advice on how best to plan ahead financially.