Red bus in motion and Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster.

Your Quick London Culture Survival Guide

If you are studying in London and are now ready to move, congratulations! There is much to take in and absorb aside from your schooling and university requirements. This, of course, means immersing yourself in British culture and the social norms that come with it.

To get started, there are many cheap hostels in the heart of London that can cater to your needs in traversing the city and getting you easily connected to the various districts and places to explore.

An Overview of the British People

If you are about to start at university, you will be encountering a lot of different nationalities and cultures aside from the Brits. However, since you are in British soil, a quick lesson will not hurt. Being mindful as of other cultures and peoples you will encounter can help you gain new friends and acquaintances.

While some of these may not apply to long-time residents, remember these tips since you are new to the city.

  • Respect their privacy and they will respect yours. Maintain a decent amount of personal space.
  • Like in most cultures, being mindful and respectful of the elderly and disabled is expected of you. Be helpful when needed.
  • Be patient and wait in line.
  • The Brits are known to be polite, as they are also exposed to many different cultures. Do not forget to say ‘please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘sorry’.
  • If you have been invited to the house of a native (especially the first time), bring a gift, perhaps a bottle of wine, to say thanks. When with friends in a pub, buy the first round of drinks.

Arts and Culture

London is widely known to be one of the most culturally rich cities in the world. This is extended with how they value art and culture. With over 170 museums (11 of those national) and more than 17,000 musical acts per year, London is indeed a rich cultural space.

Take a visit to the O2 arena, an important and popular venue for music, or the British Museum, housing the Rosetta Stone that has been around since 196 BC. If you are a bookworm, London is home to more than 800 bookshops and over 300 public libraries, with one of them the British Library, housing the Magna Carta.

Aside from museums and bookshops, the British contribution to music is self-explanatory. Contributions from The Beatles, Pink Floyd, classical composers such as William Byrd, Hubert Harry, and Thomas Tallis, and modern-day artists such as Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Coldplay are among the most notable the city has to offer. A trip to the Wilton Music Hall and various musical festivals are sure to keep you interested in the local music scene.

Clothing and Fashion

woman wearing a coat and hat in a darkblue background

Fashion trends in the UK are similar to other western countries and societies. Business attires consist of the usual business suits with the elderly sticking to more traditional British trends and garments. Overcoats and jackets are also fairly common, especially during the wet weather. On a larger scale, London Fashion Week is a well-known event that generates more than 100 million pounds of orders and content seen in over 100 other countries.

There are so much more things to discover in London that this article barely covers the rich cultural history and traditions of the city. The exposure to different styles and cultures should come from you. Being a student in a university is one thing, but learning from another culture — in this case, the British culture — is a whole other experience in itself.

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