The United Kingdom, made up of the countries of England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, is an island nation located in Northwestern Europe. The country has a unique political system, called a constitutional monarchy, with all the countries having their own sovereign governments while simultaneously being (somewhat ceremonially) represented by the crown. The U.K., particularly London, is a major financial center in the global market.
The United Kingdom is an almost perfect marriage between old tradition and new modern technology. The historic castles and legacies of monarchies gone by create an interesting contrast from the bright lights of the London skyline and its role as a leading financial and manufacturing center. Although any language barrier should not prevent you from studying abroad, if you are not as proficient in a foreign language, the U.K., being an English-speaking country Students interested in finance, manufacturing, history, and technology, will find the U.K. an ideal place to study abroad.
Neighborhoods in the United Kingdom provide a unique take on the diversity on this massive island. Advocacy is often represented through street art in London and Manchester. Night clubs become meeting spaces of artists and community organizers to engage in poetry and commandery. Cities like Dublin and London are where people of all backgrounds unite.
There are many scholarships to fund your study abroad experience. Here is a list of Diversity Abroad scholarships available for study in this country:
For more scholarships, visit http://www.diversityabroad.com/search/scholarships/united-kingdom
A couple of important links to help you stay healthy and secure while traveling to the U.K.:
If you have studied abroad in the U.K., consider creating a profile and sharing your experience. What you have to say could help inspire another student considering studying abroad. You can also submit an article to be considered for publication on our website.
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Also, here are some links to potential opportunities for students who have studied abroad and graduates interested in work opportunities in the U.K..
Note: These tips are intended to serve as an overview and are not exhaustive. Be sure to research your destination thoroughly as your identity can have a significant impact on your experience abroad.
Although the United Kingdom has not seen the same rate of immigration as European countries situated on the Mediterranean coast, growing xenophobia is still an issue. Despite this, black and Latino American students will likely be identified as American. While students may still experience instances of racism, and racism certainly exists, you should not expect to have any more problems than you would at home in the U.S.
The Asian population in the UK is growing, much like the rest of Western Europe. Despite the growing population, there is still a lack of awareness about Chinese and other Asian cultures. Asian American students studying abroad may experience disrespectful comments and instances of racism and many have been reported by Asian Britons. Although there are prejudice issues need to be addressed, they should not deter you from taking the opportunity to study in the U.K. Despite these issues, Chinatown in London is the hub of Japanese, Thai, and other Asian cultures in the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom is considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe when it comes to LGBTQ rights, with the government making strong efforts to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community. There are still some shortcomings, however. For example, same-sex marriage is still not legal in Northern Ireland. Also, there are still sporadic crimes against LGBTQ motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity. With this in mind, LGBTQ students should take any usual precautions about their social circle and activities, but should not have major problems while in the U.K. Additionally, with new movements of the intersectionality of religion and the LGBTQIA community, the UK at the forefront of these human rights.
Generally, the U.K. is very modern and accessible with public transportation, facilities and other infrastructure designed to meet the needs of the disabled population. The government also effectively enforces laws protecting the disabled. Students with disabilities should not have major issues finding adequate accommodations however, planning ahead is always advised, especially for trips to rural areas or outdoor activities. Public transportation in extremely accessible as well.
Christianity is the most widely practiced religion in the U.K., so Christian students will have no problem finding faith communities. Students that practice Islam will find a growing number of religious centers to worship in as the Muslim population continues to increase. There are also small communities, especially in London, of people who practice Hinduism or Buddhism. Muslim students should always be aware of growing Islamophobia, hate speech and violence in Europe. Muslim students should be vigilant, but will generally not experience major issues while in the U.K.
Gendered violence and sexual violence is generally low in the United Kingdom. The government effectively enforces laws against assault, domestic violence, and workplace discrimination. Women however, may experience catcalling in urban areas, and students and tourist should also be aware of pickpocketing and unwanted advances as trafficking is a growing problem. Despite these concerns, taking reasonable precautions should ensure safety while studying abroad. You should not anticipate any more trouble than the typical American environment.
Hear from a Diversity Abroad Alumni who studied abroad in London!
Are you ready for the UK? Here are few essential resources to help make your trip a success:
Diversity Abroad Tips
Have you visited or studied abroad in the United Kingdom? Share your most essential tips and most important do’s with other students who may want to travel there!
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