On education in Europe and the USA

Clever Magazine
United Kingdom Student life Daria Bella Matuznaia

An International Student's Perspective: the Top Ten Things I Love About Living in England

When I moved to England three and a half years ago, I had no expectations or thoughts on what I would face. I haven't been there before choosing it, nor did I have any close friends there. It was a new world that I was about to discover. To my great surprise, I found my second home there.


"Damp swells the wood, furs the kettle, rusts the iron, rots the stone"
This is how great English weather is, not only for Virginia Woolf but for everyone living on this island. The air is full of water. This is what makes the weather simultaneously so unpredictable and beautiful. Also, we shouldn't forget that humans are sixty per cent of water, which explains our nostalgia for the sea while working in stone jungles, or the romantic feeling that grows inside us during the cosy rainy evenings. To me, it's simply cohesion. As it plays such a significant role for the Brits and foreigners, we often complain about the weather and, on average, spend six months of our lives talking about it.

Some find it depressing as it ruins weekend plans and sometimes even summers. However, for a pluviophile like myself, rain is peaceful. Raindrops freshen the air, leave nature saturated all year long and clear our heads, helping to develop ideas or distract us from problems. Therefore, the weather is one of the reasons that makes England so attractive and inspiring.


Those who have experienced living in a northern country probably know that the dull, grey nature doesn't benefit concentration and personal progress. However, being a northern country, nature in England leaves me breathless each time due to its unique climate. The all-year-long green and saturated nature results from the Gulf Stream and the rains.

The Gulf Stream brings warm water from the Caribbean to North West Europe. This keeps the climate in Britain warmer than other places at a similar latitude. The all-pervading moisture not only keeps the air always fresh and helps to maintain the streets clean, but also the rains are the reason why the grass and the trees remain so cheery.

No Mosquitoes

Despite the mosquito-favourable humid climate, these insects are rare guests in my personal space. Being a magnet for mosquitoes, I find it difficult to enjoy a day at the park without getting bitten. Nonetheless, living in the UK allows me to create a more enjoyable study environment. While constantly spending time outside, I was only bitten two times in three years.


Mass shootings are always on the news. In the United States, they occur almost every week, and unfortunately, the US schools are uniquely terrible at protecting kids. According to the CDC, the number of murders involving firearms in the United States in 2020 was 19,384. In contrast, it took one school shooting almost thirty years ago for the UK to introduce one of the strictest gun controls in the world. In today's Britain, all handguns and semi-automatic rifles are prohibited by law.

When it comes to manually loaded rifles, an individual is required to go through a difficult process of receiving a gun licence from the police. The police also regularly check on gun owners. This gives students a sense of protection, especially when far away from home.


Having attended a British school and now a British university, I got to know British people quite well. For me, this nation can be characterised as kind, empathetic and helpful. Whether you are lost or carrying a heavy suitcase, someone would definitely be willing to give you a hand. Living in such a bonded community creates a feeling of being welcomed, which to me, is an important quality when choosing a country to study.


The population of Britain is very diverse; it isn't called a melting pot of culture for nothing. British identity is no longer represented by one particular culture, but instead, the variety of languages, cuisines, and religions that are mixed together, creating a beautiful combination of today's Britain. For an international student, it is an opportunity to not only create connections all over the world but also to introduce others to your own culture. My friend group currently consists of four different nationalities, and it feels like a large family to me.

Strong Culture

Even though diversity is strong in the UK, it's incorrect to say that the UK is devoid of national colour. There are certain positive stereotypes that appear to be true, such as punctuality, five o'clock tea and great music taste. I will never get used to the Beatles or other classic rock playing in taxis, to the confidence of building my schedule up to every minute, without worrying that something can go wrong, or the crowds outside pubs every Friday. All these factors give the UK its charisma, which creates a desire to stay.

Local Food

If we are what we eat, I'm definitely Irish butter, as salted Kerrygold takes a special place in my heart. Despite the variety of imported products and a stereotype that English food is quite poor, local farmers produce champion dairy. Great cheese, milk, yoghurts and the aforementioned butter are made naturally, using traditional recipes and less machinery.

Many of the farmhouse cheese-makers produce in a time-honoured fashion that has been handed down through families for generations. In some areas, farmhouse cheese-making using traditional techniques is practised by just one producer. Therefore, these products have a unique taste that you can find only in Britain and rapidly get addicted to them.

Geographical Location

As an international student, I highly appreciate the opportunity to be home every long weekend and holiday. The geographical location of the UK allows me to see my family and friends much more often, as it only takes me about five hours to get home. I feel less homesick and not forced to completely change my life due to my studies.

Opportunities for personal growth

2,500 museums, 3,667 public libraries, 27,000 parks and green spaces, as well as 160 different universities are located on the 243,600 km of British land. The cultural heritage of this country is in the air, and it enchants everyone who decides to live there. It is impossible to get bored from the variety of opportunities that the United Kingdom provides, even if you are hard to surprise. Whether your interests lie in the field of art, science, history or politics, no doubt that you will find a place that captures your attention. As a writer, I have never struggled with inspiration while living in England. There wasn’t a day when I was not fascinated by a new discovery, be it a small object or a spacious location.