Tips to Help International Students Spending Christmas in the United Kingdom

Freelance Writer

Dec   2013



Wherever you are, Christmas is supposed to be the most magical time of the year. If you’re lucky enough to be spending it away in a foreign country this year, you’ll get to experience a whole new approach to December 25th. There’s a whole heap of amazing things to do at this time of year in the United Kingdom, and you may not even know where to start!

However, spending this holiday away from home can be quite daunting, especially if home is particularly far away. As well as making sure you have an amazing time at all of the wonderful events the country has to offer, it may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with a few useful facts regarding important things at this time of year. The team at Urbanest has compiled a list of some things to help you make the most of the festivities.

Public transport timetables vary slightly

If you rely on public transport like most students, it’s a really good idea to look into their timetables over the festive period so you don’t end up stranded. Keep up to date with news on sites like National Rail for all the latest info. Some travel providers also offer mobile phone apps with any important news, which will be a lifesaver. A lot of them are free too.

Store opening times will be different

The high streets and shopping centers will generally be open a little later in the evenings but will most likely be extremely busy for the month of December. So aim to get your Christmas shopping done early, make the most of the festive foods in the supermarket, and settle down with your friends in your cozy student accommodations, like those provided by Urbanest! Find other international students in the area and make the most of good company in the peace and quiet. Not all U.K. students will go home, so find out who is planning on staying. Some also may not have traveled very far and will be able to spend some quality time with you.

Doctors' surgeries will have different opening times

Knowing the opening dates and times of your local doctors and walk-in clinics will be really important, should there be any unfortunate incidents involving, for example, a sprained ankle and high heels at a Christmas party! And remember: if you’re ever in doubt and aren’t sure if your doctor’s office is open but you need medical attention, call 999.

Crime rates can pick up

Unfortunately, crime rates can increase this time of year, so it’s important to take certain steps to keep you as safe as possible so that nothing will spoil the festivities. A lot of that will of course involve basic common sense that you follow all year round, but for some extra tips to help, check out the Metropolitan Police’s Christmas safety tips.

Most of the United Kingdom will be significantly more cheerful at this time of year, so it’s not all bad! Happy Christmas!

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About Laura Barns

Based in the United Kingdom, Laura Barnes is an English and creative writing graduate with a passion for journalism, music, and traveling. She currently works in marketing and loves it, as each day is a little different.

You can follow Laura on Twitter.