Culture shock

It is normal to experience ‘culture shock' – the shock of moving to a new environment, meeting lots of new people and learning the ways of a different country. As you adjust to life in Edinburgh you may find the British climate, food and people very different to what you have been used to at home. To help you adapt to your new surroundings and deal with your initial feelings of ‘culture shock', you may find it useful to visit the UKCISA website to find out more about the various adjustment stages that you may encounter. The good news is that culture shock and homesickness are normally temporary phases that will subside as you become more involved in University life.

Please visit Foreign Students British Culture Guide for an insight into aspects of UK culture.

There are some steps you can take to manage culture shock:

  • Prepare – visit our guidance on what you can do to prepare before you arrive in the UK
  • Get involved – after you have arrived find out about what clubs and activities are available to you on campus. Spending time with other students can help you feel less isolated. Keeping busy will also help ward off any feelings of homesickness. You can also find lots of useful information in our student A-Z Guide which may help with the settling in process
  • Food from home – cook food that you are used to eating at home with your family. Most supermarkets have sections for International foods and there are also a number of International food stores in Edinburgh. Introducing your new flatmates to a new cuisine can be fun and a great way to introduce others to your own culture
  • Stay in touch – schedule specific times for calls with your family. University life can be hectic so make time to keep up connections. Visit our Practical Information pages for guidance on phone and internet access