Life in the UK: A Guide for International Students

Students sitting on grass outside campus

What's it like living in the UK as an international student?

The UK offers the best of both worlds to international students who come here to live and study. Discover exciting major cities filled with culture, history and architecture, as well as acres of beautiful green countryside to explore.

UK culture

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland make up the United Kingdom. Living in Guildford, which is close to the capital city, you will be in the ideal place to experience what life in Britain is really like.

The UK is a culturally diverse country with a rich history. It is the home of world-leading fashion brands, international music artists, famous sports teams and an unrivalled sense of humour.

Many UK citizens were born in or have parents who were born in a different country. This helps to make the population, the culture and the food wonderfully diverse.

Exciting history

The UK has a long and interesting history for you to explore, from early human settlements, to kings and queens, to great innovation. You can easily visit a wide range of historical sites and museums by train or coach, including:


Take a trip to a world-famous prehistoric monument. This stone circle is more than 5,000 years old and its purpose is still a mystery.

Hampton Court Palace

Uncover hidden stories from Britain’s royal history at the home of England’s notorious former king – Henry VIII.

The Science Museum

Be inspired by stories of incredible scientific achievement through award-winning exhibitions at the home of human innovation in London.


The UK has the perfect blend of tranquil landscapes and bustling cities. When you are a student here you will have a choice of many beautiful and unique parts of the English countryside to visit, such as:

Lake District National Park

Explore England’s largest National Park. You can take in the World Heritage-listed scenery from a boat on Lake Windermere or climb England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike.

British Wildlife Centre

Visit the British Wildlife Centre right here in Surrey. The centre is dedicated to educating the public on the challenges faced by native animals living in the wild.

Campus life

The University of Surrey’s peaceful lakeside campus is located close to the Surrey Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You will live and learn surrounded by tranquil countryside, with the town of Guildford and Central London within easy reach.

Weather in Guildford, UK

The UK experiences all four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Guildford is located in South East England, which usually experiences slightly higher temperatures than other parts of the UK.

July is Guildford's sunniest month, with an average temperature of 16°C. This drops to 4°C during February, and October is the town's rainiest month. You can expect some rain at most times of the year wherever you are in the UK, and it snows occasionally during winter.

Travel in the UK and beyond


The national rail network covers most of the UK, including cities, towns and some villages. Student discounts are offered on most journeys. Guildford railway station has regular services departing for London. From here, trains connect to all four corners of the UK and mainland Europe.


Regular coach services travel between cities and popular tourist destinations, such as Stonehenge. The two main coach companies in the UK are National Express and Megabus. This is often the cheapest way to travel around the UK.


Guildford is convenient for reaching two of the UK’s largest international airports: London Heathrow and London Gatwick. Flights depart for destinations within the UK and Europe, such as Edinburgh and Paris, and right around the world.

Travelling long distances by road in the UK can take a long time. It is often faster to take an internal flight. For example, it can take more than seven hours to drive from London to Edinburgh, whereas the flight time is just over one hour

Local buses and taxis

All UK cities and towns have bus services. Taxis can be expensive if you’re travelling alone, but they are common and easy to use. Walking and cycling are both popular choices of travel in the UK – with cycling lanes all around the town.


Is the UK good for international students?

The UK is an excellent choice for international students as it offers a diverse range of high-quality universities, an exciting student experience and great graduate job opportunities.

Is it hard to get a job in the UK as an international student?

The ease of finding a job while you study in the UK can vary. It is not uncommon for businesses to hire students on a part-time basis. However, it is important to remember that, as an international student you can only work 20 hours a week during term time.

Can I find a job in the UK after studying?

Finding a job in the UK after studying is possible, but it depends on factors such as your qualifications, skills and the demand for your field in the job market.