10 Things You Should NEVER Do In The United Kingdom

10 Things You Should NEVER Do In The United Kingdom

To start with, as an international student coming to the UK, it is important to understand and try to adapt to the culture. Nevertheless, we know how difficult it can be to know the do’s and don’ts  in the UK. Therefore we’ve put together a list of the 10 things you should NEVER do in the UK. It may take you a little time to get used to your surroundings and don’t be embarrassed to make mistakes. Moreover, your culture may be very different and it can be a little overwhelming at first. However, we’re confident that our list will help you avoid some of the most common pitfalls new students make when they arrive in the UK.

1. Call the United Kingdom “England”

It is important to know that the UK’s official full name is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is made up of 4 countries- Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Moreover, each country has its own distinctive culture, national identity, and government.

Nevertheless, nothing is more cringe-worthy than hearing someone say how “beautiful England is” when they are standing in front of Loch Ness in Scotland.

Also, calling someone from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland is seen as very offensive and you should not do it. If you are in any doubt, stick with calling someone British.

united kingdom study england

2. Small-talk

To be honest, when someone asks “How are you?” or “Alright?”, this is not a cue for you to tell them about your medical history and how your left nostril is a bit sore today. British people don’t care how you really are. Nevertheless, asking someone “how are you?” is part of civilities and small-talk in the UK. The correct answer to this question is “Fine, Thanks. How are you?”. Afterwards, the British person will then guide the conversation onto another topic, such as the weather.

3. Don’t block the escalators

 It is an unspoken rule in British society that the left-hand side of the escalator is reserved for those people who are in a hurry. If you want to stand still, you should stay on the right-hand side

escalator london underground uk student

 4. Ignoring the queuing system

Furthermore, another unspoken rule in British society is the art of queuing. Stay in line directly behind the person in front of you and wait your turn. Therefore, if everyone obeys the queuing rules, nobody gets angry.

5. Don’t forget your manners

British people are taught from a very young age to mind their “p’s and q’s”. This means to remember to say “please” and “thank you.” Forgetting to say these little words can make a big difference to how British people will react to you.

thank you manners international student hellouni

6. Greetings

British people are distant from meeting strangers. Hence, it is a cultural thing that physical contact is reserved for those with whom they feel comfortable around. Therefore, when you meet someone for the first time, shake their hand. However, do not give them a hug or kiss them on the cheeks unless they have otherwise said so.


7. Asking if they know the queen

There are  65.64 million people in the UK, not all of them know the Queen.


queen hellouni yellow

8. Doing a British Accent

First of all, no matter how many times you have practiced, your British accent is probably not that good. However, save it for a bit later once you’ve made good friends with a British person

9. Refusing a cup of Tea

Offering someone a cup of tea when they come to visit your house is a welcoming gesture. To refuse the cup of tea tells your host that you do not feel welcome in their house and can be seen as rude

teatime uk hellouni


10. Talking about religion or politics with someone you don’t know

These topics are not discussed openly in public and a lot of British people feel uncomfortable talking about this with someone they don’t know for fear of offending them.



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The Language Show: UK’s top Language Universities


The Language Show is the must-attend event for all members of the public who have a passion for languages, whether they are language professionals, teachers or just love languages.

Held in London between the 13th-15th of October 2017, the HelloUni team had the amazing opportunity to set up their very own stand during these three inspirational days, packed with educational seminars, language classes, live forums and cultural performances. Other than meeting language lovers, teachers and learners, we came across a few Universities around the UK that offer ambitious and competitive language modules and courses open to anyone. Below is a list of the top Universities providing excellent language programs, supported by high-quality teaching.


1. The University of Leeds

As one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK, Leeds offers an extensive range of courses and modules for those interested in learning a new language from scratch or for those who already have some knowledge of any languages, but wish to improve their level. The modules are designed to develop skills in reading, listening, speaking and writing. The language center at the University of Leeds offers modules in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Spanish as well as providing extensive English language programs and in-sessional support for international students. So, whether you are planning to study abroad or you would like to prepare for taking up an international placement, Leeds is definitely worth considering!


2. The University of Surrey

The University of Surrey is a public research university located in the South East of England. Specialised in science, engineering, medicine and business, the University is also well known for offering a wide range of language courses. Ranked in the top ten English departments by the Guardian University Guide 2018, English literature at Surrey is highly recommended and it’s focused on encouraging students to challenge themselves in an ambition but friendly environment. The University of Surrey also offers further top ranking undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs as well as evening language courses for beginners to advanced; these include English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.


3. The University of Kent

Awarded the highest rating in the UK’s Government Teaching Excellent Framework (TEF), Kent University is committed to the transformative power of education and research. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses taught by high-quality, world-leading academics, welcoming students from over 150 nationalities. International communication lies at the very heart of Kent’s internationalisation strategy and language learning represents a crucial part of this. Open to anyone who wants to learn a new language, the University of Kent offers modules in Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Greek, Portuguese and many more, encouraging all students and non-students to learn or improve any language.


4. The University of Essex

As the University of Essex defines itself: it is home to the curious, brave and bold, where exploring new ways of thinking and pushing boundaries is both encouraged and expected. At the University of Essex students and younger or older adults can choose to study a language in four different ways:

  • They can choose a module in French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese or Spanish by taking a language as part of their year degree;
  • As an undergraduate degree;
  • Learn a language alongside another degree at no additional cost;
  • Get the modern language certificate by learning French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese or Spanish, part-time from beginner to mastery level.

5. The London Metropolitan University

Commonly known as London Met, the London Metropolitan University is located in London, the heart of one of the most exciting cities in the world. The University offers an Open Language Program course that is aimed at individuals looking to learn or develop their knowledge of a language. The course includes Arabic, Arabic Business, Advanced English for Work and Study, Business English, English Language Advanced and Proficiency, French, German, Spanish and Spanish for Business and Work. Modules can be part-time or full-time, available at different levels, from beginner to advanced. These courses can be taken as part of undergraduate studies at London Met or as stand-alone courses for fee-paying members of the public. Check out our blog article on the Universities in London to find out more about the Metropolitan University here.

6. University of Portsmouth

Located in the stunning seaside city in England and also one of the most affordable in the UK for students, the University of Portsmouth was rated Gold by the Teaching Excellence Framework. Home to research in languages, international studies and professional communication, all courses reflect the university’s commitment to students’ future employment. Students can choose to study any language among Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish as single honours, combined or applied languages programmes. The University of Portsmouth allows students to learn a language for free, for credit or interest, as part of any course. Ideal for those who wish to enhance their career prospects, underpin a year abroad or simply satisfy the urge to speak another language.

7. The University of Manchester

Known for being one of the UK’s most popular student city, the University of Manchester stands by its motto: live, study, thrive. As the fifth-largest university in the United Kingdom by enrollment, it welcomes students from all over the world, largely encouraging culture and mentality differences. Its Language Centre offers a variety of language courses and language-related professional training. Modules and courses are open to the general public, Manchester Met students, staff and alumni. The University of Manchester also offers evening classes in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French or Spanish- all classes are taught by native speakers of the language. With highly-qualified teachers, the University can truly promise an international and multicultural environment.

8. Birkbeck, the University of London

The University of Birkbeck is a world-class research and teaching institution, that provides a vibrant center of academic excellence. In order to encourage students to fit both their studies and build their future, classes are held in the evening. The University of Birkbeck offers valid language courses in French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish. It also supports students who are beginners up to advanced, in Japanese as well as in Iberian and Latin American languages. The course is also available for full-time evening study over four years and for part-time evening study over four years or six years.

9. The University of Reading

The University of Reading is known for enjoying a world-class reputation in teaching, research and enterprise. In fact, it is one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities and is in the top 1% worldwide. The University of Reading strongly highlights the importance of developing language skills as it can lead to exciting new opportunities in work and life. Offering language course in Arabic, British Sign Language, Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish, it encourages students to expand their understanding and appreciation of other cultures while developing critical thinking and observation skills.

10. The University of Hertfordshire

The University of Hertfordshire has been ranked in the top 2.1% of degree-granting institutions of higher education by the Center for World University Rankings. As an extremely competitive, ambitious and international University, it welcomes over 5200 international students and has a global network of over 165000 alumni. Speaking a second language together with having any other qualification is highly valued by the University. Offering five language courses including from French, to German, Mandarin and Spanish, the University of Hertfordshire focuses on providing the highest-quality teaching and support.




Download the HelloUni App for free to find out more about specific courses and degrees, and don’t forget to ask our ambassadors advice using the App’s new instant-messaging feature!


Make sure to visit our Facebook page @hellouni.world to check out our live videos at The Language Show!


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Writing your UCAS Personal Statement

Writing your UCAS Personal Statement

UCAS personal statement is part of your university application. Much like a CV, it is your chance to sell yourself. describe your ambitions, skills, and experience. 

You can only submit one personal statement and you can’t change it after your application has been submitted. Therefore, it is important to get it right.

Here are our top tips:

  • Try to stand out, remember to be authentic and be careful with humor or quotes. You don’t want to appear too cheesy or cliché.
  • Use a template to help get you started. Here’s a great personal statement worksheet  on the UCAS website.
  • Proofread aloud and get someone else to check that your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are all correct.



 What universities are looking for? 

Unis aren’t looking for a dictionary definition of a subject. They know what their degrees are about; they want to know what you understand and enjoy about the subject.”  Louise Carr, University of Liverpool. 

First of all, show enthusiasm, motivation, and focus. Universities don’t expect you to be an expert already. However, they would like to know why you like to become an expert in the subject you’re applying to. Therefore, don’t forget to mention extra-curricular activities, transferable skills. Moreover, mention any relevant work experience and what your future plans are.  

 student personal statement university UK CV resume UCAS



International and EU students 

As an international student there are a few extra things you should mention:

  1. Why you want to study in the UK 
  2. Your English language skills and any English courses or tests you’ve taken 
  3. Why you want to be an international student rather than study in your own country 

For information about applying online for a UK visa, check out our blog article.

 Writing your personal statement

“Put your notes in order according to what the course you’re interested in is looking for. If you have any skills and experience relevant to the entry requirements, make sure you say so at the start of your personal statement.”Amy Smith, Nottingham Trent University. 

personal statement CV university UK write tips advice resume

Use the  personal statement mind map on the UCAS website to start planning.  


How long should it be? 

There’s no maximum word count. However, you’ll need to remain within the 4,000 character limit (including spaces and punctuation). Moreover, students have to keep the statement to a total of 47 lines. 

UCAS recommends that you write your personal statement in Microsoft Word before copying and pasting it into the online application form. It is because the application page times out after being inactive for 35 minutes.


All personal statements are scanned by plagiarism detection technology, so make sure you don’t copy someone else’s work.  

If you are caught plagiarising, this could have serious consequences for your application. 


Further Advice

This brilliant video with Jane Marshall from Imperial College has everything you need to know about how to write your personal statement. 

 Check out our other articles on studying in London, student life in the UK and 5 things to consider before choosing a university. 



Moreover, if you want to ask more questions about studying abroad, do not hesitate and join Hellouni community! Register on our website and get in contact with ambassadors from various universities around the world.

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Scottish education: Top Universities in Edinburgh

Scottish education: Top Universities in Edinburgh

All universities in Edinburgh have a contemporary outlook with exceptionally high standards of education. Scottish education communities are focusing universities on proactive thinking and developing skills that are highly desired by companies from all over the world. Below is a list of competitive Universities in Edinburgh:


The University of Edinburgh  

 Top Universities in Edinburgh


Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of 50 top universities in the world. It is globally recognized for its research, development, and innovation. Moreover, it has the largest campus computing network in Britain. The university offers excellent resources and facilities with over 500 degrees and more than 300 Masters course. Undergraduate degrees are especially competitive in the Arts, Humanities, Engineering, Sciences, and Languages. The University has over 31,000 students including over 11,000 international students from 130 different nationalities. They are all contributing to a multicultural learning environment. With 95% of graduates going into employment or further study, it offers an award-winning Careers Service that encourages and helps students from all over the world. Check out more information about the University of Edinburgh here




Heriot-Watt University  

  Top Universities in Edinburgh

Heriot-Watt University is a public university in Edinburgh. In addition, it is also found in other campuses around the world like in Dubai and Malaysia. HWU has an amazing reputation and is a leading university which provides education around the world. Named as the international university of the year 2018, it offers inspiring surroundings, a multi-cultural environment. Nevertheless, university’s courses make a difference and are relevant to today’s society. Heriot-Watt University has a strong track record for developing company-fit graduates thanks to its distinctive range of degree programs. Find out more about the Heriot-Watt University courses here.



Edinburgh Napier University 


Top Universities in Edinburgh


Home to more than 19,500 students from over 140 countries, Edinburgh Napier University nurtures talent. Moreover, it creates knowledge that shapes communities all around the world. University offers flexible learning through 700 undergraduate, postgraduate and part-time courses. Among its most competitive degrees, there are Business and Accounting, Nursing, Film, and Drama. 95.1% of its students are in work or further study within six months of graduating. In addition, University provides students with extensive links to big companies. With a global community of more than 4,000 on-campus international students, everyone is encouraged to study among forward-thinking and inspiring people from all around the world.




Queen Margaret University 


Top Universities in Edinburgh


Founded in 1875, Queen Margaret University prepares graduates for useful careers. University helps students to develop the skills required to make a real difference to society. QMU offers a welcoming and friendly environment for students from around the world. It is one of the smallest universities in the city region and thus, smaller class sizes facilitate closer contacts between students and staff. It has recognized expertise in the following degrees: Health and Rehabilitation, Creativity and Culture, Sustainable Business. With high-quality teaching and relevant research knowledge, the university offers 30 undergraduate courses, 52 postgraduate courses and 20 Continuous Professional Development and Lifelong Learning courses. 



Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)  


Top Universities in Edinburgh


Scotland’s Rural College is a higher education institution that combines education, consulting and research in Scotland. This unique institution also has an innovative and leading development program and runs an international advisory and consultancy service. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses as well as flexible/distance learning programs. Among its faculties, it offers courses in: Adventure Tourism, Sustainable Environmental Management, Business Management, Agriculture, Horticulture, Sport and Leisure, Biological and Food Science, Landscape and Garden Design, Animal Science, Rural Tourism, Poultry Studies and Environmental Studies. Scotland’s Rural College is ideal for students who wish to specialize in subjects concerning existing and emerging land-based industries and environmental management. 


Moreover, if you want to ask more questions about studying abroad, do not hesitate and join Hellouni community! Register on our website and get in contact with ambassadors from various universities around the world.

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Differences between Scottish and English universities

Differences between Scottish and English universities

Ever wondered what are the differences between Scottish and English universities We’re here to tell you all about it.

Lenght of the degree

English university degrees usually run for 3 years while Scottish ones are 4 year-long. While it’s true you are allowed to finish university after 3 years in Scotland, you only gain a graded degree after your dissertation in the fourth year. Hence, Scottish students spend a year less in secondary education compared to English students.



Tuition Fees


Differences between Scottish and English universities

Probably the most dreaded student phrase second only to “you’ll be in groups for this assessment”. At the moment, tuition in England is frozen at £9k for domestic students. Whereas, Scottish universities are totally free for Scottish students.

Prices vary for EU and non-EU students. Depending on the type of degree fees usually start at about £10k a year.  


The weather

Differences between Scottish and English universities

The UK is not a big country, but the weather between Brighton and Aberdeen is going to vary A LOT. South of the border, you are more likely to experience an ACTUAL summer. Whereas, the true North will show you what they mean when they say that the weather is dreadful during winter. However, little can compare to Scotland’s landscapes and architecture. Make sure you know what to pack!

Differences between Scottish and English universities



Differences between Scottish and English universities

Not surprisingly, Scotland and England have their own quirks they don’t like sharing. For instance, you’re not really likely to run into someone drinking Irn Bru in an English pub. However, some things are common all over the country. For example, spending time at Spoons in between lectures or complaining about the weather. Wherever you are, bonding over the dislike for the weather is going to be a thing you’ll truly master while at the university.


Living situation

Differences between Scottish and English universities

Lastly, lots of people studying in England will find themselves living with a lot of people in a large house at some point. Meanwhile, in Scotland, you’re more likely to have a few flatmates in a high-ceiling flat somewhere in town. Both have their pros and cons, but only experiencing them is going to tell you what it’s really like!



Moreover, if you want to ask more questions about studying abroad, do not hesitate and join Hellouni community! Register on our website and get in contact with ambassadors from various universities around the world.

cheapest places for studying abroad and free education