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29 things you have to do while you’re studying in the UK

14 August 2015

Coming to the UK is the adventure of a lifetime for many students. This is your chance to discover a new country, meet new people and try new things – and while everyone's memories will be unique, there are a few essential experiences that you know will stay with you forever.

By the time you graduate, it's likely you’ll have done at least one of these things – probably more. If you’re really ambitious, aim for all 29!

1. Learn some UK slang (if you don't know the difference between ‘skint’ and ‘minted’, make sure you read the beginners' guide to UK slang!)

2. Cook a Sunday roast – and spend the rest of the week eating the leftovers

A traditional roast with beef, gravy, vegetables and Yorkshire pudding (Image ©Jeremy Keith, CC BY 2.0)

3. Take part in a pub quiz – and win!

4. Go to a student party in costume (top tip: Halloween, Christmas and Freshers’ Week usually offer lots of opportunities to dress creatively!)

5. Go to a fireworks display on bonfire night (5 November), marvel at the pyrotechnics and eat a toffee apple

Sugary distractions: Enjoying toffee apples and candyfloss on bonfire night in Scotland (Image © J. Glossop)

6. Visit Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival and see a play or comedy show you’ve never heard of

Outdoor performance artists during the Fringe festival (Image ©Edinburgh’s Festivals)

7. Get involved with the UK sport scene and watch a game of football, rugby or cricket (even if you don’t know all the rules). Check out our calendar of sporting events and brush up on your 'footie' slang!

8. Explore London – gaze at Big Ben, shop for quirky clothes in the markets of Camden, see Buckingham Palace and take a walk along the River Thames

View from the Houses of Parliament in London, towards Big Ben, the River Thames and the London Eye (Image ©VisitBritain / James McCormick)

9. Head up to the Scottish Highlands for the Highland Games! Get set for kilts, ceilidhs, caber tossing and bagpipe music

10. Camp at a music festival to see some of the world's biggest names in music (and lots of mud too, probably)

The Isle of Wight Festival, which in 2015 featured acts including Blur, Fleetwood Mac, The Prodigy and Pharrell Williams (Image ©VisitEngland/Isle of Wight Festival)

11. Make pancakes on Pancake Day (and eat so many you won’t want to see another pancake until next year)

12. Visit Oxford or Cambridge to hire a boat and try punting

Summer school students punting on the River Cherwell in Oxford (Image ©Lake School of English)

13. Dig out your walking boots and hike Mount Snowdon in Wales. If it goes well, try the Three Peaks Challenge – where participants climb the highest mountains of Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours

14. Spend a day at the seaside. Try Cornwall, Brighton, Bournemouth or Hastings perhaps

Sunshine, deckchairs, fish & chips, and the famous Brighton Pier... welcome to the great British seaside (Image ©VisitBritain / Jasmine Teer)

15. Celebrate spring in Wales on St David's Day (1 March). While you're here, have a go at mastering the Welsh language (get a head start with our quick guide to learning Welsh)

16. Dress in green for St Patrick’s Day (17 March)

International students at a St Patrick's Day street party in Belfast, Northern Ireland (Image ©Brian Morrison)

17. Visit a royal palace or one of the UK’s many castles

18. Join a student society and try an activity you’ve never done before – like archery, yoga, hip-hop dancing, violin playing, robot football or custard wrestling! Check out Weird student societies for more ideas

A huge pillow fight in Trafalgar Square, London – just another student society activity (Image ©Shimelle Laine)

19. Eat strawberries and cream at Wimbledon (or in front of the TV at home)

20. Watch a Shakespeare play. Even better if you can go to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon or The Globe in London

Actors in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in the Bard's hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon (©VisitEngland Images)

21. Taste a traditional afternoon tea – and master the art of making tea at home (you can cheat with
our guide to the perfect cup)

The classic English ‘cream tea’: tea and scones with jam and cream (Image ©Visit Cornwall/Adam Gibbard)

22. See the surreal landscape of Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway is an area of basalt columns, created by a prehistoric volcanic eruption (Image ©VisitBritain / Martin Brent)

23. Take part in a
charity or fundraising event. Whether it’s the London Marathon or a sponsored cake-eating contest, every penny counts!

24. Have a picnic in a park in the summer

25. Go ice skating in the winter

London's historic Somerset House sets up an ice skating rink in its courtyard every year  (©Simon Winnall)

26. Build a snowman and have a snowball fight. You might have to travel a bit if it doesn’t snow where you live – but it’s worth it! Check out some of the
best places to be on a snowy day

Snow day: Boarding school students at St Catherine's in Bramley, Surrey, take a break from their lessons!

27. Take in a film at an open-air cinema

Bring popcorn and blankets to the Summer Nights Film Festival at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire  (©VisitEngland)

28. Take a spontaneous trip to somewhere else in Europe. It might be an ultra-low-cost airline or a slow bus journey, but it will be an adventure! Find out how to see more of Europe from the UK

29. Sing ‘Auld lang syne’ as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve

New Year's Eve, or Hogmanay – always a big celebration in Edinburgh, Scotland (Image ©Chris Watt)

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