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What is it like living in Oxford?

May 28th, 2014

Students write about how their lives have changed since being in the UK …


“Before I came to the UK I used to get up earlier, at 6 a.m. Now I’m getting used to waking up later and having breakfast. In Spain I used to eat lunch at 3 p.m. It’s very difficult to get used to having meals at different times of day. I have to get used to left side traffic. I’m still getting used to speaking English every day. I used to speak Polish or Spanish. I can’t get used to English bad weather. I’m getting used to a specific English sense of humour.”

Marlena, Poland


“Before I came to the UK, I used to wake up at 8 o’clock in the morning but now I have to wake up 1 hour earlier. I used to have varieties of food for breakfast, for example, rice with chicken, rice with vegetables, pizza, hamburger and etc. but here in the UK toasts and mile are only 2 things I have for my breakfast which I think are very boring and I will never get used to eating them every morning. I didn’t used to catch the bus in my country, but when I came here, I had to catch a bus and now I’m used to it. When I was in Thailand, I didn’t walk as much as when I am in the UK. I think because Thailand’s weather is too hot to spend lots of times outside on the street.”

Praota, Thailand


“In my country I usually get up about 6:30 a.m. but now I am used to getting up at 8.00 a.m. I was used to being in hot weather and now I try hard to get used to being in the cold weather. Actually, I used to have rice every day but since I arrived here to the UK I got used to eating different kinds of food and I think that I am used to eating these kinds nowadays. In my country I used to sleep late but here I am used to sleeping early. There I used to go out every day, but now I usually stay at home even during weekends.”

Turki, Saudi Arabia


I have been living in Oxford for 8 month but before I came to the UK, I was living in Madrid (Spain) for 6 years and I grew up in Canary Islands, also Spain. Every place where I have lived have differences, but maybe the big ones which I have noticed are between Canarys and Oxford. I could say that Madrid would be in the middle. When I lived in Canary Island I was used to getting home and I had my meals prepared. In Madrid I had the University canteen and here I have to cook myself. I needed 2 months to get used to cooking every day. Another difference was in the zebra crossing, I was used to looking at the left when I wanted to cross any street. And the last one, and maybe the most important, the hours. In Spain I used to have my lunch about 15:00 and dinner at 22:00 or 23:00. This is the point that I haven’t got used to yet, I live in the UK but with Spanish hours.

Pedro, Spain


There are a lot of differences between my life in China and in the UK. I used to live in Hangzhou a city in the south of China where always sunny and warm. Now I am getting used to living in Oxford with a lot of rainy days and changing climate. During the summer, I used to wear dresses and enjoy the air-conditioner in my room. But now I have to get used to taking an umbrella everyday to prepare for the rain.


Not only the weather, the lifestyle also has a great change. I am used to having classes at nine o’clock, instead of arriving at school at 7 o’clock in the past. Chinese schools used to finish at 5 o’clock and it is later than here.


What’s more, I used to have dinner at 6 o’clock. however, I get used to having dinner at half past seven in my host family. In Hangzhou the time of sunset is always at 6 o’clock, while I am used to watching sunset at 8:30 in Oxford.


Overall, I am used to having another lifestyle in Oxford.

Judy, China


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