Culture shock: life at Brookes for international students

Stepping out of your protective bubble and entering the university life can be scary and nerve wrecking, especially if you are an International Student

As an International student, not only do you have to get adjusted to a new educational institute, but also a new country, new people and most importantly new culture. Fear not. Once you know what to expect, you can make the most of the wonderful yet crazy new university life style.


Clubbing blues



After the momentous event that is ‘Fresher’s Week’  you will have only had your first taste of horrible hangovers, and ugly sights in clubs.

The Tab spoke to Curtis Mpame to see what his impression of the clubbing scene was:

“For me clubbing in Oxford is a whole new experience because it is a completely different scene from back home. There is amazing music and you get to meet a lot of new people, I love it!”

You just have to go out there, have fun, but also know your boundaries – whether it is how much you can drink, spend or how many days a week you can party.


The pre-drinks ritual

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English people love to drink and it is not surprising to see them drinking hours before they go out and keep at it whilst in the clubs. If you are not accustomed to drinking or seeing people drink so much, don’t worry.

Pre drinks will give you a glimpse of the drunken personalities of your found new mates in addition to providing you with amusing scenes whilst you wait for you taxi watching their mind and body slowly turn to jelly.

Kerstin Felton, a combined honours student studying Anthropology and Communication, Media and Culture had this advice for current first years who may be unsure of what to do:

“Pre-drinking is essential for going out. You want to make sure you’re smashed before you go to a club because no one wants to pay for drinks.”


The Accent

Moving to the UK, you are bound to encounter all kinds of different English accents.

Unfortunately not all English people speak like those shown in Hollywood movies or American sitcoms. The Southern accent turns out to be the most understandable but when it comes to Northern accents and the Irish accent, you may be in trouble.

Film studies student Justine Llorca says:

“It’s hard at first to understand some of the English accents but you realize its by far the best accent ever. It’s frustrating because even though my English is good, I will never have the British accent”.


‘Oxford Brookes… that’s part of Oxford isn’t it?’

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One thing as an International student you are bound to face is the confusion and various types of comments from people back home and in the UK concerning your university.

When you introduce yourself as a student of Oxford Brookes University, some people’s brains automatically choose to not hear the word ‘Brookes’.

The only thing they would register is Oxford and assume you are studying in one of The Oxford Colleges. Trust me, the response “oh…okay” will haunt you for days.

You can use the term ‘Oxford’ that is included in your university name to your advantage or disadvantage but just be prepared for the millions of questions and confused reactions from people across the world.





Avoiding homelessness should be one of the top concerns for you as an International student.

Unlike the local students, your parents are often thousands of  miles away from you and thus, if you choose poorly when it comes to where you live, you could be in deep trouble.

The cultural shock for an international student is quite high when it comes to living alone. If you are used to  having your mom do everything for you, this may prove to be quite a shock.

You will have to do everything. Wash your dishes, cook food, and ultimately learn to survive on your own.

If you find yourself constantly skyping  your parents asking questions such as “Do I put my washing on colors or whites?” don’t be ashamed, we have all been there . It can be tough but is ultimately rewarding in the end.

On the positive side,  Justine Llorca reminds us of the benefits of living in halls:

“Living in student accommodation halls is great! You have the comfort and privacy of your own room and social experience as the same time because of your flat mates.”