How to feel more at home in the UK
The UK can be a very different culture to the one you’re used to back home, depending on where in the world you are from, but it is generally very welcoming to people of all different backgrounds.
Although there are some exceptions to this, for the most part people will welcome you – especially if you are clearly trying to settle in by speaking the language and trying out some local customs.
Here are some of the more serious ways to settle into the UK when you’re new here, along with some slightly more light-hearted ways to have some fun when you first arrive.
Speak the language
It doesn’t matter if your English isn’t very good – if you can speak it at all, then try to do so, and if not, consider taking some lessons or even trying a phone app to learn the basics.
The more you use spoken English, the more you will come to understand native speakers, and the more words you will learn that are useful in your everyday life.
Foreign languages are not really widely spoken in the UK, with a few exceptions like French, German and Spanish, so if you are able to speak any English, it will be a big help for you as you settle in.
Use the currency
When you need to pay for something, it can be tempting to just hand over your wallet or purse and let the bartender or shopkeeper take the correct money – but try not to do this.
Learning the different bank notes and coins, calculating the right change to hand over, and also learning how to make quick card payments via contactless or chip and pin, can all help to give you more financial independence.
And there are few better ways to settle into a foreign country than by being independent when it comes to things like finances.
Try the food
British food is not generally considered to be the best in the world, but it can be delicious – and best of all, it’s often quite cheap.
Try classics like fish and chips, or bangers and mash (sausages with mashed potatoes) and of course a Full English breakfast and Sunday Roast – you might not like everything but even just finding one British classic that you love gives you a connection to the country that will last for life.
You don’t have to lose your own culture, as there are plenty of world food supermarkets, especially in towns with large Chinese or Eastern European communities, but it gives you more of an authentic British experience too.
Move your money
Paying for everything with your account from back home is a sure sign that your time in the UK is only temporary, so consider getting an online current account in the UK to base your finances here.
An account like the Arro Personal Account gives you a UK sort code and account number, so people here can easily transfer money to you, and a balance in GBP so you don’t have to pay foreign exchange fees on everything you buy.
You get a MasterCard® debit card too, and this can be used in shops, online and at ATMs to make cash withdrawals, giving you money in your pocket when you need it for a day out or some offline shopping.
Your British identity
Moving to the UK does not mean leaving behind your old self, but it is a new adventure and you will start to build a new British identity too.
This includes how you manage your money, how you speak the language, the things you like to eat – even the football team you support (and it’s best to choose one, even if you don’t like the sport…!).
Find out what the people around you like – whether it’s going out for food or drink, going to the cinema, or going to sports fixtures and live music – and try to join in until you get a clear idea of the British pastimes you like and dislike.
If one place doesn’t feel like home, consider moving – even just to the other side of the same city. Some people feel more comfortable in a community of other people from their home country, while some prefer to mix in with native Brits.
As long as you stay in the UK, you can keep an Arro Personal Account, so just let us know via your online dashboard if you move to a new UK address.
If you decide to leave the UK and go back home or to a different country, we can help you to transfer any remaining funds out of your Arro Personal Account and into the account you will be using next.