Living in the UK

Discover student life in the UK

The UK is a friendly and welcoming place to live and has an exciting history and culture to explore. A multicultural society, the UK is open to different traditions and cultures. Here’s our guide to what life is like in the UK.

Living in the North East

Durham and Stockton-on-Tees are located in North East England, in County Durham. The area offers a lower cost of living compared to other cities in the south, particularly London, while still offering exciting opportunities. 

The area has a strong economy and UK government is investing in skills, innovation, transport and culture through the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ project. Outside the cities you can explore the vast countryside, from walking and cycling on the moors to admiring stunning lakes and rolling landscapes.

History and culture

Exploring British history and culture will help to enrich your student life. Living in the UK you can enjoy art galleries, museums, theatres and a thriving music scene. In the North of England will also find a distinct ‘northern’ culture and historic landmarks, such as Durham Cathedral, York Minster, Hylton Castle and Hadrian’s Wall. Other exciting cities in Northern England include Newcastle and Leeds.

Explore England with Lonely Planet

Food in the UK

Shops and supermarkets in the UK sell international food, so you will be able to find food you recognise from your home country. Restaurants serve food from around the world as well as traditional British cuisine. Food festivals and farmers’ markets are a great opportunity to find local and seasonal produce.

Regional food and drinks include:

  • Sottie cake – a type of thick, flat bread, often eaten with a filling.
  • Pease Pudding – split pea paste that can be eaten with ham and stottie cake.

Travel the UK and beyond

The UK has excellent transport links making it easy to explore coast, cities and countryside. From Durham, Scotland can be reached in under two hours by train, and the bustling city of Newcastle is less than 15 minutes’ away. 

Durham Tees Valley airport offers worldwide connections to European destinations including Amsterdam, Paris and Rome. You can also fly to China, Thailand and the USA. Other international airports near Durham include Newcastle Airport (NCL), Leeds Bradford (LBA) and Manchester (MAN). 

Typical British weather

The UK has four seasons of equal length, each with different weather and temperatures. In the North East of England, average temperatures tend be slightly lower than in London and southern England. Snow and ice are common in winter, especially in hilly and mountainous areas outside the cities.

  • Spring (March to May): Warm or cool, with wet and windy spells. 6-13°C. 
  • Summer (June to August): The warmest season. Occasional thunderstorms. 14-22°C.
  • Autumn (September to November): Cool, windy and often rainy. 8-14°C.
  • Winter (December to February): The coldest season with rain, ice and snow. 2-6°C.

Rumaysa is an international student from Pakistan

Studying abroad is a great opportunity that everyone should achieve at least once in their life, because otherwise they won't know how to adapt to the world. If you stay at home, you won't get the same experiences.  

Rumaysa from Pakistan
Sudying International Foundation Year in Business, Economics, Accounting and Finance
Aiming to study BA (Hons) Business Management

Student life

Student life at Durham University

Find out about student life at the International Study Centre on Queen's Campus and at Durham University.