Top 10 Tips for Fitting in in England: Advice for Study Abroad Students

Three of our CISabroad student advisors recently returned from studying abroad in England and they’ve got some helpful tips for fitting in in fashion-forward, multi-cultural, progressive London. 10. Don’t wear yoga pants or “trackies” (sweatpants) to class. Save your casual wear for eating Indian food in your flat. You may want to pack peanut butter and easy mac n’ cheese from home in your suitcase, since these are rarely available in the UK. 9. Carry a purse, NOT a backpack to class. And when you’re passing your friends ask “You alright?” It means, “How are you?” Messengers are trendy for men to use for books.

Men's Fashion Statement

8. The tighter the better. This applies to for men and women. It is common for everyday outfits to be more professional, so dress up for class. A girl should wear tights and not leggings. Textured tights with feet are a must. Never go bare legged. Short shorts without tights are IN. “Trousers” are jeans. And “pants” are undergarments.

7. Check your pickiness for food at the airport. London has tons of great Middle Eastern food. When ordering “take away” choose cheese or curry sauce with your “chips,” fries. And a cookie is called a “biscuit.” Milkshakes and candy are popular – blend up your favorite concoction. Don’t forget to throw your waste in the “ rubbish bin” or “bin” NOT trash bin. And if you need something thrown out say, “Can you bin this for me?” 6. Be prepared to wear a “onesie.” These footed pajamas have fun animal themes. You may spot students running errands in this casual wear. Totally normal. No one really wears rain boots. Avoid the puddles and watch the snow being swept not shoveled. Joggers are sneakers.

Teased Hair

5. Teased hair is popular. Make it look like you didn’t try, but do your best to make it messy. Men shave the sides of their head and exaggerate the bangs, ladies too.

4. Disco pants are popular and so are ugly sweaters. Dance clubs, known as “discos,” don’t have much in common with the “Disco” era in the US, except strangely enough a lot of fashion from back then has resurfaced…Music at the dance club is 6 months behind the US and they are VERY into the 90’s music. 3. Ladies do not wear a colored lipstick, instead put cover-up on your lips. Cake-face is in. Men, don’t wear make-up.


2. “Quid “is the slang for money. Don’t call pence “pence,” call it “P.” 1. Remember when making plans with friends, the dates are reversed. So if you say, “See you on 11/12,” it means you just made plans for December 11th. It very well may be cold and lonely that day so throw on a “jumper,” not a sweater.

ugly sweater

Our CISabroad advisors always enjoy talking about their study abroad experience. What are you waiting for? Contact an advisor today! For more information on our study abroad and intern abroad programs visit Do you have any fashion or general cultural advice for students studying in England? Or interesting advice for traveling elsewhere? Leave a comment below!