Cultural differences and culture shock

Living in a new country can be very exciting, but you may find the changes can feel difficult and stressful for a while.

Things like the climate, food and behaviour in social and academic situations may all be different to what you're used to, and some of the people around you may have different values and viewpoints.

What can you do?

There are many different things that you can do to help feel more at home and confident in your new surroundings. Whether it's meeting other people who are away from home, getting involved in Global Community activities, being part of clubs or societies or just understanding things to do to help you feel more at home, then the University can help.

International Student Office 

The International Student Office can offer you support and guidance about settling in and living in the UK. You can speak to the team at the enquiry desk who will be able to offer suggestions and help you feel at home.

Student Counselling Centre

The Student Counselling Centre provides help if you're experiencing emotional or psychological difficulties. Coming for counselling is not a sign of weakness, but a positive move towards addressing your problems. Counsellors won't be able to provide instant solutions, but will listen to you, help you increase your self-awareness and find ways to work through the issues you're facing.

Feeling at Home in Leeds

The Student Counselling Centre, with the International Student Office, runs a course called Feeling at Home in Leeds. The course is aimed at helping international postgraduate students understand the unwritten cultural "rules" that affect social and academic interaction. It also aims to extend international students' cultural skills. Over five weekly sessions, the programme will look at:

  • group participation (lectures, seminars, etc)
  • social conversation
  • seeking help
  • saying "no" and expressing disagreement.

It's a great way to enhance your skills in a safe and supportive environment.

    Culture Shock Comedy Drama

    The Leeds Universities' Chaplaincy hosts a Culture Shock Comedy Drama which is performed every year for new international students to demonstrate some of the challenges you may face when living as a student in a foreign country.

    More information