United Kingdom Newsletter – September-2023
The United Kingdom Newsletter
ICICI Bank introduces VACATIONS
Month’s theme Introduction: Embracing Diversity
In today's globalised world, it is more important than ever for people, specially youngsters, to have global exposure. This exposure will not only help them become more independent and better citizens, but also open their minds to the vast diversity of our world.
There are many ways that global exposure can help students become more independent. First, it can help them learn to adapt to new situations. When students study or travel abroad, they have to deal with new cultures, languages and customs. This can be a challenge, but it also helps them develop the skills they need to be independent and adaptable.
Second, global exposure can help students develop problem-solving skills. When students face new challenges in a foreign environment, they have to learn to think on their feet and find creative solutions. This can be a valuable skill in any setting, especially in today's global economy.
Third, students develop a sense of self-confidence. When students succeed in a new environment, it can give them a boost of confidence that they can carry with them throughout their lives. This confidence can help them be more assertive and take risks in their personal and professional lives.
Global exposure can also help them become more tolerant and open-minded. This is because it exposes them to different cultures and perspectives. When students learn to appreciate different cultures, they are more likely to leave their prejudices behind. This makes them better citizens of the world who are more likely to contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous future.
Soul Trip: Volunteering Around the World
Studying abroad is a life-changing experience that can help students develop their independence, cultural awareness and problem-solving skills. However, there are many other aspects that studying abroad can help develop, including strength of character and conviction.
Voluntary activities are typically done out of a sense of altruism, while jobs are often done for financial gain. This means that voluntary activities are more likely to be motivated by a desire to help others which can lead to the development of empathy, compassion and a sense of social responsibility. While most students think of taking up a part-time job during their studies abroad, there’s also an opportunity to provide service to society through volunteering.
Voluntary activities require problem-solving, decision-making and leadership skills. These skills can be applied in other areas of life, such as school, work and relationships. Voluntary activities can give a sense of purpose and accomplishment. This can boost self-esteem and confidence which can lead to positive changes in other areas of life.
A student who volunteers at a homeless shelter learns about the challenges that homeless people face. This experience helps him/her develop empathy and compassion for others. A student who volunteers with a tutoring programme learns how to help others learn and grow. This experience helps him/her develop patience and understanding. A student who volunteers with a disaster relief organisation learns how to work under pressure and help others in need. This experience helps him/her develop problem-solving skills and leadership skills.
Overall, voluntary activities can be a powerful force for developing character and offer a rewarding and enriching experience. They can help students to become more understanding, compassionate and responsible.
Discover Your World
For parents travelling to UK for their children’s Academic Journey
Whether it is a final vacation that you take as a family before your child starts his/her academic journey at a UK university or it is a holiday that you take alone or with your partner after having settled your child in his/her new academic life, UK and regions around UK have many beautiful places to visit in the months of August, September and October. Here are our Top 10:
Rottingdean, Brighton: Rudyard Kipling’s village Rottingdean is a wonderful small village located four miles away from Brighton. Centuries ago, Rottingdean used to be one of the main smuggling points off the south coast of England because of the natural break in the limestone cliffs. Today, there’s still a network of tunnels underneath the village, connecting different buildings.
Dovestones Reservoir, Greater Manchester: While the Lake District and Peak District are well known, Dovestones Reservoir is a hidden gem. It may be lesser known compared to the Lakes and Peaks but this picturesque area of countryside shouldn’t be overlooked. Walking, hiking, bird watching, dog walking and picnicking are all possible in this hilly region set around a huge man-made reservoir. Enjoy a UK countryside picnic here.
Duncansby Stacks, John o’ Groats: Duncansby Head is 220 feet or 67 metres above the sea, boasting inlets full of seabirds. The stars of the show areDuncansby Stacks: huge sea stacks, as high as the cliffs, swarming with birdlife. You can reach Duncansby Stacks by walking across the grassy headland area. There are seabirds year-round and puffins in summer.
Craigievar Castle, Aberdeenshire: It is true that there is no dearth of castles in UK. Not only are there too many, but they can also start to look the same after you have seen a few and often they’re packed with tourists. Craigievar Castle has no tourists – and it’s pink. In the current Barbie season, this might make for a great Instagram post!
Plockton, Scottish Highlands: This tranquil fishing village is situated an hour’s drive from the Isle of Skye and while most tourists don’t know it exists, it has tons of unique experiences to offer. The top thing to do in Plockton is a boat tour to see some adorable seals. Simply strolling down Harbour Street, the main street in the town, is an incredibly scenic experience as well.
Rhiwargor Waterfall, Powys: Rhiwargor Waterfall is located just a stone’s throw from Snowdonia National Park. However, it’s often overlooked due to the plethora of other waterfalls in North Wales. This lovely waterfall is not far from Lake Vyrnwy and offers an amazing hike along the Afon Eiddew river. The waterfall is a stunning collection of cascades surrounded by lush forest and untouched natural scenery. Visit to unwind and avoid the crowds.
Haford Estate, Aberystwyth: Near the university town of Aberystwyth, Haford Estate is a wooded and landscaped estate spread over 495 acres. It features varying landscapes ranging from woodlands to grazed parklands and riverside meadows with beautiful bridges to stunning waterfalls. Designed in the late 18th century by famed architect, Thomas Johnes, the estate has five waymarked trails out of which the Lady’s Walk and the Gentleman’s Walk are two of the most beautiful circular routes. Stunning views at almost every turn are guaranteed.
Ogmore Stepping Stones, Glamorgan: Step into history at Ogmore Castle stepping stones in South Wales. As you admire the view from the ruins of Ogmore Castle, you’ll notice 41 medieval stones creating a path across the Ewenny River. This is a great hidden location to enjoy the Welsh Landscape with a picnic. There is something about the stepping stones that lends an inexplicable serenity to the surroundings. And of course, makes for very interesting pictures.
Cuilcagh Boardwalk trail, Co. Fermanagh: Straddling the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, sits one of the country’s best-kept secrets: the Cuilcagh Boardwalk trail, a.k.a the Stairway to Heaven. The trail is 4.5 kms long and begins at the Cuilcagh Boardwalk car park. While most of the walk on the wooden path is fairly easy, the last 1.5 km section consists of 450 steep steps that take you to the top of Cuilcagh Mountain. This steep climb gave the trail its nickname ‘Stairway to Heaven’, named after other, similar, dramatic stairway hikes like Hawaii’s Haiku Stairs. The climb is well worth the effort; you’re rewarded with spectacular views from the top of Cuilcagh mountain.
White Rocks Beach, Portrush: White Rocks Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand near Portrush, culminating in limestone cliffs where you can explore caverns and archways formed by the relentless waves. It’s a great spot for surfing, lounging on the beach on a sunny day and walking along the coastal path to Dunluce Castle and beyond. Don’t just rush to Giant’s Causeway, explore the beautiful, rugged coastline of UK.
Handy tips for new students in UK
In our last edition of USA study special, we discussed some tips on how to make a soft landing when starting a new life in a new place. In this edition of our UK study abroad special, we are giving below a few unique points about UK. As Indians, we are used to English and broad English culture. However, there are still some unique situations that UK presents:
Transport System: Ensure that your housing has adequate travel arrangements. If your college is far from your residential area, then look for the best medium for commuting. Get a student pass from the nearest station, so as to get discounts on your fare. You can use a variety of public transportation options, including buses, trains and licensed taxis.
Railways: UK’s railway system is the oldest in the world. The London underground and overground stations are among the most effective ways to get around the city. Spend some time understanding the underground system.
Buses and Coaches: The transportation system is organised in a way that the underground and buses are all synced if you understand how to manage it.
UK Weather: Just like its transportation system, UK weather is also iconic! From a sunny place like India, days of cold and overcast weather might initially seem disturbing but you will get used to it. Buy proper clothing and learn to take the weather in stride just like the Britons do.
Healthcare benefits - NHS, Private setup, University provided etc: UK provides a number of facilities to international students. To get health insurance in UK, international students should carefully consider their health insurance options, thoroughly research insurance plans and choose one that aligns with their needs, budget and visa requirements. By prioritising their health and well-being, international students can make the most of their educational journey in UK.
Food: Plenty of Indian food options are available all over most of UK - largely in big towns. However, eating in restaurants can be expensive. So use supermarket options and of course learn to cook!
It is easy to settle in a new country these days – you just need a little preparation, a calm mind and a spirit of exploration and new experiences.
Sustainable Travel Tip of the Month
Let us be Responsible Travellers
Slow travel is a type of travel that emphasises the experience over the destination. It is about taking your time to explore a place, to really get to know the people and culture and to make lasting memories.
There are many benefits to slow travel, especially for students. Here are a few:
You can learn more about the local culture. When you slow down, you have more time to interact with locals and learn about their way of life.
You can improve your language skills. If you are studying abroad, slow travel is a great way to improve your language skills. By immersing yourself in the language, you will have more opportunities to practise and learn new vocabulary.
You can reduce stress. When you are not constantly rushing from one place to the next, you have more time to relax and enjoy your surroundings. This can be especially beneficial for students who are feeling stressed about their studies.
Slow travel doesn’t just mean spending many days in a place. It also means, you are not in a hurry to check things off a To-Do / To-see list. Whenever you get some time off, choose a new destination and head out.
Here are some tips for slow travel:
Choose a destination that you are interested in. This will make your trip more enjoyable and meaningful.
Do your research. Learn about the local culture, the best places to visit and the best ways to get around.
Take your time. Don't try to see too much in too little time. Slow down and enjoy the journey.
Be open to new experiences. This is the best way to make the most of your trip.
Connect with locals. This is a great way to learn about the local culture and to make lasting memories.
UK is a stunning country and all the foreign students should definitely invest their time and energy in seeing more of it.
‘Vacations’ is powered by OneShoe Trust for Responsible & Mindful Travels – a social enterprise that promotes travelling as a means to raise awareness about climate change and environmental issues. Incubated at IIM Bangalore, OneShoe is the source of most authentic travel experiences around the world.
Link to: oneshoetravels.com
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