|Food is a big challenge|
It is easy to overlook the big changes faced by international students, be they on exchange or opting to follow their entire course away from their home base. For many the language is both the biggest hurdle and key benefit sought, with English currently holding top spot as the de facto lingua Franca. Food is often cited, however the campus food offering is very international, with an Asian food market on Tuesdays at the students union. Nearby Tesco, who stock a wide range of international food, offer a grocery delivery service for those keen on convenience.
|Coffee Shops are very popular|
Chutney Mary's in Egham and the Jain restaurant in nearby Southall are popular, esp with South Asians. Chen Mei (pictured above) sparked off these posts on different aspects of the cultural experience I had rather over looked previously. Thankfully since I was growing up, when Spanish olives were seen as exotic, English food culture has improved dramatically both in terms of restaurant provision and for supermarket groceries.
For others who are already fluent in English the challenges might comprise the culture and climate. On the Royal Holloway MBA students experience a freshers week session that looks at the four stages of culture shock, giving insights into a number of pro active strategies that can be employed to navigate through the assimilation into UK expatriate living.
I used to work for Heathrow headquartered British Airways, where the airport city is the most international space in UK, if not Europe. I have always loved the buzz you get from interacting with different cultures and find our Egham campus to be fantastically multicultural, probably the second most diversely international place in England. Our students get a double whammy, experiencing both English and highly international environments.