Student Blog

Studying Abroad in the UK! #02 Living

4min read

Hello everyone! This time I would like to share with you details about my life, dormitory, classes, etc. in the UK, where I am studying abroad as an exchange student! Please be sure to read my previous article on why I chose a university in the U.K. and my preparation for my trip there!

Life in the UK

As for the temperature and weather, I have the impression that it is colder than Japanese winters, but basically there is not much snow. I had heard that it rains a lot, but it rarely rains all day long; it is often cloudy and drizzling. However, since there are almost no tall buildings in Oxford, you can see the moon and stars beautifully on a clear night.

For food and daily necessities, the University Co-op is basically sufficient, but the streets of Oxford are so lovely that it is a small pleasure to go for a walk to the supermarket near the University for some shopping.

In England, cashless payment is more advanced than in Japan, and I seldom use cash. Even the cafes on campus are mobile-order style, where you order and pay for your food in advance and then pick it up. I was surprised to find that even the washing machines in the dormitories are paid for with an app.

The city of Oxford has many stately buildings that are typical of England, making it picturesque no matter where you walk.

The Co-op also sells a lot of fresh food!

About the University

Oxford Brookes University, where I attend, consists of modern and stylish buildings with several cafes, stores, and bars on campus. There are plenty of spaces to study comfortably with a drink or food in hand, which is very convenient when doing assignments after class.

Lectures are mainly held in the large lecture halls or in the "Lecture Theater," a large lecture hall that looks like a movie theater, and then seminars are held in smaller classrooms.

For example, the university assigns an academic advisor (AA) to each student, and they are always available for consultation if you have any concerns about your university life or academics. I had a teacher who could speak Japanese, and when I met with him immediately after my arrival in the UK, he told me a lot about university life in the UK, which eased my anxiety.


I live in a university dormitory which is about a 10-minute walk from the university. It is cold outside, but the room is equipped with a heater, so I am currently living comfortably. The rooms are private, and we share a kitchen, toilet, and shower with 5~6 other rooms. We have a chat group with these members, and we take turns to take out the trash in the kitchen.

By the way, you can often see squirrels around the dormitory and on the roads to the campus. They are very cute.

This is the dorm where I live. It is a very convenient 10-minute walk from campus.

This is my favorite place to study. There are many sofas with electrical outlets and tables with lights for comfortable studying!


Since there are many discussions in lectures and seminars, there are many opportunities to make friends as long as you speak up for yourself.

Also, one of the professors in the Japanese Studies Department invited me to help out in the Japanese language class, and I was able to make new friends and get to know people who are also studying abroad from Japan by helping Japanese language students with their speaking skills. Incidentally, I took a class called Japanese Teaching Methodology at APU, so I was happy to be able to use my knowledge and experience when helping out in class. Also, through the same professor's mediation, a fourth-year student from the Japanese Studies Department became a buddy for those who were studying abroad from Japan, and they helped me with language support and gave me recommendations on places to go in Oxford and London. When I went out to pubs with my buddies, I was able to make new friends and we went shopping together.

This is the courtyard of the university. You can often see students and teachers having lunch.

Classes and Assignments

APU is famous for its many assignments, but British universities also assign a large amount of reading material for each class. Classes are a combination of lectures and seminars, with assigned literature in both, and students are expected to prepare questions and discussions in advance. All evaluations are based on mid-term and final reports, and students are given detailed instructions on how to write reports in lectures and seminars, and if necessary, receive detailed individual guidance from professors. In addition, all students receive feedback from their professors on their midterm reports. The subject matter of the reports and discussions in my Politics class is often related to British and European politics, so as an international student, I find it difficult to keep up without putting in more effort than others. Overall, I often feel that the academic environment is very severe, but I will continue to do my best, thinking that this is also one of the best parts of studying abroad.

In this article, I have introduced my study abroad experience in the UK. In my next article, I would like to share about the holidays during my study abroad! Please stay tuned for my future posts!

I had fish and chips at the pub and a vegetable lasagna!

Natsuki Aoki
Natsuki Aoki

Hello! I'm Natsuki, an APS 3rd year majoring in International Relations. I hope to inspire you all by sharing my interesting experiences, new discoveries, and encounters at APU. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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