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Acclimatising During the First Visit to the UK as an IMG: A Short Guide



Hi, my name is Iniya, and I am an International Medical Graduate from India. I have cleared my PLABs, received GMC registration, and completed a clinical attachment. I am hoping to build a career in the UK, and in this blog, I am going to explain a little about how to adapt to living in the UK based on my short experience.


Culture shock


For anyone traveling and visiting a new country for the first time, the culture shock is real, and the UK is no exception for that. For example, despite being an English-speaking country, there are a wide range of dialects and accents throughout the country, which at first can be quite confusing.


The British are very polite and friendly, and simple phrases like “please”, “thank you,” and “have a nice day” show that you respect that. Punctuality is very important, and if you are going to be late, it is good practice to let the person know beforehand. It helps to read up about the culture before you travel to make your interactions with people easier.


Weather


Owing to its location and varied landscape, the UK has unpredictable weather throughout the year, but there is no such thing as “bad weather”; there is only “being unprepared”.

There can exist a sudden change in temperatures, rainfall, and winds, and it is not always a pleasant experience.


It is helpful to stay updated with weather forecasts and always be prepared for shifts in weather conditions. The winters can be quite harsh with freezing temperatures, so it can be useful to layer up and wear the right footwear to help navigate in snow, ice, and rain.


Food and grocery


The UK has a wide range of local delicacies, but it might not be for everyone’s palate. Although it can be interesting to try the local cuisine on occasion, eating out frequently can become an expensive affair. If you are able to cook your meals on a regular basis, it is extremely beneficial.


No, you do not need to be a master chef; you can learn to make basic meals to sustain yourself and go easy on the pockets as well. You can find a huge variety of groceries in local stores, and this helps with planning your meals. Most places in the UK have many regional restaurants as well, in case you develop a craving for food from your home country.


Applications


There are many apps you can use to make your life easier in the UK, depending on your needs. Citymapper is a widely used transportation app where you can find real-time information on different transport options to navigate through cities in the UK. Uber and Bolt are popular apps that can be used to book a cab ride, and Trainline is a useful app for booking train journeys throughout the country. BBC Weather helps keep track of the weather forecast, and applications like Deliveroo and Uber Eats are very useful when it comes to ordering groceries or food.


Travel and Transport


The UK is a beautiful country, and there are a number of beautiful destinations to visit. The public transport system in the UK is excellent, and the tube/tram in bigger cities can be extremely helpful in navigating between places. Local buses are available in most places with regular services throughout the day.


The national rail network is quite extensive and connects a large number of towns and cities throughout the country. Within the city/town, cycling is becoming an increasingly popular means of navigating. Many destinations in cities and towns can be within walking distance, so be prepared to walk a lot.


Expenses


Visiting the UK can be an exorbitant affair, and it helps to plan your budget in advance accordingly. As tempting as it gets, try to avoid the math of converting GBP to your home currency in your head while calculating expenditures. Purchasing a Forex card or a local bank card can be a good option for short travels to the UK.


Things to keep in mind


The first visit to the UK can be overwhelming for anyone. Tell yourself that it’s okay; it’s not easy when it is new. It is a big deal that you made it this far, and it is something to be proud of yourself for. You earned this, and make sure to reward yourself and set time aside to explore the place. And remember that there is a whole community of IMGs you can approach for help at any step of the way.


If you have any questions about building your portfolio, I would be happy to answer them at TrewLink website. You can register using this link https://trewlink.com?referrer=ini969497

Find me as an Ambassador and Follow my profile – Iniya Ezhilarasan - to receive regular support and advice.


Warm Wishes,

Iniya

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