UK School Holidays Foreign Exchange Students Should Know About
The UK enjoys a significant number of foreign exchange students as well as other international students pursuing various programs at the premier learning institutions. School holidays are always a delight for many students and if you are an international student in the UK, you can expect some slight variation in the breaks with what you are used to back in your home country. To help you prepare adequately for the UK school holidays, here are the major ones every foreign student should know-:
Christmas/New Year Break
The Christmas/New Year break is often between the months of December and January and may last for between three and four weeks. Just as the name suggests, it normally coincides with Christmas and New Year celebrations and these are one of the two key festivals in the United Kingdom.
The exact start date and the date when students are expected to resume classes may vary from one institution to another and it is imperative for every foreign exchange student to confirm the specific dates with their school administrations. This is important so that you get your traveling dates right if you were planning on going for a trip or visiting your home country during this time.
If you are not planning to travel and instead remain within the college to do your independent studies, then you should check the dates when key building such as the library and computer workstations will be open. In most cases, they will remain open for most part of the holidays, but may be closed a few days to and a few days after Christmas and New Year. The teaching and administrative staff may also be around for a few days after the students have left for vacation.
The next holiday foreign exchange students can expect in the UK after the New Year Break is the Easter holiday which falls in March/April. There are no specific dates for this holiday and it may vary slightly from one year to another. It usually just a few days off class and it normally start on a Friday and ends on the following Monday. Since it is like an extended weekend, it may not be a good time to travel because classes will resume the following week on Tuesday. But during this time, there are lots of activities going on because Easter is another festival observed religiously in the United Kingdom. For foreign students, it is a great time to venture out and interact with natives, share their foods and also take part in some of the traditions associated with the holiday.
The summer holiday is the third holiday and the longest in the UK school calendar. During this holiday, most of the students in lower levels in undergraduate programs will typically go back to their homes, but the same may not be the case for postgraduate students as this is the time they are required to finish writing their dissertations and research work.
In addition to the above, there are a variety of the so-called Bank Holidays which are basically one-day holidays that occurs on a Monday or simply extended weekends. Check out the official UK Government to know about these holidays. Since they are just for one day, you can’t plan for any major travel or event, other than rest or do independent studies.