British Social Norms & Etiquette at the University of Chester’s International Center

British Social Norms & Etiquette at the University of Chester’s International Center
British Social Norms & Etiquette at the University of Chester’s International Center
Understanding the concepts for polite behavior, such as etiquette and British social norms, is crucial. Having a solid understanding of British manners can help you fit in during your studies in the UK.


Being late is frowned upon or even considered disrespectful by many Brits, who swear by punctuality. It's crucial to be on time the majority of the time. Of course, there are situations in life where being late is totally unavoidable. For instance, you must there by 10am if the talk starts at 10. Make sure your "late arrivals" are kept to a minimal by planning ahead.


You'll see lines everywhere in the UK, including supermarkets, train stations, and banks. British people are quite disciplined when it comes to patiently waiting in line, thus anyone trying to cut through the line will undoubtedly get some strange stares or comments! However, if you ask nicely and have a good cause, most British people will gladly move aside for you.


In the UK, cigarette smoking is fairly prevalent. One in six British adults are thought to smoke. It's significant to remember that smoking was outlawed in all enclosed public spaces in England in 2007. This applies to eateries, bars, and public transportation. Although the University of Chester has approved smoking locations, the campus is technically "smoke free." It's crucial to verify your tenancy agreement to determine whether smoking is permitted in your residence.


In the UK, tipping is customary and expected when dining in establishments. It's customary to add a few additional pounds to the bill, though you're not required to do so. Although there are no fixed rules on how much or when to tip, this manual offers some useful advice.


International students frequently comment on how impressed they are by British people's civility. The words "please" and "thank you" are arguably among the most frequently used in the UK, thus it's crucial to use them when necessary. The British are known for over-apologizing as well! You'll probably hear a lot of people apologize for little things like bumping into you or asking you a question. In public, you should definitely refrain from passing wind, spitting, yawning or sneezing without covering your mouth, and littering. Personal space should not be violated. When you are bending towards somebody to tell something it is considered rude.


The handshake is the most typical greeting gesture in the UK. When meeting someone for the first time and at formal settings, this is utilized. Typically, you extend your right hand to shake the other person's right hand. Hugging and cheek kissing are typically used to greet close friends or family members. Verbal pleasantries like "hello," "hi," and "alright?" are also frequently used and do not constitute questions. Formal occasions have their own rules.

Telephone protocol

In the UK, social media is widely used and the majority of persons have a mobile phone. The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and many individuals use WhatsApp to text each other. When conversing with someone or dining at the dinner table, it's best to put your phone away. Cultural differences will slightly vary between the countries.


An iconic representation of British culture is a cup of tea. Most establishments you visit in the UK will likely offer you tea. Keep in mind that in the UK, tea can also refer to your evening meal. The most popular names for meals are breakfast, dinner, and tea or breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

British Laughter

Sarcasm and the ability to laugh at oneself best describe British humor. Getting used to this can take some time.

Social customs and British culture

The four nations that make up the United Kingdom—England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland—each with their own distinctive traditions and customs—as well as the people who live there have all contributed to the development of British culture. Social customs and culture in Britain are quite distinctive. The cultural and social customs of the destination country are among the most crucial things to understand before traveling there. You might not know anything if you're an international student from another nation. Everything you need to know about British culture is included in this page. Although you may have learnt a few things about the UK through television programs and the internet, and you may have even traveled there before, living there is a very different experience. Here are some social customs that British people follow that you can pick up wherever you are in the UK.

What you should know about British citizens

British people are on time. Being late is strange and, in some situations, seen as rude. As soon as you anticipate being late for something, let the parties involved know. Additionally, arriving late to a dinner party at someone's house is more respectable than arriving late to a public event. Never run the "queues" (also known as lines) in the UK. Jumping the line may be accepted in certain nations, but in the UK, people may not be too pleased with you and will definitely let you know how upset they are with the situation. It is customary in British society to wait patiently in line. In the UK, it's appropriate to maintain a one-arm distance while conversing with someone. For individuals who are native to the UK, getting any closer is seen as aggressive and can be uncomfortable. The words please, thank you, and sorry are frequently used in everyday interactions and conversations. Some individuals are simply perplexed by British courtesy. You might not be used to this as an international student, but after you arrive, you'll probably quickly adjust! In the UK, you do not merely shake hands when introducing yourself to a good friend or relative. You will regularly give and/or receive a brief kiss on the cheek, especially if one of the people being greeted or being greeted is a girl. The physical contact is viewed as strange or unsettling if you are not a close friend or family member.The elderly and the disabled are highly respected in the United Kingdom. If there isn't another seat available and someone who is older or disabled board the tram (or whatever vehicle you are in), you are obliged to give up your seat if you are on public transportation. You should also inquire if assistance is needed if an elderly person or a disabled person appears to be having difficulty with something.
 British traditions
Superlatives are rarely used by Britons, and their speaking style is not energetic. They prioritize privacy over all other considerations, so watch what you ask because you can unintentionally be probing.

The British Cuisine

The four diverse and rich cultures of the UK's constituent nations are combined to create British cuisine. This explains why there are so many different culinary traditions in Britain. Your familiar cuisine, which you're used to eating every day, is one of the things you'll frequently miss when you're far from home. You will still feel the same in the UK, but the British cuisine will unquestionably be a fantastic substitute. You will undoubtedly discover some foods to your taste among the many varieties available. One of the first aspects of a culture you'll encounter is its traditional cuisine. You would be grateful to have some basic information about British cuisine to prevent culture shock before visiting the UK. Beyond the typical British foods like roast meat and Yorkshire pudding, there are other options. You can find some of the most popular British specialties down below that you should try at least once when visiting the UK. British history is the long and rich history, it had an influence over everything.
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