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A few ways to celebrate Christmas as an International Student in the UK

Christmas is just round the corner, are you ready for it?  As an international student, I understand sometimes it may be difficult for us to go home during this peak season due to the un-affordable price of a flight ticket.  However, I think it’s not a bad idea to celebrate Christmas in a foreign country because you can always do something differently to create unforgettable experiences in your life.  Let’s find out what we can do at Christmas time!


Have a Christmas trip!

I am pretty sure by this time most of you have already planned and booked the places that you would like to visit during the Christmas break.  However, if you haven’t come up with a plan, I hope the following suggestions can help you out.



As international students, this may be a great opportunity for us to broaden our horizons by travelling somewhere outside the UK.  I think Spain is a good idea to feel the excitement of the holiday season.   During the third year of my degree, I have spent couple of days visiting Madrid and Barcelona.  The reasons that I chose Spain were because of the weather (not as cold as the UK and always sunny) and most importantly, the FOOD!  Churros, seafood paella and turrón are highly recommended if you are going to Spain during this Christmas.  Moreover, the architecture and the historical monuments have amazed me since they are really gorgeous and magnificent.  Besides sightseeing, don’t forget to pay a visit to their Christmas market, you might find some attractive handmade household Christmas decorations or ornaments. They can be your souvenirs for you family and friends.


If you don’t want to travel aboard, why not try to visit some major cities in the UK with your friends? Besides Liverpool and Manchester, London is another place that I really love to go during Christmas time.  Not just because of the delicious food there, but you can also spend a great time at the Winter Wonderland.  It opens from now till 2 January, from 10am to 10pm.  If you are interested, more information could be found in the link below:


Socializing with your university friends/ other international students

I notice that many of the international students will choose to stay on campus if they don’t want to go travelling around or heading back to their home country during the break.  So, why not come together and do something that is fun and special?  Maybe someone can initiate a plan for a Christmas dinner/party.  I think this is nice if everyone can show how you celebrate Christmas in your own culture.  Even though some countries may not tend to celebrate Christmas, this can be your chance to learn or to engage in such a meaningful time around the year in the UK.  In addition, you all can cook some traditional festive food and share among the group.  In such case, you are still able to enjoy the traditions though you are miles away from home.santas-lodge-durham

I know it’s boring but…. Don’t forget your Revision.

I know most of you will not have exams just right after the Christmas break, however, try to spare a few days to go through the learning materials and make yourself clear with everything that you have covered in this term.  Preparing in advance allows you to have enough time to come up with better ideas and arguments in your examinations next year.  Whereas, for those that are having their exams soon, don’t try to overwhelm yourself by doing a lot of readings a day.  Try to come up with a reasonable timetable and to revise bit by bit.

So, don’t feel sad if you can’t go home during this Christmas as other international students are having the similar situation as you.  Just be active and take part in some activities so as to avoid any loneliness during this time.  I am sure you can gain happiness and precious memories by getting new experiences either in the UK or abroad.

Eunice Mui

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