The UK is an island nation in Western Europe, comparable to the size of Victoria and a treasure for students wishing to follow in the footsteps of the Ancient Celts, Saxon tribes, Roman legions and Viking warriors. From the frenzy of world-famous London to sleepy villages, the UK is renowned for its natural beauty and rough outdoors.

The British culture is very diverse and there is no such thing as a uniform ‘British culture’. Instead, it is either English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish, or, indeed Asian British etc. With over 16,000 towns and villages, a broad array of accents and dialects evolved over time throughout England and left a remarkable voiceprint across the different regions. The Scottish culture remains vibrant, colourful and with its own distinct traditions.

Impressive megaliths, castles and modern architecture mark the landscapes and reflect its centuries-long history. Home to Shakespeare, Will and Kate, Mr Bean, mysterious Stonehenge, Loch Ness, Big Ben and last but not least Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the UK has never stopped to catch everyone’s attention around the world.


The school year in the UK begins late-August to early-September (depending on location) and finishes late-June to early July.  The school day typically starts at 8:55am and finishes at 3:15pm. Australian students will find that secondary school in the UK is similar to secondary school here in Australia! Subjects include Math, Science, English, History, Geography, Art, Drama, Music and ICT. School uniforms are required at most schools in the UK.


The official language of the UK is English, spoken by 98% of the population. The Welsh language is also an official language in Wales. Although English is the main language spoken throughout the UK, there are numerous regional dialects that can often leave Australian-English speakers confused – to say the least! A small selection of current dialects includes Geordie, Lancastrian, Brummie, Cockney, Cardiff dialect, Orcadian and Glaswegian.


The weather in the UK changes every day, often making it difficult to predict a weekly forecast! Generally speaking, the UK has warm summers and cold winter.  Their summers are typically cooler than other countries on the continent, but their winters tend to be milder. Depending on daylight saving, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are between eight to nine hours ahead of the UK.

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Go abroad with AFS to discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.

Our learning program will prepare you for an amazing AFS intercultural experience. The program begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations and other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations will help you maximize your experience, cope the challenges of navigating a new culture and community and gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding, throughout your time abroad, and as you return to you home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family through your learning journey abroad.


The Global Competence Certificate (GCC) program will support your intercultural learning experience. This state-of-the-art program prepares you to successfully navigate new cultural environments—during your AFSNext experience and long after you finish the program. Online intercultural learning modules combined with in-person sessions help you develop practical and global skills, knowledge and attitudes that employers need and mission-driven organizations believe will help achieve their social impact goals. You will receive your certification upon completion of the training program.

Explore the Programs Available in United Kingdom