What no one tells international students about UK spring

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Where I come from, we only get one season (hot and humid) all year round. So, for me, arriving in a country with actual seasons throughout the year was pretty exciting. Spring officially began on March 20th and it can be a very confusing period if you’re not acclimatised to seasons in the UK. That’s why I’m going to share a few things I’ve learned about spring with all you international students who have also moved to the UK to study.

1. There’s snow season like it

Temperatures can fluctuate wildly between Arctic and heatwave during the spring months. March 2017 saw 21°C sunshine, while during March 2018, Storm Emma brought heavy snow. I’ve found the last two springs have been extremely cold, but then a heatwave can suddenly strike in the middle of the week. The best way to handle spring is to keep checking weather updates and be very flexible with your wardrobe choices.

2. There's more to rain than drops

Ah, rain. So, what exactly is rain? How about drizzle? Does it come in showers? Right, here’s what I’ve gathered…

Showers are more scattered, don’t last long and are more ‘localised’.

Drizzles is more than a shower, falls slower than rain with smaller raindrops.

Rain has bigger raindrops that fall slightly faster at a more continuous rate.

A good way to check if it’s raining or drizzling is by looking at a puddle. If you can spot individual raindrops, it’s probably rain. If not, it’s probably drizzle.

3. Don’t underestimate drizzle

Whichever type of rain is falling, it tends to fall more often in spring than during other seasons. Sometimes with lighter drizzles you’ll think it’s probably not worth whipping out your umbrella or your hood. However, the millions of little raindrops can stay in your hair for the day, and lo and behold, you can wake up the next day wondering why you’re suddenly ill. So, take this as a warning and do wear a hat or hood to avoid this trap.

4. Lemsip is your best friend

If you do get ill, Lemsip is a wonderful remedy for cold or flu. I swear by this stuff whenever I’m feeling sniffly, and you’ll find me ferociously sweeping this stuff off the shelves and into my basket at Boots. Even if you’re not ill, it’s good to have in the cupboard because I guarantee that your flatmates or coursemates will emerge sneezing and coughing at some point during spring.

5. The clocks will change and change again

Remember that Sunday morning back in October when you woke up to the shock that your watch and iPhone both read completely different times? That happens again on Sunday 31st March, only this time, the clocks will mysteriously go forward one hour, marking the beginning of Daylight-Saving Time (DST) or British Summer Time (BST). Although your devices should adjust automatically, remember to change your analogue clocks to avoid another confused awakening.

6. Cadburys Crème Eggs are compulsory

The UK’s obsession with this decedent treat has reached cult status. What adds to its popularity is its limited availability, which is from January to April each year, ready for the Easter holidays. So, make sure you indulge in this ephemeral Easter snack while you can if you want to really step into spring culture.

Do you have any spring tips for international students? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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British spring