Life & culture in the UK
Below is some general information about your host country.
Around 67 million people live in the UK. 56 million people live in England, while around 5.5 million people live in Scotland, 3.1 million in Wales and 1.9 million in Northern Ireland.
The UK is ethnically diverse with a multicultural and multi-faith society. Some areas of the UK are more diverse than others, especially larger cities.
In 2011, over 14% of the population identified themselves as being part of an ethnic group other than white. This includes mixed ethnic groups, Asian, African, and Arab people. The largest religion in the UK is Christianity, with 33.2 million followers (59% of the population). The second largest religion is Islam, with 2.7 million followers (5% of the population). Around a quarter of the UK population practise no religion.
Cultural and religious differences, tolerance and fairness are important values. People are allowed to practise or celebrate their beliefs or identity, provided they respect the belief or identity of others and are not in conflict with UK laws. You are free to practise your religion.
You can find churches, mosques, synagogues, or other places of worship in many towns and cities, though there are fewer in rural areas. Christianity is the official religion and festivals such as Christmas and Easter are widely celebrated. People must respect each other’s views, religion, and dress, even if it is different from what they are used to. It is illegal to treat people in a bad or different way because of where they come from, their gender, sexuality, religion, political views, age, disability, or other characteristics.
The UK is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. This means that the monarch is the head of state, but power rests in the democratically elected parliament. The Prime Minister leads the government. The government is usually formed by the largest political party who are elected through free and fair elections. The power to make laws rests in the two Houses of Parliament: The House of Commons and House of Lords.
Currency & how much things cost
The currency used in the UK is the pound sterling, commonly referred to as pounds. This currency comes in the form of banknotes and coins. There are one hundred (100) pence (p) in every pound (£1 = 100p). £1 is equivalent to 38.62 Ukrainian Hryvnia (exchange rate on April 4, 2022). Most people use a bank card or pay using a mobile phone to make chip/pin and contactless payments, which are available in almost every shop in the UK.
While prices vary from shop to shop below are some typical examples of what you’d expect to pay for some of the basics:
- 4 pint bottle of milk: £1.25 . Milk has different coloured tops. Usually a blue top means full fat milk and a red top is 0% fat milk.
- Loaf of bread: £1.00 - £1.25. Smaller shops will typically sell sliced bread prepackaged. Bigger supermarkets and bakeries have a greater variety of breads.
- 6 Eggs: £1.30. Eggs that are free range or organic will tend to be more expensive.
- 1 whole chicken (small) : £4.00 - £7.00
- 1 kg carrots: £0.45
Our welcome pack (available in English or Ukrainian) brings together most of the information in this section of the website and can be downloaded for future reference.