Preparing for the weather: Winter in the UK

An image of a university of kent student in a winter jumperSecond term happens to fall into the winter months, here in the UK. And if you’re an international student like me, it’s quite likely that you’ve never experienced a winter in this country. I had no idea what to expect from the weather, and found myself only moderately prepared for what I ended up experiencing.

Canterbury has been known to have a mild range of temperatures throughout the year so degree-wise it isn’t very cold, usually hovering around two degrees Celsius. However, there is something about the British cold that makes it seem much colder. If you’re not properly dressed it can make things seem quite miserable. I was in this predicament when the weather first started to change, but once I started to copy the dress of the natives on campus, I found myself becoming warmer and more likely to spend time outside again!

So I’ve compiled a list here of all the items of clothing recommended to me from my British friends over the past few months. Set yourself up with some of these, and you’ll be good to go! I’ve presented them by their local slang because half the time I had no idea what anyone was referring to when they said wellies and jumpers!

  • Wellybobs/Wellies: This is UK slang for rubber rain boots! These are an essential piece of a south-england wardrobe. With all the wet and rain the most important thing to me is keeping my feet dry as I wander through campus on my way to class.
  • Brollie: An adorable reference to an umbrella! I went to Primark in my very first week in the UK and picked up an umbrella for myself and now I carry it everywhere (because I always find myself needing it).
  • Woolly Hat: This one is a little simpler, it just means a nice, warm hat! I’ve grown a collection over the past few months of different beanies, knitted wool hats, and other fuzzy warm things.
  • Jumper: One of my favorite references to what a North American would basically call a warm sweater! My wardrobe and style consists mostly of various types of jumpers – one for every day of the week! There’s literally no way you can go wrong with a nice knit in this climate.

I have so enjoyed the roller coaster that is Canterbury weather. To me, it’s all about being warm over looking cool but as someone who’s not from this country I definitely admire the way that everyone on campus is able to look great and stay cozy. From the 15 minute snow falls, to the rainy weekends, all of the weather is starting to grow on me, and I find myself admiring the climate and how no one lets a little rain get them down. The classes and busy student life must go on – education doesn’t care about a bit of precipitation so get your wellybobs and jumpers on and enjoy the British winter while you can!

This post is by Gytha Chapman