UCL - at the heart of multicultural London

2 December 2020

In this article, UCL alumna Ayesha talks about our wonderfully diverse city and how diverse cultures are celebrated in London and at UCL. Even if you're not able to come onto campus right away this September, find out more about the vibrant city that awaits!

multicultural london

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and London life

We understand that some of you may be studying remotely to begin with due to the coronavirus situation and therefore unable to arrive on campus and in London.

We hope that even if you can’t join us immediately, that these articles get you excited for when you are able to join us here in London and give you a flavour of the amazing things to come.

Being the largest city in the UK, London is also home to one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world. Approximately 1/3 of Londoners were born abroad and over 200 languages are spoken in the capital. The wide range of cultures and languages are celebrated in London in many different ways – mainly with amazing food and lively festivals.

UCL also celebrates multiculturalism by offering students a dynamic range of clubs and societies right at their doorstep. These clubs invite students to learn about the language and lifestyle of people from around the world, as well as giving students an environment to explore their own horizons and understand different cultures. There are over 250 different clubs and societies at UCL, highlighting just how diverse our community is!

Being so centrally located, communities around UCL also provide students with a wealth of places and people so that they can both feel at home and explore the diversity that London has to offer. One of the biggest displays of culture in London is Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place every August sadly except 2020 - but we hope it will be back in 2021. This parade provides a great atmosphere to sing, dance, and eat your way through the Caribbean culture of the area. Other cultural street festivals in the city include the London Mela, Chinese New Year festivities, St Patrick's Day events, and many more. These show just how special London is, with people from all over the world living in harmony and sharing their cultures.

As well as culture, London also represents religions from all over the world. The city is a safe space for people of all religious backgrounds to practise their faith, and UCL has quiet contemplation rooms in the Student Centre that are available for all students – whether it's to pray, meditate, read, or just to have a few quiet moments to themselves. In the wider city, London offers a wealth of churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples for everyone to use. These places of worship allow students to follow their beliefs as well as becoming part of a community.

With a whole host of different cultures comes a lot of delicious food! Restaurants and street stalls around London allow you to try out some new delicacies as well as treating yourself to some of your favourite dishes.

The heart and soul of London is owed to its multicultural population – without these great people, London just wouldn’t be the same!

Ayesha Khan, UCL alumna, MSc Cancer