Life: India vs the UK

Have you wondered what are the differences between life in India vs the UK? What kind of life wins when we compare life in India vs the UK? Do you know what life is like in the UK? How about what life is like in India? You have heard all the good things about life in the UK. And you are quite familiar with the good things about life in India. How about we compare the two?

Air Quality

Let us measure the air quality of central cities in the UK vs central cities in India, considering that people living in cities would be more impacted by it.

Disclaimer

Please note that I have taken this data from waqi. To check the AQI in real-time, visit their website and type in the name of the city. Where there were multiple AQIs for different regions within the city, I have used an average.

City AQI
UK
London64
Oxford 56
Manchester78
Leeds 62
Liverpool55
India
Delhi200
Mumbai 130
Bangalore57
Hyderabad 82
Kolkata 150

Did you think about this while thinking about moving to the UK? Do you think that breathing clean air is better than breathing unhealthy air? Or is it a factor that is irrelevant to you?

Quality of Life

India

In India quality of life is subject to the city that you live in. If you happen to live in the bigger cities, then depending on the kind air, food, and water that is available to you, you decide the quality of life. There are other factors as well, like work-life balance, quality of public transport, quality of places of leisure, quality of social life, quality of cultural life and a thousand other factors that would depend on where you are located, what your situation is, the kind of work that you do…and the list is endless.

However, in a nutshell, quality of life can be defined as the amount of happiness or satisfaction that you derive from the life you lead. If you tend to feel unsatisfied, unhappy, or have a tendency to get frustrated easily, or are just generally upset about various things in your life, your quality of life would be considered to be low.

So, think about your life, how satisfied are you with it, how much of it do you look forward to, and how many times in a week do you go to bed without too much tensions hovering in your head.

UK

Student Life

If you are a student from India, who is trying to struggle between part-time work and full-time studies, then your quality of life is moderate, depending on how you manage your time, work, food, finances and social life. If you happen to manage all the things well and there is a perfect balance between the two, then you can say that your quality of life is good.

However, if there is even one area that is mismanaged, and as a result of that the other aspects of your life get affected. Or, if there is one thing that is consistently bothering you like your messed up diet, or lack of social life, then your quality of life is poor.

Now, when it comes having everything perfectly managed is a situation that is desired by every one but achieved by none. However, it is your ability to wanting to stay on track that drives the quality of your life. Given that you have had a look at the challenges of living in the UK, you can decide for yourself the quality of your life in this case.

Worker’s Life

If you are working in the UK, then managing work and life is difficult. Working in big cities in the UK is like working in every other big city in the world. Your work-life schedule is messed up, you spend hours on your work desk. And, sometimes you have to take work home. This messes up your diet, your social life, and any time that you want to take out for yourself.

And on top of that is the feeling that you get constantly that you are not at home, and away from everything else. However, that feeling is only temporary. The moment you make some constant friends, or have people that you can talk to and have a good time with, it all changes.

You know what the schedule of a person working full-time in the UK is like, you have seen the challenges they face. Decide for yourself, what would be the quality of life in this case.

Ask yourself, what kind of life would you prefer when we compare life in India vs the UK in this case?

Food

India

Living with Family or Alone

If you are living with your family in India, then you are probably getting food served on the table. You do not have to worry about what to cook, when to cook and how to cook. Even if you are doing your part in the kitchen, you are probably not the only person responsible for it.

And, if you are the only person responsible for the food at your home, then you have the perfect idea about what how to make food that is nutritious and healthy.

Think about the quality of food that you make and eat. How hard is it to find fresh vegetables? Is it easy to know what’s fresh and what not? Do you know if it’s easy to understand the nutritious food? How easy is it to know what foods are health for your family?

And, if you do not have the time to cook, then is the food you’re eating outside nutritious enough? Do you have healthy eating choices outside? Are the expensive? Are they accessible? Is the food fresh?

Living in the UK

Most of your grocery shopping will happen at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, M&S, and other such stores.

Most of the vegetables and meat found at these stores are fresh. There would be some times though when you would find that a type of vegetable is infected, or just appears and smells stale. However, in that case, you can take it back to the store as proof and can take action against the store in repeated instances.

If you happen to shop at small stores, then depending on the type of store and the number of customers it serves, the food’s quality will vary.

To be brutally honest, of all the times that I bought groceries from these stores, I never had trouble with neither the vegetables that I bought nor the meat. In fact, the meat was often tender and fresh, and had exact details of where it was sourced from, what was its expiry date etc.

There were weeks when I was simply eating outside. So, buying cold sandwiches from Tesco, or getting meals from McDonald’s or Greggs was usual for me. Of all the times I bought something off of these stores, I never had trouble with any food. In fact, the cold sandwiches at Tesco always seemed fresh and never damaged my stomach or gave me a case of food poisoning.

I am not saying that their food is brilliant. There were instances where either my friends or colleagues had a case of food poisoning, but I only rarely came across those cases in daily life. I am sure if you look up in the news then you are going to find several such instances.

Education

India

If you have been living in India since you were a child, then you have probably studied at a government/private school. And if you are working right now then you are mature enough to understand what the education system is like, how much it has helped you. If you have even completed your bachelor’s/master’s or PhD degree, then you know the quality of our higher education institutions.

You know how good they are, you know how much value they have provided to you, whether that value has been practically useful, or has been limited to theoretical gibberish. You know the kind of jobs that are available to people who have done that degree, the kind of career progression that is available. In a nutshell, you can rate the education that you have received until now.

For those of you who do not have the resources or the mental capacity (yet) to understand the quality of India’s education system, then you can ask around. Ask your parents, teachers, professors, seniors, mentors and gather different perspectives.

UK

Primary and Secondary Education

I have only done my Master’s from Queen Mary University of London. So I cannot comment much on the primary and secondary education in the UK. From what I have heard and read, I know that education is free for people aged between 5 and 16. It is provided by state-run schools, however if you wish to pursue education from private institutions in the UK, then it comes at a hefty price. Moreover, I have read and heard balanced reviews about the primary and secondary education system in the UK. Some people have commented how good it is, and other people have been disgusted by it.

I personally had the chance to work as a volunteer for about a month at a state-run school. I was career-counselling kids between the ages 12 and 16. My experience of that was that the kids were quite aware of what they wanted to pursue, had done their research and spoke passionately about their career options. Not only that I found most of the kids that I counselled to display extreme enthusiasm in their career choices, no matter what they were.

Higher Education

To be brutally honest, my experience studying at one of the leading universities in the UK, Queen Mary University of London, was amazing. Their academic resources are quite impressive. The professors of my department were of high repute, well-read and experienced in their fields, and quite approachable, helpful and stimulating at the same time. Most of the ideas about my research were often derived from the varying perspectives that they provided. Their library is very well-equipped too.

In fact, if you happen to study in London, then you can avail the hugely resourceful British Library and Senate House Libraries. Most of the stuff that you are looking for, irrespective of your discipline, you will find at these libraries.

Additionally, I was quite impressed with the way seminars took place. The idea of a seminar within the UK universities is not a professor providing a lecture, but the students oftentimes participated within the seminars. We had long discussions about the things that we were looking at and oftentimes just listening to my classmates speak was a delight as I got to learn a lot from them.

However, this may not be the case with all the subjects. Some of my friends in Finance had to put with long hours of lecture and unidirectional flow of information. So, the structure of the seminars and how they are conducted will vary by the level of your education and also your course.

That said, the professors at the leading universities in the UK are of high repute and offer a world of information to us as students.

Do you think this would be a crucial factor when comparing life in India vs the UK?

Culture

India

Irrespective of who you are, where you come from, you know the importance of culture in Indian society. Our value systems are shaped by the culture that we are born into and oftentimes our entire lives are dictated by the same culture. Our country is rich in the values it abounds with, whether it is understanding the value of elders, or of people of other communities.

For this, then you know what kind of culture you belong to and how much it affects your daily life. You know how many times you have to think before taking a decision. You know how much of your decision is impacted by factors completely external, internal, related or unrelated to the situation.

UK

The UK has a simple culture when it comes to life. It is sophistication. The people who live in the UK are born and brought up with manners. There would not be one instance where a person raised in a traditional English household would flip out unnecessarily, or raise their voice or behave strangely.

Their approach towards life is quite simple and straightforward. Work, and have fun. They are people like us, who do value work as much as we do. And they do it with complete dedication and unrelenting passion. But, then they find time to relax, chill with friends, and enjoy their life. As a result, travelling, going out to clubs, holidaying, are common things in the British household.

Moreover, they tend to live more of an independent life. Oftentimes, our parents, siblings, friends, mentors play a huge role in the decisions that we make in our lives. That is not the case in the UK. The youth is very well directed by their parents but after a certain age, every one makes their own decisions. Every one fights for their own selves, without having to worry about anyone else.

This does instil a sense of independence within the people. However, it also turns out to be bad for the elderly, as they are often left alone to take care of themselves. For us Indians, we treat our parents as our responsibility. No matter how tough that might get, that is a small return that we pay in return for the entire life that we get from them. That kind of connection and culture, I could hardly find in the UK.

Conclusion

So, if you are here then you have probably read everything. Or you have probably just jumped to this part.

Regardless, the purpose of this article is to simply show you the different perspectives of lives in the UK and in the India. Both of these countries are starkly different. One is a Western country, the other Asian. That is where thousands of differences come in.

However, I would encourage you to compare life in India vs the UK before you make any decision. There would be even more points that you would notice that I haven’t even heard of.

Therefore, refer to this article to understand a different perspective about life in India vs the UK. I am no one to decide life is good in one country and bad in another. But, is the UK life worth it for you? You decide.

What next?

And now that you know so much about life in the UK, why don’t we explore how to move to the UK? Don’t worry, all the information provided on this website is absolutely free.

What did you think about this list of comparisons of life in India vs the UK? Let me know if you have any further points you’d like me to add.