Residence Life Supervisors (RLS) are situated in all FIE residences. They are available to assist you with various residence life questions and concerns outside of Foundation House office hours. They're also a great source of info about London life, including places to get discounts, find specific types of food, nightlife, and travel! Unlike many US universities, FIE RLS are not undergraduate students. We are proud to have an elite team of academics pursuing postgraduate study or employed in the education sector in London.

Residence Life Supervisors operate an on-call system and there is always one available during weeknights and weekends. If you require their assistance or support, contact the Facilities Support Desk at Metrogate House who will then send out the RLS on-call:

+44 (0)207 808 0130

+44 (0)207 808 0131 (Emergency Number)

General queries regarding Residence Life can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

General queries regarding Facilities and Housekeeping can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (remember, you can report non-urgent maintenance issues using our online form)


The RLS seek to foster a truly communal living and learning experience for our students, with a focus on providing diverse, inclusive, and welcoming safe spaces. You'll see them around the halls as well as in Foundation House as many of them hold other positions at FIE such as in the Student Life Team or working as Writing Support Tutors. We hope you get to know our RLS team and utilize their knowledge and talents! 


FIE Image Library Residences 11 Res Life Webpage Image 6 FIE Image Library Residences 23

As you prepare to study abroad, you are undoubtedly feeling a variety of emotions: excitement, curiosity, anxiety or even bewilderment. Generally speaking, American students going to English-speaking countries, such as England or Ireland, do not anticipate feeling culture shock because they speak the same language. Students and travelers going to non-English speaking countries are often better prepared to experience difficulties in communication and interpreting cultural clues because of the language barrier. Students studying in English-speaking countries are faced with subtle, more disguised differences that can take them by surprise.

Be prepared to undergo some culture shock. There are lots of adjustments that you will need to make in your habits and attitude, but keep an open mind and take it in stride. Moving to any new country is a real challenge, but it is also a very exciting opportunity to learn.

Culture shock affects everyone differently - some people feel the impact in the first few days because of all the changes, while others find themselves feeling homesick weeks later after the novelty of the new place has worn off. Remember you're all going through this together and everyone experiences some form of it.


A feeling of confusion, doubt, or nervousness caused by being in a place (such as a foreign country) that is very different from what you are used to. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)


               STAGE 1: 


                      STAGE 2:


                   STAGE 3:


             STAGE 4:


 Characterized by exhilaration, anticipation and excitement.  The individual is fascinated with everything that is new.  An individual in this stage will often demonstrate an eagerness to please, a spirit of cooperation, and an active interest in new things.  They will gloss over misunderstandings and frustration. When these emotions build, they often enter stage 2.  Characterized by frustration, anger, anxiety, and sometimes depression.  Following the initial excitement is a frustration with the bureaucracy.  Sleeping and eating patterns may be disrupted.  Sometimes individuals react to this frustration by rejecting the new environment in which they feel discomfort.  The internal reasoning might be, “If I feel bad, it’s because of them,” thus blaming the external environment for the bad internal feelings.  When the individual of another culture begins to relax in a new situation and begins to laugh at minor mistakes and misunderstandings that previously would have caused major headaches.  This more relaxed stage occurs after the individual has made some friends and is able to manage the complexity of the new environment, understand the work, and experience successes.  Occurs when the individual not only retains allegiance to his or her home culture, but also ‘feels at home’ in his or her newly acquired one.  This student has successfully adjusted to the norms and standards of the new environment and should be commended for the ability to live successfully in two cultures.



If you find yourself feeling a little culture shocked or homesick, it helps if you set goals:

  • What do you want to see?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • What type of events, museums, theater productions or historic locations do you hope to visit? 
  • What do you want to get out of your experience abroad?

Resources available:

Additionally, familiarize yourself with current events and pop culture in your new city. Read local papers and magazines; watch local television and listen to local radio stations. Contact the Student Life Team in London or the FIE Dublin Team with any concerns or questions you have about culture shock. Before you know it, you'll find that your new city feels like home.


Once you've grown accustomed to life in London or Dublin, the time will come to return home. You may find that you have changed and grown with your experiences abroad and that it is difficult to assimilate back into life in your home country. Read more about Reverse Culture Shock after leaving your study abroad program in the When You Get Back - Reverse Culture Shock page.

 Cultural Immersion IconLooking for ways to really get to know Dublin and Ireland? Get involved in auniversity club, or meet up with other international students to go traveling around the country. We've got loads of suggestions on cheap and free things to do to really immerse yourself in the Irish way of life! 

FIE Travel Books

Pop down to the FIE Dublin office where we have a number of books on Dublin, Ireland, Europe & beyond. These books are a fantastic ways of finding out more about the place you’re studying in and seeing parts of it off of the usual tourist track.

DBS/TCD/UCD Clubs and Societies

What better way to meet your fellow students in Dublin than bonding over your favourite pastimes! Sports, languages, music, culture and more – find out more with FIE’s Academic Partners.

DBS Clubs and Societies

TCD Clubs and Societies

UCD Clubs and Societies

Lectures and Talks

Learn outside of the classroom with our guide to free or cheap lectures, talks and workshops across Dublin.


Meetup brings people together to do more of what they want to do in life. Food, film, fitness, fashion  - Meetup have a social group for you whatever your interests.


Created by the Dublin City Council, Dublin.ie is a great site to visit to find out what is going on around town!

Dublin Town

On Dublin Town there is something for everyone! Created for both visitors and locals, it is a knowledgeable source for events, cultural activities, shopping, eating out, etc. Check it out!

FIE Dublin Extra-Curricular Activities

If you’re looking to enjoy top theatre shows, Irish trad music sessions, night time hikes, famous attractions and more, check out FIE’s extra-curricular calendar. FIE activities are offered at a subsidized price so you’ll save money when booking with us!

Full information on your semester’s events will be sent to you on arrival in Dublin! Sign up quick before tickets sell out! 

Study Tours*

As part of your FIE Dublin program, you will take part in two exciting, academic weekend field trips exploring Irish history and culture. Led by expert DBS faculty, participants travel by bus to unique towns to experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of Ireland at great value. These field trips form a key part of your studies for key course Irish Life & Cultures.

*FIE Dublin Summer Internship Programme does not include weekend study tours


Cultural Immersion IconLooking for ways to really get to know London and the UK? Spend your weekend living with a British family, get involved in a UK university club, or meet up with other international students to go traveling around the country! We've got loads of suggestions on cheap and free things to do to really immerse yourself in the British way of life. Not sure where to start? Visit us in the Student Life office in Foundation House - we have the latest copy of Time Out, travel books, and our own personal advice for making the most out of your time in London! 


FIE Travel Books

Pop down to the Student Life Office where we have a number of books on London, the UK, Europe & beyond. These books are a fantastic way of finding out more about the place you’re studying in and seeing parts of it off of the usual tourist track.  Our favorite is ‘Tired of London, Tired of Life: One Thing a Day to do in London’!

Host UK

HOST UK promotes international friendship and understanding by arranging for international students to meet UK residents in their homes. Stay with a host family for the weekend to get out of your comfort zone, learn more about life in the UK, enjoy home cooked meals, explore new parts of the country, share your culture, and form lifelong friendships.

Imperial College Union (ICU)

You can use your ICU associate membership card* to join one of over 300 student clubs and societies or to attend one of their special events like their yearly Superbowl screening.

International Students House (ISH)

ISH is a hub for international students in London and all FIE students are members! Attend talks, club nights, karaoke, pub quizzes and cultural events throughout the week, or make new friends while seeing new places with the ISH Travel Club.

Lectures, Talks, and Workshops

Learn outside of the classroom with our guide to free or cheap lectures, talks, and workshops across London.


Meetup brings people together to do more of what they want to do in life. Food, film, fitness, fashion  - Meetup have a social group for you whatever your interests.

Orchestra Vitae (OV)

OV aims to break the boundaries of formality between the orchestra and audience while connecting with people from all walks of life through music. Former FIE RLS Michael Cobb co-founded OV and is now the orchestra’s conductor.  Students away from their home campus are welcome to rehearse with OV during their program with FIE. These opportunities are usually available in March and November and students who have taken part over the last 5 years have had some amazing musical experiences. 


Food, art and a whole load of fun events all over the capital – don’t forget to check out the Free London page where you can find amazing things to do without breaking the bank! Pick up your free copy every Tuesday at any tube station in London. Click here to find out which other European cities TimeOut operates in too, including UK cities such as Edinburgh & Leeds.


*FIE provides Imperial College Union associate membership for Spring, Fall and Winter programs only – if you’re on a Summer program and would like to purchase an associate membership card, enquire directly at the Imperial College Union reception

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