British higher education requires considerable personal initiative. British university students are ordinarily expected to do extensive independent reading and to write a number of critical papers under the guidance of an academic advisor, or tutor. British students also specialize at an early point in their studies, and an undergraduate degree generally consists of three years of increasingly concentrated study in a single field. This makes the experience somewhat similar to graduate study in the United States. In addition to these structural differences, there may also be differences in the relationship between faculty and students, and in the teaching style of faculty.
IP students join the students' union, which offers a variety of recreational services to students. There are also many clubs within the student community. IP students occasionally get together for holiday gatherings and informal parties. In their free time they can travel to London and other major points of interest.
IP students are given the same choice of housing options as British students, including self-catering flats or houses and rooms in residence halls with or without meals. Housing information is available on the websites of most host universities, and students will be provided with housing information and applications after they have been admitted to the program.