Living in London​

My name is Xiaoli. I come from China and I first arrived in the UK on 15th August 1997. I remember when I first got off the aeroplane. I saw that the people were tall, and had very different colour hair and eyes. I came out of the airport and, while I was waiting for my friend, I lifted my head and looked up at the sky. The moon was very round and it reminded me that it was a celebration day for families in China. My heart was saying, “UK, I am coming; I am ready to start my new life.” 

When my friend arrived, we travelled on The Underground - that was the first time I had used it. To start with, I was confused by The Tube map and it was difficult to find out how to go anywhere. “If only I understood how to use it!” I thought. The thought of this is amazing, because now I know that The Underground is a very quick and easy way to get around London. 

My friend’s house was in Elephant and Castle, which is an area in London. Before my friend told me where he lived, however, I had thought that most British people lived in castles. So, when I came out of the station, I was surprised to see that his house was old and wasn’t a castle at all! My friend was laughing at his joke! 

When I first came to the UK I couldn’t speak English very well, so my first job was in a Chinese restaurant. My friend recommended more friends for me - my husband was one of them. 


Task 1 - true or false

In this first activity, you will read some statements based on Xiaoli’s story.

Task 2 - complete the sentences

In this activity, you will look at some words taken from Xiaoli’s story and use them to complete the sentences.



  • How does your story of moving to the UK compare to Xiaoli’s?
  • Did you have similar feelings and experiences, or was your story very different?
  • Did you, like Xiaoli, find the public transport difficult to begin with?
  • What advice would you give to someone who has just moved to the UK? You could post your responses below.
0 votes

Thank you for the stimulating test.