Young people

First you can see some pen portraits of adults, young people and children who have moved from a European country to the UK, sometimes for work or study, sometimes to stay with their families.

Ask yourself ...
Why did their family move?
where do they go to school?
what language do they use at home ?
what about at school?
what do they notice is different about being here?
what do they do when they are with other people of their age?
are there different foods, different kinds of shopping?


My Mum and Dad came to England before I was born. I enjoy maths and I'm good at knowing about numbers. Just ask me some sums and I'll tell you straightaway. I like school. The teachers tell me what to do next and I always can do it. I don't like lunches at school - my mum makes special food at home and I like that better.


 Majka My real name is Mária, but my family calls me Majka.  At high school I was learning to be a chef. I came to England for some practice in a bakery. We had to work very long hours, and my job was to pack up all sorts of little cakes. You can see them in supermarkets. The baking factory was in a small town by a lake, but it was winter and cold and misty most of the time. Now I'm going back home to do the 3rd year of my course - cakes I make myself will be much better than the factory ones.


Here are some of my family, and my father's friend too. I'm the youngest in this picture, but you can see I'm also the tallest. We are standing by a rock near a church in the mountains. There's a notice on the rock which says this is the Centre of Europe. Some geographers measured all the distances from north to south and from east to west and this is where the lines crossed. Can you work out where I am?

Isabel Anna

Isabel Anna My Nan and Grandad are Italian and came to England before I was born, but they always speak Italian to me when they look after me while my Mum and Dad are at work. My second name Anna is called after my Nan. When I get upset I scream and stamp my foot - then my Dad says I'm having an "Italian moment".  But I like looking after my little cousin - her mum is Welsh and that's another language too.


 Laura Here I'm in a traditional dress. It comes from Hungary and I can wear it on special occasions. I am learning to play the violin, and here I'm playing it at a farsang party - that's a special party to celebrate the end of winter. My Mum came to England because she can speak and write in four different languages. I was born here, so of course at school I only use English. But at home I can talk in Magyar language as well. We have lots of Hungarian friends, specially because the older people like to get together and talk a bit in our own language.

Sugar Sykes

 Sugar Sykes I'm from a Roma family. Sometimes we're called gypsies or travellers. We certainly travel - it's in the blood. My ancestors came to England hundreds of years ago, but we still stick to our own traditions. All Roma groups live like one big family and we look after all our children. Among ourselves we have our own language. It's at least a thousand years old. We like to live in the open, and not be tied down. Each year there are big gatherings where we meet other Roma who come from all over the place.