Whether it is by choice or necessity, migration from one country to another is invariably an emotional event.

"I was so excited about leaving I was unprepared for the emotions I felt because in those days you felt, when you left Trinidad to go to England, it was if you weren't coming back, it was...so many miles away. It was a one-way ticket...I remember sitting on the plane and eating nothing all the way to England and crying and getting to England and not sleeping and missing my family." Anon, Trinidad. Came to study as a nurse in 1974.

The journey represents a significant transition, from a familiar place and way of life to something new and uncertain.

"In the plane, we still had trouble with knife and fork and things like that. We get by, two hand...I laughing now, people [were] laughing on us because we can't use knife and fork, so we start, with hand...I didn't feel ashamed. Because it was a new life to us" Mr Sian, India.

Our participants commonly told us that their first impressions of Britain did not match with their expectations:

"everyone warned us you'll be disappointed when you see London, because it's not the same London you dreamed of!" Mrs Rashid, Bangladesh.

Mrs Windsor, from Burma also spoke with us about the England she had imagined until her arrival in April 1957:

"Well I had, my main ideas about England from school and from picture postcards I always thought it would be lovely, thatched cottages with beautiful gardens. But when I came and we saw the reality it was a big shock you could see smoke belching out of chimneys, there was fog in the winter and it was freezing cold"

The physical environment was not the only source of surprise, as one interviewee told us who had grown up in Tanzania, East Africa:

"I mean my first...strange thing [was] driving from the airport and seeing white people digging the roads and doing the menial tasks that the Africans used to I can remember nudging my sister in the coach and saying 'Oh gosh look at that!' because it was just a sight we had never see the English and the Europeans who came there [Tanzania] had very exclusive jobs digging the roads was an African job for an African person. So yes, that was my first ever impression, when I was coming in on the coach from Heathrow." Anon.