Lighthouse at the Isle of Wight, near which the SS Mendi sank. Photo: Neil Howard under Creative Commons licence.

Lighthouse at the Isle of Wight, near which the SS Mendi sank. Photo: Neil Howard under Creative Commons licence.

Lighthouse at the Isle of Wight, near which the SS Mendi sank. Photo: Neil Howard under Creative Commons licence.

During the First World War, a ship sank off the Isle of Wight, killing more than 600 South African passengers. The sinking of the SS Mendi is one of the worst maritime disasters in UK waters of the 20th century, yet few in the UK have heard of it. This Black History Month, Baroness Lola…

'Almost 1.5 million Muslim, Sikh and Hindu men volunteered in the Indian Expeditionary Force, which saw fighting on the Western Front, in East Africa, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Gallipoli'. Photo of members of a Waziri Khasadar, India 1917-19 courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.

'Almost 1.5 million Muslim, Sikh and Hindu men volunteered in the Indian Expeditionary Force, which saw fighting on the Western Front, in East Africa, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Gallipoli'. Photo of members of a Waziri Khasadar, India 1917-19 courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.

'Almost 1.5 million Muslim, Sikh and Hindu men volunteered in the Indian Expeditionary Force, which saw fighting on the Western Front, in East Africa, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Gallipoli'. Photo of members of a Waziri Khasadar, India 1917-19 courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.

The First World War had lasting consequences that extended far beyond Europe. It set in motion forces that developed into India’s independence movement. Anne Bostanci, co-author of the British Council report, Remember the World as well as the War, ponders a promising emerging shift in the UK’s discussions about the First World War.

'If you need something, you’ll learn pretty quickly how to ask for it.' Photo by Alexa Clark on Flickr/CC.

'If you need something, you’ll learn pretty quickly how to ask for it.' Photo by Alexa Clark on Flickr/CC.

'If you need something, you’ll learn pretty quickly how to ask for it.' Photo by Alexa Clark on Flickr/CC.

Is living in a foreign country the best way to learn another language? Hannah Pearson, who’s working as an English language assistant in Mexico, shares her advice on immersing yourself in the language of the locals.

'Students have a greater awareness of the importance of education and have a firm belief that hard work translates into success.' Photo by Ol.v!er [H2vPk] on Flickr under Creative Commons.

'Students have a greater awareness of the importance of education and have a firm belief that hard work translates into success.' Photo by Ol.v!er [H2vPk] on Flickr under Creative Commons.

'Students have a greater awareness of the importance of education and have a firm belief that hard work translates into success.' Photo by Ol.v!er [H2vPk] on Flickr under Creative Commons.

Is China so different from the west? Emma Wind, an English language assistant based in Tianjin, argues that despite the forces of globalisation, the world’s most populous country remains culturally distinct. 

David Nicholls is a best-selling writer of fiction who has also worked as an actor, script editor and author of screenplays. Photo by Kristofer Samuelsson, Hodder & Stoughton.

David Nicholls is a best-selling writer of fiction who has also worked as an actor, script editor and author of screenplays. Photo by Kristofer Samuelsson, Hodder & Stoughton.

David Nicholls is a best-selling writer of fiction who has also worked as an actor, script editor and author of screenplays. Photo by Kristofer Samuelsson, Hodder & Stoughton.

David Nicholls, who was recently long-listed for the Man Booker Prize for his latest novel Us, is on a reading tour of Germany until 24 October, supported by the British Council. In this article written on a train journey from Munich to Hamburg, the writer shares his current cultural highlights.