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London is a fantastic city to live in, with so much to see and do. However, it can be a daunting place, especially for those coming to live in the capital for the first time. If you are planning to come here as a student, you will have an amazing time, but to make your life easier, we have some tips we think you will find helpful. Follow this survival guide, and you will make the most of your time in this great city with minimum stress.
Travelling around the city
This is the biggie for many people, as London is huge, and can be tricky to get around. The first thing you need to do is get an Oyster card, as this will enable you to travel on the city’s buses, trains, and trams. However, for simplicity’s sake (as well as your fitness level), you might also consider using a bike instead. The roads are busy, but there are designated bicycle lanes, and it’s a lot easier than navigating the complicated tube system. You can buy a bike cheaply second-hand, or you could make use of the city’s hire scheme. Still, no matter what transport system you use, pick up a timetable, and if you do get lost, most people are generally very happy to help.
Places to stay
Accommodation in London can be expensive, and if you aren’t staying in the halls of residence, you will need to find somewhere to stay. We advise considering a homestay in London. Not only is this relatively affordable, but you will have all the home comforts from a ready-made family, which is perfect for those new to the city. Of course, you may prefer to live with other students, so a flat-share may be the better option. The University will have a list of student accommodation available in London, so speak to them when considering where to live.
Making use of your leisure time
Student life isn’t only about having a nose in a book or writing essays. It’s about breaking free, having new experiences, and spending time with people who may become lifelong friends. There are loads of things to do in London, no matter what your tastes and hobbies. Going beyond the typical tourist attractions, there are plenty of bars to while away your evenings, museums to broaden your education, and shopping outlets to spend your student loan. Hint: be careful with that last option – London is expensive so make sure you budget! Anyway, for some great ideas on what to see and do, have a look at our bucket list. You will never have a moment when you can say ‘you’re bored.’ Well, that also depends on how interesting your lecturer is, but you know what we mean!
Not only but also…
We’ve covered the basics, but here are two further pieces of advice.
- Considering London is expensive, try and get a part-time job. There will be a job board at the University so spend time browsing it and find something suitable for you. You can still eat cheaply, especially if you pick up a Taste Card, and some attractions are free, but a little bit of extra cash in your pocket will come in useful.
- London is full of people from all walks of life and nationalities. You will meet some of them at Uni, but still take the time to talk to people around the city, try new foods in areas such as Chinatown, and soak up as much of the culture as you can. Student life is about finding new experiences so don’t miss out.
If you are coming to London as a student (or even as a tourist abroad), we hope you have fun and have a wonderful time. Oh, and don’t forget to study! Thanks for reading.