As a student, moving to London can be nerve-wracking, and perhaps a little bit scary. If you’re moving to London from another country, or even from elsewhere in the UK, it can take a little getting used to but, ultimately, will be well worth the upheaval!
Here are our top five tips for settling in to student life in the capital city.
1. Take a day to explore the immediate area
It’s amazing how much you can discover just by making your way around on foot. After you’ve settled in to your new accommodation, exploring the streets closest to you is the easiest way to learn your way around and find out what amenities you have nearby.
When you’re making your way around, keep an eye out for convenience stores and supermarkets, libraries, pharmacies and anything else you might need at short notice. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find; London is full of hidden gems, so you could be living just metres away from a fantastic independent restaurant or a boutique store. Unless you look, you’ll never know what lies around the corner.
2. Attend as many student events as possible
The city holds many different events for students so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to meet other people who have travelled from around England and the rest of the world to come and study in the capital.
As well as the activities and events provided by your college or university, you can also find generic events which provide the chance to meet and socialise with people from other universities around London, from club nights to conferences. If it’s a party you’re after, DesignMyNight is the go to place for information about student nightlife in the city.
3. Familiarise yourself with the transport
If you haven’t been to London before, its huge transport network can seem a little intimidating. In reality, it’s really not that scary. The quicker you get to grips with the Underground, the better. We can guarantee that after the first few trips, you’ll be navigating your way around the Tube without a pause for thought.
As well as the Tube, London has hundreds of bus routes, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Overground, Tram and National Rail services. If you’re ever confused as to the best way to get somewhere, you can use the TFL Journey Planner.
Don’t forget, the long-awaited Night Tube began recently, too! The Central and Victoria lines are now open continuously from Friday morning through to Sunday night. The Jubilee line is next, followed by Northern and Piccadilly.
4. Take time to research the opportunities available
Whatever your hobbies and interests, we can guarantee there will be plenty of things for you to enjoy in the city. Theatre, music, comedy, fashion, art, history, sport; London has it all. Whether you’re looking to continue a sport you’re already trained in, develop skills by enrolling on a short course or join a club with the intention of making friends, the opportunities available to you are endless.
With so many attractions and facilities available on your doorstep, London is the perfect city to try new things or take up a new hobby. Take some time to research whatever it is you want to do and discover everything London has to offer.
5. Keep a close eye on your money
While moving to London is an exciting experience, there’s no denying that it comes with a rather large price tag. It can be all too easy to get caught up in the student experience the city has to offer and lose track of the amount of money you are spending.
Creating a budget and sticking to may sound ominous, but it is really important if you’re living off of limited funds. Make sure you check your bank balance regularly, too, to avoid any nasty surprises. This said, your time as a student is meant to be fun, so make sure you do set aside some money for going out and enjoying yourself.