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Living in London for the First Time

London is an exciting and bustling city, and it’s an incredible place to live and study. You’ll love being in the city, surrounded by the history and culture, and you’ll have so many wonderful activities on your doorstep to try out!

If you’re wondering what life is like in London, and what living and studying here is like – then keep reading. Here are 10 things you notice when you move to London…

1. The transport is great

One thing many students and visitors learn quickly, is just how regular and reliable the transport here is. For most locals, public transport is the best way to get around (certainly better than battling through London’s traffic on street level!). The tube is busy, but it’s also every 2-4 minutes, and shows up (usually) as regular as clockwork. It’s affordable too (especially with your student discount) – which is an extra bonus! You’ll notice over time, that there’s a skill to riding public transport, and you’ll become a pro at finding the right carriage, knowing the shortcuts and finding the best routes across the city. 

2. The weather is unpredictable!

Just because the sun is shining when you leave the house in the morning – doesn’t mean the weather will stay beautiful all day long. As any Londoner knows, the weather here can be unpredictable and can change rapidly and without warning. London has been known to have glorious summer days in October – and downfalls of rain in July – so you just never know what to expect here. But don’t worry – you’ll learn quickly how to plan for it, and where the nearest umbrella stand is. It’s all part of living in the city.

3. Different neighbourhoods offer different things

London is a varied city with so many different districts and neighbourhoods. You’ll notice quickly what each bit of the city is known for. For example, Soho is known for a kitsch and fun nightlife, Shoreditch is known for it’s cool and hipster vibe, and Camden is all about live music and rock and roll. Each neighbourhood in London has it’s own personality and you’ll soon figure out which bits of the city are your favourite to spend time in. But it’s definitely fun exploring them all, while you make up your mind!

4. There are lots of free activities in London

People assume before moving here, that everything costs a lot of money – but it’s simply not the case. The truth is, there is plenty to do and see in London for free! You’ll figure all this out, usually through discovering it yourself, or recommendations from friends. On the weekends, you might spend your time visiting markets, enjoying strolls along the river, visiting one of the city’s free museums… the list is endless, and it doesn’t have to cost loads.  

5. People are actually friendly!

London (like many of the big global cities) has a reputation for being unfriendly, but you only need to live here for a few months to realise people are very friendly and welcoming. Don’t worry about meeting unfriendly people – most Londoners are lovely and will always be happy to help if you need it.

6. The food choices are amazing

There is so much food in London – and it’s part of the fun exploring all the choices on offer. It won’t take you long to notice just how many food choices there are – and it can be so fun and exciting discovering them all for yourself and trying them all out! Whether you love Korean food, Japanese food, Thai food, Indian food… There are so many amazing places to eat in this city.

7. There is an app for everything

If you find yourself a little confused about anything in London – there is probably an app to help you figure it out. For transport, try ‘Citymapper’. For food, try ‘Deliveroo’. For taxis, try ‘Uber’. For entertainment, try ‘Time Out’. There always an app out there to provide you with what you need!

8. You’ll never get bored of the views

Those amazing city views are probably one of the reasons you picked London as your study destination. It’s a city with so many wonderful skylines and viewpoints – and it’s impossible to get fed up of them. You’ll find you discover new look-outs or new vistas every time you go out exploring. Your Instagram feed will be full of amazing photos!

9. There is always something going on

London is always bustling and there’s always something to see or do. You’ll notice it straight away when you move here, that there’s always something exciting happening, or something to enjoy or take part in. Whether that’s a parade, a protest or a pop-up – London is a city that never sleeps!

10. You won’t feel like a tourist

One of the best things about moving to London, is how quickly you’ll feel at home. It won’t take you long to feel like this city is all yours, and soon you’ll be helping tourists out like a Londoner! You might still want to explore some of the touristy places yourself, but you’ll notice that Londoners have their own places and have their own hidden gems – so you’ll enjoy spending time in these places too.

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