London is one of the most exciting and beautiful cities in the world – so it’s no wonder that thousands of students decide to move to the city each year to experience what it has to offer. Life in London is fast paced, exciting, cultural and fun – it’s the ideal city to enjoy student life, and with so many other students around, you’re bound to make friends and feels at home in no time.
But what about the living expenses? Like with any capital city around the world, London is more expensive that the average town or city in the UK. For many students the cost of living can put them off committing to a London course, or it can stop them taking the leap. But really, it’s not as bad as you think.
Here is a breakdown of the cost of living in London:
As you move to London, your biggest outgoing will be rent. Rental prices can vary massively, depending on the type of accommodation you choose, and the place you choose to live in. For example, if you decide to have a private one-bedroom apartment in zone 1 or central London, you’re probably going to be paying upwards of £2000 per month.
However, if you decided to opt for a flatshare or a London homestay, (where you rent a room in a larger house) your rent will be much less. Some flatshares and homestays in zones 2,3 & 4 can be priced as little as £400 a month, so this helps keep your rent bills at a minimum. You may also want to look into securing a place with utility bills included, so you don’t need to worry about any additional costs.
University College London estimates the average student travel cost to be £24 a week. If you’re 18 or over, and you’re studying and living in the city – you’ll qualify for a discounted travel card, called an “18+ Student Oyster photocard”. This gives you 30% off regular travel fares in the city, including the weekly travel passes.
Public transport is great in London with plenty of buses and tube trains – so you’ll be able to get around easily and cheaply using this card.
Food and drink
There are plenty of supermarkets and mini-markets in London where you can buy food to cook at home. These will be full of regular food (like fruit, tinned items, pasta, sauces, soups, etc) and is often the cheapest way to eat as a student. You can feed yourself easily within a budget of £50 per week if you shop smart, and you’re shopping at supermarkets such as Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys,Tescos, etc. More expensive shops to avoid (if you’re on a budget) are Waitrose and Whole Foods, which tend to charge a premium.
If you want to eat out during the week, London has lots of affordable restaurants and cafes – especially around university campuses. These will be the best places to look for cafes and restaurants – as they might even offer special prices and deals to students.
Remember! London is a student-friendly city
Which means there are lots of amazing discounts and offers in the city for students. These discounts can save you money, which means you can have more fun overall, doing more things. Always keep your student card handy, because it can entitle you to a discount in places such as; restaurants, cafes, fast food places, cinemas, theatres, museums, etc.
Remember! London also has lots of free activities
During the time when you’re not studying, there are loads of free activities for students to participate in. A lot of museums in the city are completely free, and many of the historical landmarks are free to visit too.