Being an international student in London can be a daunting prospect. London is one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world, and there’s so much to see and do.
International Students in London
Take a read of these useful tips below to make sure you’re getting the most out of your time studying abroad, and to make sure you make the most of your time in London.
Tip 1: Find the right accommodation for you
Accommodation is such a big part of being a student, especially when you’re an international student. Choosing the right kind of accommodation is so important, and you’ll want to ensure you’ve picked the right kind of housing for you. Here at HFS London we offer homestay accommodation for international students in London, which means you’ll live in a London home, with a London household or family. It’s a great way to feel like a ‘local’ and also meet friendly people too. Other options for housing would be; student halls, flat shares, house shares, or private renting. Do some research around which is best suited to what experience you’re after.
Tip 2: Download all the useful apps!
There are so many useful apps you can downloads onto your smartphone, which will help you get the most out of your time studying in the city. There are so many apps that make living in London so much easier too – from map apps that helps you plan your journey around the city, to food apps that provide you with discount codes and tell you when happy hours take place. Some apps we recommend are; Uber, CityMapper, TripAdvisor, Great Little Place, TFL.
Tip 3: Carry a phrase book
If you’re a little worried about English terminology catching you out, then it’s a good idea to carry a phrase book with you during the first few weeks. If you spot any words or phrases that are a little confusing or just don’t make sense – it’s so easy to quickly look something up. People in London are really friendly and helpful too – so most will be happy to help if you have any questions!
Tip 4: Explore outside the city
Living in London is a great opportunity to explore some of the UK too – as it’s all so easily reached by train. The train system in the UK is great, and most major cities can be reached in just a few hours by train from the major stations such as Kings Cross, Euston or Marylebone. There are some amazing places to explore just outside of London, so make sure you take the chance to see some of the rest of the UK too. Some places we recommend are; Brighton, York, Warwick, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath, Edinburgh and Cornwall. If you can spend a weekend exploring any of these places, it’ll help you see a little more of the country.
Tip 5: Take some time to understand the transport
The transport is London might feel a little confusing to people who are new to the city, but it won’t take you long to get your head around it. Once you understand the travel and transport options, the city becomes so much easier to get around and you’ll immediately feel more confident and at home here. The main transport to try and understand is the underground (also known as the ‘tube’) as this will get you pretty much everywhere you need to go. The buses in the city as also great, so it might be worth looking which routes the buses local to your accommodation can take you.
Tip 6: Bring a variety of clothes!
Even if you’re coming to London in the summer, you’ll want to make sure you’ve booked a variety of clothes (just in case!). If you’ve come from a hot country, you might not have experienced a climate like the UK before, where the weather can be really unpredictable. The weather in London just does whatever it wants – and some days you might experience beautiful sunshine and pouring rain within a few minutes of each other. Because of this, it’s always best to bring a variety of clothes, so you’ve got something for every eventuality.
Tip 7: Figure out where your WiFi hotspots are
If you’re not planning to get a local sim card (which is probably the best idea in terms of WiFi and data) then you’ll need to figure out where you can find reliable internet and WiFi. Libraries are great, as are most coffee shops too. You’ll also find WiFi in some public areas and museums.
Tip 8: Have fun!
Don’t forget to have fun! We know it can be hard when you’re an international student in London, because getting good grades are a huge priority – but it’s also important to let yourself have time to enjoy the city and the experience. Make time for ‘free time’ where you’re not studying to doing work, and during the free time let yourself explore the city and the surrounding areas. A lot of people only get the chance to study abroad once or twice in their lives – so make the most of it and enjoy every second. London is a wonderful city with so much to see and do, so you’ll have lots to keep you busy and entertained!