When moving to London, moving to your University based accommodation can be the best way to socialise and meet people either in your university and/or your course before the year begins. The great thing about it, is that there is various accommodation placed around London, majority with easy access to your university and the underground. However, there are things you need to consider before choosing a place.
- What type of halls do you want to live in (shared bathroom, ensuite, a mixed gender accommodation, studio)?
- Do you want to live alone or share with other people?
- What is the journey like to your university, grocery shops etc?
- How much rent can you afford for each term?
With accommodation, you have to also consider that besides rent, there maybe some extra fees such as …
- Administration fees – there are sometimes additional fees involved for drawing up contracts or collecting references.
Opening a Bank Account
If you’re from overseas, and you have a bank account with a global service provider it would be worth checking if you are able to open a local account in the UK. This will be a much easier option than have start from the beginning
To set a up a new bank account after you have moved to London, you will need proofs of identity, such as your passport, driving license, visa, proof of address and proof you’ll be attending a London University as well as previous bank statements. Most banks do not charge commissions on student current accounts; however there may a fee if you’re transferring money that isn’t British.
Living on a Budget in London
As a student residing in a busy city like London, you need to ensure that you have an adequate sum to cover everyday living expenses, such as accommodation, food, transport, and academic books. Most students find a part-time job and work around with their academic studies in order to earn additional spending money.
You can generally find free or cheap things to do through the free magazines handed out at station. Various stores offer a shop card, where you’re able to get additional offers or points, which can be used a form of money for those stores. They’re great at helping you budget and save money as when you spend, you earn something back.
Avoid eating out every night. Doing a grocery shop may be time consuming and a bit costly when buying in bulk, but it’s worth it, when budget well you can plenty of the meals that would be worth 2-3 take outs. Shopping at places such as, Lidl and Aldi can be a great way to purchase affordable and cheap products that you can get at other stores such as Tesco, which would charge a higher price.
Travelling Around London
Using an oyster card is most likely your cheapest way to get around London as you’re able weekly, monthly and even yearly travel cards based on the area you live in and areas you travel to and within. Another perk about being a student, is that some universities work with transport for London, so you’re able to get an oyster card through certain London universities. Which means you’re able to get a 30% discount on travel cards.
CityMapper is an excellent app, which can help you navigate your way around London – as well as telling you the cheapest options available.
Aside from using the public transport system and useful apps, if you’re close enough you can cycle to your university, ‘Boris bikes’ or to save even more money, you may be able to work depending on journey length.
- Be sure to carry an umbrella always, with England you never know when it might rain.
- Most universities offer mentoring and support services to students. It’s a great way to start settling into London, if you’re feeling lost.
- Never stop exploring while you’re in London, especially if you know you’re only going to here for university. There’s so much to see and find