Advice for students studying in London
By Sylvia from Studentmoneysaver
It’s scary enough going to university without doing it in a major capital city. London is an exciting place for the unfamiliar, but also an overwhelming one. As soon as a stranger arrives in the big smoke they are immediately caught up in a fast-moving throng of people. A throng passing through a dizzying variety of sights, sounds and in some cases smells!
London is a distracting location for a student to be part of, so learning how to survive there is a tricky balancing act. They often have to get by with little to no funds, but at the same time don’t want to ignore their health and well-being.
This guide is for those who want to work towards that dream job, without winding up a mental and physical wreck at the end of the course…
#1 | Getting settled
Establishing a home base is a major first step. Sounds obvious? Well not as much as it might seem. A student doesn’t just need a roof over their head and as cheap a rent as possible, they want somewhere they can get their head together and feel secure. It’s worth doing as much research as possible. If lots of research doesn’t sound good then maybe the life of a student isn’t advisable! There are many websites out there that give an overview of student accommodation so start reading here.
#2 | Starting a routine
Planning a regular routine is essential as it helps students get into the swing of paying bills and other financial matters. A key thing to think about here is diet. There’s going to be a lot of temptation to spend money drinking all night, and soaking up the alcohol with stuff that’ll cause a heart attack in later life! Avoid this if possible by cutting down on booze and cooking at home rather than going out. There are plenty of online resources showing you how to make simple and tasty dishes, using affordable yet healthy ingredients. A good tip is to make a big meal you can eat over several nights, storing the portions in the freezer if one is available.
Of course buying those ingredients can be baffling as London isn’t the cheapest of cities. Supermarkets are a great option for budget buyers. They are found everywhere and offer their own versions of popular brands, which should save a few quid in the long run. Be sure to drop by later in the evening, as products near their best before date are sold at bargain prices.
As befitting one of the fashion capitals of the world, the pressure to look good is everywhere. However with vintage fashions being the in thing discount clothes can be found in second hand shops. So students can dress to impress without leaving themselves in a mess!
#3 | Walking and talking
London is a massive place and getting from A to B is an important consideration. A path to go down, pardon the pun, is to save strain on the wallet and place it on the legs! Walk to a location if the route is a straightforward one. Maps are freely available and on the whole central London is clearly marked with signs. This helps with general exercise and is cheaper than a gym.
The city is famous for its transport links and students would be wise to take advantage of various discounts offered by companies. When the party goes on late into the night it can be better to hail a cab, but black cabs aren’t a financially sound option for students. Organizations such as Uber supply budget travel, though a safe and reliable driver should be found if this is likely to become a regular thing.
Communicating with friends, family and place of study is another area to be carefully navigated. If arriving from overseas it’s better to get a UK phone and call home via Skype or a similar method.
#4 | Think outside the box
Students are future citizens and some will shape the world conversation. So with that grandiose statement in mind why not think outside the box? Hopefully this article has given the reader some ideas, but also inspired some new ones!
Become a mystery shopper where free meals are offered in exchange for feedback. Rent out space, be it a parking space or even a garden. (Check with a landlord or local authority first to see if that’s feasible.) Or become familiar with London’s historic street network and start a sideline as a tour guide!
Fortune favours the brave as the saying goes. Imaginative approaches to day-to-day living can really pay off and there are numerous avenues to go down. Read more about these here.
We hope this guide has been useful. Studying in London is one of the ultimate life experiences and one to be enjoyed above all. Follow these tips and any student will be on their way to a rich and fulfilling first step into a happy and successful life.