Planning on studying in London? The UK’s capital can be daunting for anyone, even expensive. Find out how you can make it through the steep cost of living with this survival guide for students.
So you’re finally off to Uni. You’ve packed your bags and bought a ticket to England’s cultural melting pot – London. But while moving to London can be exciting, it can also be intimidating and expensive, especially if you’re a student on a budget!
So what’s a student to do? Here are some tips to help you survive your venture into the UK’s capital.
Housing can be one of the most costly expenses for your studies in London. First years can usually get a place in halls. After your first year, however, you may need to ask if you can extend your stay.
An affordable alternative you can explore is London hostels. Hostels give you the benefit of a good location, which in some cases can save you a lot of transportation money. LHA London also recommends that you choose a London hostel that offers contents insurance to protect your valuables.
Students are usually issued Oyster cards they can use on the tube or bus. However, your London Uni might take a while to issue these. If you don’t have your Oyster card yet, forget the tube and go for London bus cards. You’ll save a couple of pounds that way.
Of course, there’s also the option of walking or taking a bike if you’re up for it and if you're living somewhere close enough.
Going out in London is expensive. Try to limit this to twice a week and if you do go out, visit the pubs on weekdays and NOT the weekends. Pubs usually offer special discounts to students on certain days.
This one is optional. There are a lot of people who’ve managed without having to work a part-time job. However, there will be those days when you’re running out of cash. On those days, you’ll wish you had a part-time job.
Part-time jobs are aplenty in London. Go to the local café or look out for help wanted signs.
Books are essential for any student, but sometimes you do need to check if you can afford it. In London, the public library has a large collection of books in any field of study. Get a library card if you don’t want to buy a lot of books during your stay.
Uni is probably going to be one of the best (and worst) days of your life. Life in London can be exciting with all its culture and fashion, but it doesn’t have to be difficult just because you’re a student. With a little research and some willingness to sacrifice some creature comforts, you’re well on your way to finishing a brilliant first year.