Are you an international student planning to move to London for your studies? The bustling and diverse city can be an exciting place to live and learn, but it can also be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time in the UK. To help you make a seamless transition and enjoy your time in London, we’ve compiled a list of top tips for foreign students. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything from finding the right accommodation to understanding the local culture and making the most of your student life.
How to survive London as an international student
Moving to London as an international student can be an exciting adventure. To ensure your transition is as smooth as possible, we’ve broken down the essential steps you need to take before and after your arrival. Let’s explore these key areas in more detail:
Sort out your accommodation
Choosing the right accommodation is a crucial step for international students in London. Explore options like university halls for a close-knit academic community, shared accommodation for a social experience, or self-catered studios for independence. Consider your personality type and lifestyle preferences when deciding. For a detailed guide on when to apply for student accommodation, check out our post here. It provides insights into the application process and tips for securing the best housing option for your needs. Your accommodation choice significantly impacts your overall experience, so take the time to explore and choose wisely.
Register for Health Insurance
Taking care of your health is paramount as an international student in the UK. Here’s a quick guide on how to register with a General Practitioner (GP) and navigate the National Health Service (NHS):
– Registering with a GP: Begin by visiting the NHS guide on getting medical care as a student.Understand the process of registering with a local GP, a crucial step for accessing healthcare services. Choose whether to register with a GP near your place of study or your place of residence.
– Understanding the NHS: Familiarize yourself with the NHS system, including your rights as an NHS patient. Gain insights into the services offered and the procedures for obtaining medical care.
Ensuring you are registered with a GP and understanding how the NHS operates will provide you with peace of mind regarding your healthcare needs. Follow the steps outlined in the provided NHS guide to navigate the process smoothly and prioritize your well-being during your stay in the UK.
Get a Phone Deal with Cheap International Calls
Stay connected effortlessly as an international student in the UK with a new SIM card is easy! If you keep these things in mind, you’ll have no issues getting yourself set up and ready to go:
1. Explore Phone Packages:
– Evaluate prepaid or pay-as-you-go plans based on your usage.
– Check for student-specific deals or discounts.
2. Consider Bundled Plans:
– Some providers offer bundled plans with international calling minutes.
3. Obtain a New SIM Card:
– Visit a mobile service provider store with valid ID.
– Choose from popular networks like EE, O2, Vodafone, or Three.
4. Activate Your SIM Card:
– Follow provided instructions for activation.
– Top up your credit online or at designated points.
5. Make Cheap International Calls:
– Use messaging apps like WhatsApp or Skype for free or low-cost calls over Wi-Fi.
Compare providers to find the best deal for staying connected without breaking the bank during your time in the UK.
Arrange your Student Visa
Ensuring a smooth transition to the UK for international students starts with arranging your student visa. If you haven’t already, follow these steps:
1. Visit the Official Guide: Head to the UK government’s official guide for detailed information on obtaining a student visa.
2. Understand Visa Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the specific requirements and documents needed for your student visa application.
3. Application Process: Follow the outlined application process provided on the government’s website. Pay attention to deadlines and ensure all necessary paperwork is in order.
4. Biometric Information: Be prepared to provide biometric information, as this is a standard part of the visa application process.
5. Keep Updated on Changes: Regularly check for any updates or changes to the visa application process on the official government website.
Securing your student visa is a crucial step to guarantee a hassle-free academic journey in the UK. Make use of the comprehensive resources provided by the government to understand the process thoroughly and ensure a successful visa application.
Get a Student Bank Account
Setting up a student bank account is vital for international students in the UK. Here’s a quick guide:
1. Setting Up Advice:
– Research and compare student account offerings from different banks.
– Prepare necessary documents for identity, address, and student status.
– Choose between visiting a local branch or applying online.
2. Consider International Student Accounts:
– Some banks offer specialized accounts for international students with tailored advantages.
3. Utilize Online Banking:
– Take advantage of online banking services for easy account management and transactions.
Setting up a student bank account ensures streamlined finances and access to tailored benefits throughout your studies in the UK.
How to Prepare for British Life
Embarking on a journey to study in the UK may initially bring about a culture shock, but rest assured, there are effective ways to prepare for this transformative change.
Weather: What to Pack for the UK
Prepare for the UK’s unpredictable weather by packing versatile clothing. Include layered outfits for temperature variations, a waterproof jacket for rain, and sturdy footwear. Don’t forget warm accessories like scarves and gloves for colder days. Check out BBC Weather for forecasts, and pack adaptably to be ready for the ever-changing climate.
Efficiently explore London and the rest of the UK using public transport. In London, utilize the extensive Tube network, buses, and trams for convenient city travel. To venture beyond, trains and coaches provide excellent connectivity to explore the diverse landscapes of the United Kingdom. Familiarize yourself with routes, schedules, and transportation cards for a seamless and cost-effective travel experience.
When it comes to travel in the UK, various travel card options cater to different needs. Consider the Oyster card for easy use on London’s public transport, offering discounted fares. The Contactless payment method is another hassle-free option for quick and convenient travel. For broader exploration, Railcards provide discounted train fares, making them an excellent choice for those looking to travel outside the city.
Staying Safe on a Night Out
For a secure night out, prioritize your safety by being aware of your surroundings, traveling in groups, and having a designated way to get home. Keep an eye on your drink and never accept open beverages from strangers. Familiarize yourself with the signs of drink spiking, and know how to avoid it. For more in-depth information on this crucial topic, check out our comprehensive guide here. Stay vigilant and ensure a worry-free night out.
It’s crucial to be aware of the importance of a TV license in the UK. Whether you’re watching live TV or streaming content online, a TV license is required. This ensures support for public service broadcasting. For details on obtaining a TV license, visit here. Stay compliant and enjoy your favourite shows with the necessary licensing in place.
Is London a good place for international students?
Nightlife & Tourism
Discover the vibrant nightlife and tourism options in the UK, catering to both those who enjoy drinks and those who don’t. From lively pubs and clubs to cultural events and landmarks, there’s something for everyone. Explore the diverse entertainment scene and tourist attractions, ensuring a memorable experience that aligns with your preferences, whether you’re into the nightlife buzz or prefer alcohol-free activities. Enjoy the richness of the UK’s offerings tailored to all tastes.
The London Underground, commonly known as the Tube, provides a seamless and efficient way to navigate the bustling city. With an extensive network of interconnected lines, it offers quick and convenient transportation to key destinations. For comprehensive information on routes and services, visit here. Embrace the convenience of the London Underground for easy exploration of the vibrant metropolis.
Explore budget-friendly gym options in London tailored for students. Staying fit is made accessible with a range of student-friendly gyms. For detailed insights into affordable fitness choices, check out our guide here. Prioritize your well-being without breaking the bank by discovering the diverse and cost-effective gym options available for students in London.
Take advantage of student discounts available at numerous places, making your budget go further. Consider using platforms like Unidays for a wide range of exclusive student deals. As a Stay Club resident, enjoy an additional exclusive discount through our partnerships. Explore countless savings opportunities tailored for students and enhance your lifestyle without compromising your budget.
Part-time Work for International Students
When it comes to part-time work for international students in the UK, it’s essential to be mindful of the regulations. Students are generally allowed to work up to a specific number of hours, balancing work commitments with their studies. For detailed insights into international students working in the UK, including allowable hours and key considerations, check our comprehensive guide here. Stay informed and make the most of your work-study balance during your time in the UK.
Universities in London for international Students
Embarking on your academic journey in London opens doors to world-class universities, each offering a unique blend of excellence and diversity for international students. For an in-depth exploration of the best institutions, visit our guide at Best Universities for International Students. Let’s spotlight three prominent universities shaping the academic landscape:
Imperial College London
Nestled at the forefront of scientific innovation, Imperial College London stands as a global hub for research and education. With a diverse international student body, Imperial College provides a vibrant academic community. Learn more about Imperial College’s international makeup and explore Stay Club accommodation options here.
University College London
University College London (UCL) stands tall as a beacon of academic excellence with a commitment to inclusivity. Drawing students from around the world, UCL fosters a multicultural environment. Discover UCL’s international community and explore Stay Club accommodation opportunities here.
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is a powerhouse for social sciences, attracting a global community of thinkers. Immerse yourself in an intellectually stimulating environment at LSE. Learn about LSE’s international community and accommodation details here.