Life in London, and at King’s, begins with your residence hall. I have been fortunate to live at Stamford Street Apartments (SSA) which is the most central of King’s College London’s accommodations. SSA has many great activities, from weekly art night and tea talk to weekend outings to different museums and movie nights. Living in a UK-style residence means I also had my own shared kitchen. Once I got over the excitement of being in London and eating out every night, I found cooking with friends was a great way to save money, have fun, and eat a good meal. My favorite was our make-your-own-pizza nights.
For getting around the city, London has a great public transportation system. Even better are the amazing views while walking around the city. Since I lived so centrally and so close to my classes, I didn’t need to take the tube that often. Therefore, I got the 16-25 rail card which cost £20 and gave me ⅓ off all rail travel in the UK and ⅓ off off-peak tube rides. Do some research to see which option (16-25 rail card or a student oyster card) will be best for you. For me, off-peak traveling was a great way to explore London on a budget and with smaller crowds. Since I didn’t have class all day (usually I had 1-2 hours of class a day in the morning), I could visit places during the weekday when they were less crowded and ticket prices were usually discounted. One of my favorite experiences was going ice skating in front of the Natural History Museum in December with a discounted student ticket that also included a free hot drink.
All of the discounts are another great perk of being a student in London.
You can get discounts at restaurants, clothing stores, historical sites, and fun activities. This helps make London more affordable and easy for everyone to enjoy the city’s many attractions.
When I did not have class in the morning, I loved going for walks around London. My favorite walk was along the River Thames, passing the Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge, the Globe Theater, Borough Market, and Tower Bridge. My second favorite walk was to Buckingham Palace where I would pass the London Eye, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St. James’ Park, the Mall, Admiralty Arch, and Trafalgar Square.
Overall, the highlight of studying in the heart of London was having the time to explore more of London than just the major tourist spots. Some of my favorites included visiting Parliament—I was able to get a free tour through my MP— the Imperial War Museum, the Churchill War Rooms, Sky Garden, Kingly Court, the Southbank Food Market, and Kew Gardens. London is so vast that even after nine months there is much more to see and do. Even so, I am so grateful for everything I was able to experience.