There are lots of things to think about when preparing to move to London for university, and so I hope you find these tips useful!
1. Think about what you’re packing
Start making a list of everything that you think you’ll need for university so you don’t forget anything! Bring things that remind you of home like photos with friends and family to make it easier to settle down when you’re in London. Also, if you come from a hot tropical country like me, it’s important to be prepared for the cold (and wet) weather. I’d recommend investing in thermals to keep you warm without so many bulky layers, and a high quality sturdy umbrella – because you’ll be needing it a lot. But don’t overpack and bring too much because you can still buy things when you arrive!
2. Budgeting/Saving money
London has a reputation of being an extremely expensive city, but it’s very manageable if you budget well! The biggest way I’ve saved money is by cooking my own meals instead of eating out or having food delivered because it really adds up! Even if you don’t know how to cook, there are so many easy recipes you can find online. But if you do decide to eat out, don’t be afraid to ask if they offer a student discount! Apps such as UNiDAYS and Student Beans are also great ways of finding shops that offer student discounts and deals. Buying things second hand is another great way to buy cheaper things and is also a lot more sustainable! There are charity shops, vintage stores or online apps/websites like depop or eBay and sometimes you can get things that are still brand new with the tags on for a lot cheaper!
3. Don’t forget about the serious things like documents, visas, etc.!
This may sound a bit boring but it’s important to be responsible and stay on top of the more practical things like accepting your offer, applying for the Tier 4 visa, setting up your accommodation, opening up a UK bank account, and registering with the NHS. The King’s website covers a lot of this and more on the international student advice page, which gives a very detailed and helpful guide!
4. Explore the city
You’re studying in one of the best cities in the world, don’t forget to actually go outside and explore it! For me, walking is the best (and cheapest) way to explore the city and discover places other than the popular tourist attractions. One of my favorite things to do is walk around the different parks all over the city. I like to use the app Citymapper when going around because it gives you plenty of options and also shows how much the journey will cost. And if you do plan on taking public transportation often, you might want to look into getting a student oyster card from the TFL website which gives discounted fares!
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