If you’re an international student who hails from warmer climes you may be finding it a little difficult to adjust to London. Not only is it a complex city to wrap your head around but London weather can take a while to get used to, even if it is milder than other places in the UK. To help you adjust to the temperature shock we’re looking at ways you can speed up the process of getting comfy in your new city.
Don’t let the light get you down
London’s latitude can really affect the daylight that you receive throughout the year, whatever the season. It means that as soon as the clocks go back in October the days are drastically shorter and you’ll often find you travel in the dark to lectures both in the morning and in the evening. If you come from a sunny country you may find that this lack of light gets you down. After all, the sun does have an effect on our hormones, so it’s quite normal to feel a bit low if you’re not getting enough natural light.
On the other hand, the summer days can feel almost excessively long as the sun rises around 4am and won’t set until long after 9 o’clock in the evening. As great as it will be to see the sun after a long winter, sleep is still an essential part of life! Thankfully there are ways to combat all these issues, such blackout blinds in the summer and getting out in the daylight in winter. But what about the actual weather in these seasons?
Come prepared for London weather
Like everywhere in the UK the weather is subject to change in London, which is why preparing in advance is crucial to your survival. Thankfully London weather is never too extreme so you won’t need to pack as if you were heading out on an arctic expedition.
Layers are key to being comfortable in the UK, as a summer day can begin with a chilly morning but result in a blistering heatwave by the late afternoon. For the winter times make sure you invest in some thermal layers that you can easily wear under your usual clothes. A good winter coat, winter gloves, hats and scarves will help keep you cosy at all times.
It’s unlikely you’ll need anything more heavy duty than this as the high numbers of people and buildings ensure London stays warmer than the rest of the country. Your accommodation will also have central heating, though you may find air conditioning hard to come by for keeping cool in the summer. If you do get a bit too hot in the summer then taking advantage of some of the city’s great open water locations and lidos is a fantastic way to cool off.
Make sure you’re waterproof
The one certain type of weather you can expect in the UK is rain. Thankfully London doesn’t experience much rainfall, but in recent years things have taken a turn for the worse. As a result you’re more than likely to see your fair share of wet days while you’re living in London, so planning properly for this is a must. Having a small umbrella that you can easily pack away in a bag is a must have and you’ll probably find that this is enough to get you from the lecture room to the nearest tube stop.
However, for days where the downpour is especially torrential having a good quality waterproof cover-up is a must. A day jacket with a hood that will look nice no matter where you are and a winter coat that can handle moisture should suffice.
Though London doesn’t generally experience extremes of weather it can definitely feel that way if you’re used to a warmer climate in your home country. However, you can’t spend the entirety of your studies wrapped in a blanket and reluctant to venture outside. Life still has to go on even when the thermometer is uncomfortably low.
To get acclimatised quickly there are a few steps you should definitely take. First of all, get rid of any excess layers when indoors. If you keep your jacket or coat on when inside buildings they’ll be much less effective at keeping you warm when outside. You should also try to restrict how often you wear thermal layers and if it’s not too cold outside try venturing out without your heavy winter coat. Keep your gloves, hat and scarf on to protect your extremities but otherwise try to brave the chill.
Another trick is to join a club or team that means you’re outside in the London weather. If you’re enjoying yourself you’re unlikely to be focusing on how cold you’re feeling. Plus, any activity you’re doing outside is likely to be quite strenuous so you should stay warm enough. Exercising is another great way to elevate your body temperature. It also helps your body to regulate temperature, meaning you will become more effective at keeping yourself warm once the cold weather strikes.
Hopefully these tips help you to adjust to London weather and get you celebrating your student life in your new city as soon as possible.