Arriving at university is scary enough for any fresher. But when you’re an international student, in a new country, it’s considerably more frightening. While London is a huge city with many new places and people to get accustomed to, it also offers an abundance of opportunities. To help you get the most out of your time studying in London, here’s how international students can embrace London life.
First and foremost, it’s helpful to explore your immediate surroundings and then maybe the iconic landmarks of London. For example, Big Ben, the Tower of London or Buckingham Palace. However, don’t rule out alternative attractions which have notably less footfall and are a fraction of the price. For example, Severndroog Castle, Horniman Aquarium, or the Little Angel Theatre. London has so much to offer, you could have lived there your whole life and still find somewhere new to explore.
For more alternative London attractions see here.
Get Travel Savvy
If you’re going to be touring London, it’s important to do your research beforehand to save time. Invest in a 16-25 railcard to save you money on train tickets and an oyster card which is the cheapest option when it comes to London transport. This works on the tube, trains and buses.
On top of that, ensure you are ready for British weather. Wherever you’re from, chances are the weather in London is likely to be worse. Pack a raincoat with you no matter the season, and don’t forget an umbrella. You might find it useful to download a weather app, so you can be ready for any sudden changes.
Learn the Language
This applies to anyone studying abroad, regardless of the country. Even if your course happens to be taught in your native language, it’ll be helpful to have a grasp of English to help you get around and meet the locals. Invest in a dictionary, or at least a translation app to get you started. If you want to take it even further, there are quite a few Language Programs in London.
However, because London is an incredibly diverse city with over 300 spoken languages, you’re never too far from your mother tongue. So, you might find it helpful to meet some fellow international students who are in the same boat as you.
One of the most important things for anybody starting university, is to accept any offers thrown your way. During freshers week there’ll be a plethora of parties and events to attend, so if invited by flatmates or people on your course, say yes!
Although you may be knackered to start with, you won’t regret this in the long run when you have a number of friends to turn to and an abundance of memories from your time in the UK.
Last but not least on the list of tips for international students, is to join societies. Again this will help you branch out and meet new people, but it will always give you something to do if boredom strikes. There are hundreds of societies at University, especially in a city as thriving as London. From a football society to a Harry Potter society, you’re bound to meet people who share similar interests with you. There will also be an international student society, or a society for people from your home country, which will come in handy should homesickness strike.
Good luck with your time at University! Have you got any more tips for international students? Let us know in the comments!