A Guide to Moving to London

3rd March 2023 Ellen Conning Featured, London Life

London’s in your future, and you couldn’t be more excited. You’ve booked your tickets to travel to the city, packed your bags and are raring to go. As a student moving to London, you’re about to start a huge new chapter in your life, filled with experiences and education. Getting so wrapped up in everything can be easy once you arrive, and you may feel lost about what to do next.

Not to worry, though – we’ve put together a quick guide on what you should do when you arrive in The Big Smoke. It’ll help you find your bearings and get everything sorted. Plus, if you’re staying with us at one of our locations, remember that our staff are on hand 24/7 to lend a helping hand.

Before You Move to London

There’s a lot to consider before your moving day arrives. Whether travelling in the country or taking a flight, organising things before you go will make life much easier. Let’s consider the basics:

  1. Apply for your student visa: First and foremost, if you’re an international student, you must get your visa ready. Knowing how to apply for a student visa can help with the process, but get this done as soon as possible! Discover our International Students Guide!
  2. Research your accommodation: Next, or firstly for UK students, is to decide where you want to live. Moving to London means considering things like travel time to and from uni, what’s around the location you’re thinking, and so on.
  3. Make a budget: London is beautiful, but costs can quickly get ahead of you if you’re not paying attention. Knowing how to budget at university will make life easier for you, so figure out your finances ahead of time the best you can.

What To Bring to London

Next up on the agenda is packing your things ready to go. The question is, just what should you bring with you? Let’s discuss the following:

  1. Clothes: An obvious one, but consider the UK’s climate. Generally, it’s temperate, so you’ll want warm and cool weather options and comfy shoes for all the walking ahead.
  2. Bedding and towels: Often forgotten until the day of arrival, these two essentials will help you make your accommodation feel more like home – and allow you dry off after that post-travel shower.
  3. Documents: Your passport, visa documents, university acceptance letter, and medical records – if you know you’ll need them, bring them with you and keep them safe.
  4. Laptop and other tech: You’ll have a lot of writing and note-taking ahead of you, so bringing a laptop will help. But other technology, like a console or tablet, will make life comfier for you daily. Think about what you use a lot, and bring that with you.

A view of London Parliament from the air during the day

Things To Do When You Arrive in The Big Smoke as a Student

Now you’re in London, unpacked and set up in your room; it’s time to get things sorted and get stuck into UK life. Here’s what to do after moving to London – feel free to use this as a checklist!

  1. Register with a doctor: Getting a doctor, or a GP as they’re often called, set up in the UK is very important. Student health services exist, but getting access usually requires having a registered doctor. Your university can also help you find one.
  2. Open a UK bank account: Another important step, this will make life easier for you when it comes to paying for things while in the country.
  3. Go to orientation events: It may seem like a no-brainer, but orientation is a great time to learn who you’ll study with and where everything is at your uni.
  4. Sign up for societies and clubs: Another great way to meet people at uni and make friends in London, clubs and societies can also do a lot to help you embrace your hobbies and grow your skills.
  5. Explore the city: Finally, go out there and see what’s on offer! London is a fantastic city with so much to do, so take the time to learn more about the UK’s capital first-hand once everything’s sorted.

It’s a big step to take, and a lot of change comes with the territory, but if you stick to the pointers in this guide, you’ll find your move to London should go smoother than expected. Remember: You’ve got a lot of studying ahead and a lot of exciting things to get stuck into, so don’t worry about every little detail in between. Get out there and have fun!

Discover our Student Accommodation in London if you haven’t yet booked your stay.

Ellen Conning

Ellen Conning

For more great posts from Urbanest about accommodation, London life, study tips and much more, visit the Student Journal.