Being a university student often involves a fairly big shift in freedom, opportunities, and responsibilities. Being a student in one of the most influential cities in the world, surrounded by 9 million other people, really amplifies all those experiences. To be fully upfront, I have always been a city guy, especially attracted by London. Here are my perspectives on some unique aspects of life in London as a student, after an extensive three-year-degree experience.
The nightlife in London is endless
Nightlife in London has a perpetual list of options. There is always something going on in this city. Any time, any day, anywhere. Whether it’s a weekend night out or student social your party thirst will be satisfied. In order to maximise this, I would highly recommend to try out living in a private student accommodation. This will allow you meet students from many other universities, greatly expanding your nightlife opportunities and your friendship circle!
There’s an abundance of culture in London
If you need some daytime activities to balance out all your partying, London offers an endless list of cultural activities to choose from. Challenge yourself to see how much of the British Museum you can visit. Alternatively, pick specific visits and expeditions in the countless museums and art galleries scattered around this city. If you seek a more vibrant experience, London can accommodate your entertainment needs with classical theatre, modern musicals, plays and many gigs. To make it all better, most of those will have great discounts for students or even offer free admission!
You’re never short on food in London
I couldn’t write about living in London without mentioning the variety of cuisine available. When we think of ‘British food’, we stereotypically picture fish and chips, or afternoon tea. Being Italian I was quite sceptical of what I’d find in London. But the beauty of living in such a massive, multicultural city, is that you can find all sorts of delicious food.
If you are willing to explore and try new places, I assure you will find your favourite restaurants for any world cuisine in no time. Whether it’s pasta, sushi, tikka masala, or Shepard’s pie, London has it all. Not only that but if you are feeling too cold or lazy to leave your house, simply use any of the many delivery apps as seen here, some of which even deliver until 6 am.
You can easily travel Europe
Being one of the main cities in the world, with five airports and plenty of major train stations, your time in London will allow you to have many improvised holidays to explore more of the UK and the rest of Europe. You won’t need to sit on a plane for more than two hours to reach pretty much any other place in Europe. Plan ahead, find the cheapest airline using Skyscanner, and you will discover many weekend getaways for the same price as a night out! Or, if you’d rather skip all the irritations of flying, the Eurostar train will take you straight to Paris, or Amsterdam.
There are many opportunities after studying in London
Most importantly, university is a transition towards the beginning of your professional career. London will offer you so many opportunities to get a head start on your future career as it houses most of the UK’s businesses. No matter what your passion is or what sector you want to pursue, as long as you are willing to chase it, London is full of opportunities to find a successful job!
Budgeting for London life
As you may already know, London can be expensive, especially as a student. If you want your money to go far, its important to put in financial planning and do a bit of research – there are lots of free events and discounts available on a myriad of activities. From experience, students here tend to spend the most money on nights out, food and transport. Fortunately, there are ways to control all of those expenditures.
On nights out, pre-drinks are a must (shop bought alcohol will cost much less than anything at a club). In terms of food, although there’s a strong temptation to order in or eat out, food shopping and cooking will go a long way to fund the previously mentioned nights out. Finally, for transport, try not to overuse Uber and make sure you look into the student Oyster card deals!
This article was written by urbanest Westminster resident Stefano Perversi. Stefano studies International Politics at City, University of London. He is from Italy and has travelled widely and lived in Milan, Rome and Zurich before moving to London.
Can you think of any other unique aspects of living in London? Let us know in the comments!