There are a few very easy steps to follow to make sure your arrival and stay is a good one when you study in London. When you leave home there are a number of emotional issues you will be going through and in London there are enough international groups that can support and help students cope. Read the information below to ensure a pleasant stay in London.
Visa Issues & Immigration
Make sure that you understand the exact visa requirements before you start the process. The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), the British Council and the UK Border and Immigration Agency (UKBA) are really good sources of information.
Before You Leave
A proper map of London is a good starting point… be sure to Google your college location. The internet is a great source of information and can point you to all the important places around your college. Ask if your school has a Facebook or social network page to put you in touch with other students as no one can help you more than a students that have been through the experience.
Transport System in London
There are 6 zones on the London underground (or “Tube”) and travellers are chugged in accordance with how far they travel. Zone 6 is the suburban areas and Zone 1 the so called “City”. Students get an amazing 30% discount on most public transport in London! Your student card is the key to getting these discounts on almost any duration ticket you buy. Ask your college for the TFL (Transport for London) information and you are on your way to cheaper travelling.
Young Persons Railcard
Anyone aged 16-25 can apply for the railcard and benefit greatly when travelling in the UK. The card is valid for a year and available at most railway stations at a small cost. Check it out at 16-25railcard.co.uk .
Your New Home
Accommodation in London is plentiful and there will be more than enough options available. There are so may accommodation options in London you will be able to find pretty much anything you fancy and your college should be able to help with this.
Important Health and Safety Pointers
Students that are on a 12 month or longer course have access to the NHS (National Health Services). Apart from dental treatment almost all other medical treatment is for free while you study in London. NHS requires registration with them and your college can help you with this process.
Employment in London
Under certain conditions students are able to work while they study in London. Working hours are strictly regulated by the UKBA and you should make sure to check the latest regulations before you start working. International companies operating from London often seek student employees making job opportunities plentiful in London. The internet is once again a great source of information and a good place to start searching. There are also newspapers that students can look at and some of them are free (Metro & Standard).
Banking for Students
Some banks in your home country may be able to help you set up an account prior to you getting to London. Most banks in London are student friendly and students can open up a bank account having your passport at hand. Student accounts come with different options and there are so many available you should take your time to select the best one for you.
Stay in Contact with Loved Ones
A mobile phone in London is a must so make sure you have one when you get there. There are more than enough options to choose from when you start looking at mobile packages. Look at the pay-as-you-go (or pre-paid) packages with cheap intentional call rates that suits you and is available all over London. There are many international options and it is worth spending time getting the best one for your home country.
You have to of course make sure you go to the right school for you. Fortunately there are so many sources and guides to help you make the decision in selecting a school that is right for you. Choosing the right place for you is so important, so take you time when making this decision. You can check out some of the schools by joining a summer session during the European summer. Now that you have made sure of the right school you are ready to study in London!