For many home and international students, London is the place to be. With a massive 46 universities in the UK capital, students relish the opportunity to study and start their hunt for a vacation scheme and training contract (and socialise, of course) in one of the world’s largest cities. But what is living in London actually like for students?
Accommodation and renting in London
In your first year of university, it’s likely that you’ll live in halls, either managed by your university or a private company. You’ll pay around £200 a week for your room, and will share a kitchen and possibly a bathroom with your flatmates. In the majority of cases, your rent will include all bills, so you don’t have to worry about living with no heating in order to pay for a weekly shop (though you have all this to look forward to in second and final year..!).
After the first year, the majority of students pal up with a group of friends and house share. Unlike other cities, there is no ‘student central’ in London – depending on where students are studying, and how cheap they can find housing means that there may be several pockets of students communities around London. However, it also means that the people you became friends with during your first year in halls, but aren’t living with in second year, could live in a totally different area of London.
Private renting in London is expensive, there’s no denying it. You’ll have to make a compromise on either space, location or price, and only you know what you’d prefer from a living situation. You may want to live closer to university but don’t mind a smaller room and larger rent. Or rather, you’d prefer living further out of central London and getting more bang for your buck and don’t mind a longer commute. What is important, is that you’re honest with what you would prefer with your housemates.
It may be expensive but the most useful thing about living in London as a law student is that you’ll have a base to operate from when you undertake vacation schemes – unlike other students from around the country you won’t have to commute from miles away and cough up extortionate train fares.
Getting around – London's transport
London is famous for its extensive underground, and posing for a selfie at Camden Town station will soon become a very cringe-worthy thing to do. However, Transport for London (TfL) has a student Oyster Card that gets you 34% discount on off-peak travel and special rates for daily, monthly and annual travelcards.
There are Santander Bikes too. These are very cost effective and yearly passes can be bought for just £90 – winner!
Things to do as a Londoner
In the rare event that you look up from your law books, or briefly glance away from reading about current affairs to brush up on your commercial awareness, you might actually be able to explore one of the most interesting on historic cities in the world. With over 200 museums, 150 theatres and 3,000 parks, there’s plenty to do for free. Additionally, there’s also Oxford Street for all your shopping needs, countless restaurants and bars, and some of the best nightlife in the world. You’ll never be short of anything to do in London!