As my time winds down here (whaaaat) & other people are preparing or looking to study abroad in London (which, if you’re even considering it, you most definitely should) I thought I would dedicate a post to a few helpful tips.
iPhone- If you have one, you should unlock it & pop in a UK sim. A lot of people just turn their phone on airplane mode & only use it when they have wifi, but in London I would say you absolutely need to have a phone with data. You will be really happy you did- this city is absolutely huge & it helps with busses and the tube. I would recommend downloading the app “Citymapper.” This will help you find tubes, busses, and just generally help you get around the city. It is great & most everyone I know uses it! You can buy a sim card at any phone shop here- there are a million so just compare prices when you get here (relatively cheap too).
Tastecard- London is expensive but there are ways to get around this! My friends and I all got Tastecards, which gives you a discount on a ton of restaurants (half price!!) in the city. It’s a great way to save money while still eating out. Amazing deals & amazing restaurants. You can apply online & get a free three month trial.
UniDays- Gives you different discounts at different stores. You should absolutely apply for it!
Travel- if you know where you want to go, book it early! I cannot tell you how many people told me that traveling in Europe is “cheap.” It may be in other parts of Europe, but London is a ginormous city & expensive to fly out of (not ridiculous, but it adds up). RyanAir & Easyjet aren’t as terrible as people make them out to be! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve woken up at 4 am to catch a flight, but it was beyond worth it. Travel as much as you can, but still take the time to know London. I know people who travel every weekend they are abroad- isn’t the point of going abroad getting to know a foreign city really well? If you wanted, you could do something different in London every weekend you are here!!
Primark- The best place to buy cheap bedding, towels, anything in general you left in America. It’s kinda like their Wal-Mart but better…
Markets- Portobello Road, Camden, Borough, Spitafields, Brick Lane… look em up & go!
DesignMyNight- a great app you can download on your smart phone that will help you plan your night based on location, price, & what you’re looking to do!
Money- Yes, it is really expensive here. Very expensive actually. But, I wouldn’t have traded studying abroad in London for any other city in the world. Every culture is here & I have met people from all over the globe without having to travel outside of the city! I cannot tell you how many people told me not to study abroad in London because of how expensive it is. I am so glad I didn’t listen to them & did what I wanted to do. This is an amazing city & there is plenty of stuff to do for free. If you are smart about your money you will be more than fine. London is one of the greatest cities in the world & there is nothing better than being young here! Don’t let someone convince you not to come here because of money.