You’ve chosen to come and study in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, London. And what a great choice you’ve made.With an unlimited number of amazing experiences ahead of you, you will be joining over 400,000 students, across 40 universities, as you set out on the education of a lifetime. We know that moving to a new city - and maybe even a new country - can be daunting, so we’ve put together our top tips to think about as you make your move.
When making a new city your home, top on the priority list has to be making a home in your new city. Dolphin Square is the ultimate choice for students looking for a prime address in the capital. With affordable and cosy studio and one-bedroom apartments, you can have a space to call your very own. All of our apartments come fully furnished and feature plenty of space to sleep, cook, socialise, and refresh. Also on-site is a state of the art gym, a swimming pool, and a relaxing spa so you can get your early morning yoga or spin fix and your ultimate destress in the beautiful Moroccan inspired spa.
Whether you’re studying business at the London School of Economics, Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London or Ethics at UCL you’re going to need to figure out the best way to get to campus, so you don’t miss any all-important lectures. With Dolphin Square located in Zone 1, it’s super easy to travel to all sorts of areas of the city. Pimlico underground station is a short walk away, there are numerous bus stops right outside and, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, hop on a ‘Boris Bike’ and pedal to your destination. Just don’t forget your helmet!
London’s Transport system is world-renowned, and you can access the whole thing with just a tap of your Oyster card. And did you know that as a student you’re entitled to a 30% discount on travel across the Transport For London (TFL) network? You’ll need to have your student number handy and a recent colour photograph, but it takes less than 5 minutes to apply online. Card in hand you can travel on buses, the underground, some overground trains, and even a cable car or boat! With all this at your fingertips, the world (well London) really is your oyster.
Staying in contact with your friends and family at home and making connections with new friends is going to be vital to make your experience the best it can be. For those of you moving from abroad, a mobile phone on a UK network is going to make life considerably more manageable. Chances are your current phone will work just fine in the UK, however calls, texts and data may be eye-wateringly expensive unless you switch your sim card over. We recommend finding out if your current phone will accept a new sim card and switching to a UK pay-as-you-go or monthly contract.
Data is going to be a high priority as you’re exploring a new city and keeping in regular contact with old friends, so make sure the deal you go for has plenty available. If you run out, don’t panic, you’ll find there are hundreds of free wifi spots across the city with many cafes and restaurants offering it as standard.
Chances are if you’re travelling to the UK from abroad to study you’ll need to apply for a student visa. There are a few types, if your course is less than 6 months long, you can get a short term student visa, but it’s important to note that you cannot take on a part-time job. If your course is longer, or you plan on getting a part-time job to help fund your studies and your new London lifestyle, then you’ll need to make extra sure that the visa you apply for covers that.
Make sure you get your application in plenty of time so you can start your next big adventure with no stress!
Speaking of stress, you (and likely your family back home) will want to know you’re going to be taken care of in case you fall ill while you’re studying. Luckily for you, you’ll be living in a country with one of the best healthcare systems in the world, the NHS. For international students, you’ll need to make sure you have paid the additional surcharge on your visa application to be able to access NHS services. Whether you’ve travelled overseas or just down the M1, we recommend that everyone registers with their local doctor and dentist soon after getting settled.
As well as money off on travel, that all-important student card will give you hundreds of discounts that you can take advantage of while you’re studying in London. From discount cinema and theatre tickets and money off your weekly grocery shop to cheaper phone contracts and a special student Spotify subscription, you’ll be covered in every area of your life. We recommend getting hold of an NUS extra card to unlock even more deals, you can apply online or speak to someone in your Student Union on campus.
Your student discounts can take you all over the city and get you discounted entry into some of the top hot spots including, The Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Shakespeare’s Globe. If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten track, look out for special student deals at cool hotspots like the Prince Charles Cinema on Leicester Square, a pub crawl to London’s oldest drinking spots or the vibrant market stalls of Camden market.
Of course, you’ll be busy studying, but you’ll also be living in one of the most exciting cities in the world, and you are about to have the time of your life. Dolphin Square provides world-class, hassle-free living right in the heart of the city, so what are you waiting for? Start planning your next big adventure!