I know I haven’t posted for a bit, so I’ll try to make a couple posts over the next week or so. Although I’ve travelled to some really good places, like Edinburgh and the White Cliffs of Dover, I’ve talked a lot about my travels, so I figured I’d go down a different route with this blog post. I know when I was looking at coming over to London, I had a lot of questions about how the program works and what to expect. I know I already talked about things that surprised me about London as a whole, but I thought I would give some advice to people who are thinking of studying abroad, with some of the advice applying to only London, but some of it can be generally applied in any abroad location.
- Explore local places in your city. For example, with London especially, we have a pub next door, which is really convenient if we want to go out to eat. However, there are so many cool pubs and restaurants in London, it’s really cool to explore other neighborhoods and discover new places to eat.
- Travel, but have some local travel days as well. I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to travel to some incredible places, but some of the best places that I’ve travelled to are towns in England that I’ve travelled to for day trips and to just explore the town.
3. Believe me, the amount of things you are going to want to do will leave you overwhelmed. The first couple months I wasn’t really getting any sleep, which was quite a struggle, but it’s so important to just have weekends and days where you can just unwind and relax.
4. Use Scyscanner for international flights to different destinations. I’ve found it has the cheapest flights and always find you the best deals. If you want to train to domestic destinations, use goeuro.com. Not only does it have cheap trains, but it also has even cheaper buses.
Like I said, I have a lot of things related specifically to London that I recommend. I have a list below that if you’re interested at all in studying in London, here are some things you may want to consider.
- Buy a converter for your appliances. A converter helps with small appliances like electric razors, toothbrushes, and hair dryers, because the voltage in Europe is much higher. So, unless you want to end up with a crispy hair dryer, a converter would be beneficial (obviously buy an adapter too. And iPhones and laptops charge just fine with an adapter, so you don’t need to worry from that standpoint).
- If your a sports fan, follow a football team. Obviously this is a little bit biased, but I’ve loved soccer since I was back in the United States, but I would definitely recommend checking out a game. Tickets for big games can be pricy and hard to find, but I got tickets to a pretty entertaining game with awesome seats for about $35. Plus, the fans are funny and its a great environment. I’d personally recommend checking out Charlton or QPR, as their prices are quite cheap, but if you want a great atmosphere then definitely check out Millwall (seen below).
3. Go to the local markets in London. Most of them have really cool food stands from quite exotic countries. When at Camden market, I had Indonesian Coconut Beef (which was fantastic.)
4. The Indian food is definitely a must. I know Indian food in the US can sometimes get a bad rep, but theres a large Indian population in London, and the food that they have is unbelievable. If you want great food, Dishoom is awesome (although a tad bit pricy), while Brick Lane is famous for tons of Indian restaurants all on one street.
5. Almost all the museums are free, and can be quite cool to visit. Definitely take advantage of all the student prices as well for other attractions.
6. Nando’s. If you haven’t heard of it, Google it now. Best food.
7. Buy reusable bags at your local grocery store. I didn’t do it in the beginning, and since you have to pay for bags, it can add up after a couple big trips to the store.
8. If you have the time, make breakfast and lunch at your flat. This way, you can afford to go out to eat for dinner and not feel like it costs a fortune every day.
9. Make an effort to get to know your professors. Most have lived in London or in the UK for most of their lives, so they know great places to go in London or towns to visit that you can afford on a budget.
10. Citymapper is really good for getting around. It’s a GPS app that tells you the quickest route, subway only routes, and even routes that are best in the rain. It also connects with Uber to tell you how quick you can Uber somewhere, with a relevant price range.
So obviously this isn’t a complete list of everything, but you get the idea. I will be making another post within the week, although I’m not really sure about the topic.
Cheers for now!