Your essential guide to London

Your essential guide to London

Your essential guide to London

If you're considering moving to London – it is more than likely you are already aware of some of the great jobs, events, attractions and opportunities.

Although it's exciting, relocating to London is likely to be quite a change for you. We want to help all our Studenz members enjoy their time abroad as much as possible. To help you adjust to London life, we've put together an advice guide:

Plan your accommodation before you arrive

We understand it can be tricky, and you might not have managed to secure your permanent housing in time for your move to London. If this is the case, you should plan your short-term accommodation before you arrive.

It will be a lot less stressful and also much cheaper if you have your accommodation set in stone for your arrival. If you're lucky enough to know somebody in London, you could consider asking to stay with them while you are getting settled.

Check out our accommodation guide if you’re feeling stuck.

Do your research!

London is a big city, home to 32 boroughs. It can often be worth looking for cheaper accommodation with good transport links - as opposed to a central location which tends to be more expensive.

We suggest doing some research and looking for reviews written by residents in different areas. You might find that you'll want to live a bit further out from the city to avoid the rush, or, you might want to be right in the midst of it. If you're not sure who to ask, don't hesitate to ask your language exchange connections on Studenz for some advice.

Keep your documents in a safe place

When you're living in London, you'll need specific documents ready for when you're starting a new job or signing a contract for a new home. We've listed the documents you'll need:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Visa
  • Bank statement
  • Proof of salary
  • Work out your costs

Like most capital cities, London is quite an expensive place to live. Before relocating, you should consider if you'll need part-time work to keep up with your outgoing costs. Check out our top 10 tips on how to find a job in London. Here are a few other things to think about:

  • Housing – Make sure you evaluate your options. To save money; consider a flatshare or stay with a friend.
  • Commute – If you're using public transport regularly, you can look into getting a monthly ticket which will be a set cost and give you access to unlimited tube or bus journeys. Visit the TFL website to look at your options.
  • Lifestyle – London lifestyle can be quite expensive, but there are plenty of deals you can access online. We suggest using websites such as OpenTable, Wowcher and Groupon to claim some bargain deals on a range of products, events, meals, massages and more.

How to transfer money from abroad

Transferring money from abroad can often lead to some unexpected costs. Luckily, there are some websites you can use to save you on these transfer fees, such as Transferwise and Travelex.

We also suggest getting a Monzo card when you arrive in London. This is a great alternative which allows you to:

  • Create spending groups (social, groceries, bills etc.)
  • Spend abroad with no extra charge
  • Take out up to £200 for free in any country

Helping you get to grips with London transport

Getting around London is easy once you get the hang of it. There are so many transport options to choose from – which is why many Londoner's don't require a car.

Your main travel options will be the tube, train or bus. The London Underground tube travels London, and its suburbs – making it one of the most popular modes of transport. We've listed some of the most helpful apps or websites to teach you how it all works:

  • Citymapper – City mapper is a popular app that any Londoner will probably benefit from at some point. You can find your quickest route, access live travel updates and choose your preferred mode of transport.
  • TFL – TFL website is the official website covering all transport in London. You'll have access to real-time travel information, a map of the entire tube, oyster card application forms and much more.
  • Tube Map – If the tube is your most used transport method, then this is the ideal app for you. You simply enter your current location and your chosen destination – and the app will reveal the quickest tube route for you.

You might want to use a taxi instead of public transport if you're travelling late at night or want to avoid the rush. London's most famous taxi is the black cab – you'll usually find these in central locations.

You can also download Uber; a phone app which can connect you to nearby drivers within minutes and give you an estimated price before booking.

Embracing the British weather

If you're moving from a country with a warm climate, you should prepare to update your wardrobe. London wintertime does get quite cold – therefore you will need to stock up on your winter coats, hats and jumpers. To save space in your luggage, it's probably a good idea to do your winter shopping once you arrive. There is no shortage of shops in London!

Don’t completely lose your routine

When you move to London, understandably your daily routine will probably completely change, and you might forget to do some of the things you did at home.

It's easy to get carried away with your new lifestyle, but we suggest taking some small steps such as joining a gym, doing a weekly grocery shop, jogging in London parks and planning to meet friends. Having a sense of routine will make you feel more productive and more at home in your new city.

Don’t leave it all until the last minute

Try and get to grips with some of these things before you arrive – it will increase your confidence! Travelling is an exciting experience – so just try to keep organised and enjoy it.