Congratulations on your acceptance to your London University this year! It is going to be a very exciting year!
Summer is ending and you need to get ready to start your new adventure in the big UK City. We are going to give you 10 tips about what you will need to pack in your suitcase and to prepare before moving to London. So, let’s get started!
These are the basics: passport and/or ID card, Visa, Driving License. Even if you are a national or an international student you will need to bring your passport and/or ID card with you wherever you go.
For international students, you won’t be able to enter the United Kingdom without a valid VISA and a valid passport. If you are an English Student, we are pretty sure you won’t need your Driving License here in London (Bethnal Student Living is in Zone 2) but who knows – you might need it for traveling around! International Students might need to get an International Driving License.
The main reason why you will be in London is because of your studies at a university. In order to not forget anything, we recommend you to make a checklist that you can tick once ready. Print out all the documents your university needs to verify on your arrival and save them carefully in a folder. Also, you should go shopping to get all the stationery needed, like a notebook and plenty of pens!
3. Student Residence
If you are coming to Bethnal Student Living, we won’t need you to print anything! We only need a valid Passport and/or ID plus a Visa if you are not from the European Union. We recommend you bring the Letter of Acceptance and the Arrival and Accommodation details documents though. Those documents will show you how you can get to our student residence and how your payments will be taken. You can get this information from your Client Zone once you book.
If you are going to a Shared House or to another Student Accommodation, they will probably ask you for other files.
It is important to be aware of what living in London means for the first time. Even if we know it is not a cheap city, we need to consider that the first month living away from home always costs more. If you are an international student, you will also need to check with your bank what the fees are for using your debit card abroad. Once here, you can open a bank account with UK currency. You can use Transferwise for this which is free the first time you use it.
5. Buy weather-appropriate Clothes
We all know what the British weather is like: very unpredictable. Depending on where you come from you will need to get warmer or lighter clothes in your bag, but what you should never forget is to get some wellies and an umbrella!
6. Your Food & Personal belongings
London is known for having a wide range of cuisines from around the globe, including grocery stores where you can get all the international ingredients you can ever imagine. However, you do not want to miss that specific goodie from your region that you know you won’t be able to find in London. So it is always very useful to leave some space in your suitcase for some cheese, cookies or chocolates you might want to bring.
Do not forget your music, personal books or even your diary. All those little things can help make you feel at home while you are in London.
If you are away from home maybe you could be interested in getting private health insurance in London. You will get NHS treatment (UK & European Union) for free but if you prefer to get private insurance and you want to be covered for specific things you can consider this (your parents might be calmer!).
8. Plane tickets
Whichever transport you choose to come to London, you will need to plan how to do it in advance. If it’s by car you’ll want to avoid rush hour and busy days as well as if you come by public bus. In case you are planning to come by plane or train, we hope you’ve got your tickets in advance as they are usually more expensive when you buy them last minute. Think about the time in advance you’ll need to be at the airport or the train station and about the controls you will need to pass through (and queues!)
9.Social Media & Phones
It is highly recommended to check the Facebook accounts of your University course as it is a nice way to start meeting new people. Normally you will get provided with this information by your institution as they are private groups.
It is also useful to know in advance the way you are going to get in touch with your family from the UK (nationals don’t have this problem) or even with your friends in London. Get ready to download the programs you need and get informed about the phone companies in Britain.
10.…Get Mentally Ready!
That’s it! You’ve got everything ready, so what’s next? Make sure you have said goodbye to all your relatives and friends (you could throw a farewell party so you make sure you don’t forget anyone!) and think about all of the new and different situations you will experience!
Welcome to London!
Welcome to Bethnal Student Living.
Written by Cristina Garcia